Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 28 February 2011

Market day delights.......

We have a wonderful farmers market that has grown and grown over the years, and has lots of fresh yummy produce straight from the farmer. As well as fruit and vegetables it has cheeses, Italian cured  meats, dips, eggs, dried fruit and nuts, and delicious hot Turkish bread fresh from a local bakery.

 Then we came home and made a fresh salad rollup for lunch..............

Today's post is part of Mosaic Monday - to see the beautiful work of Mary and other wonderful contributors on Mosaic Monday, please go to  http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.com/

No doubt the contributors from Mosaic Monday from the northern hemisphere will envy my lunch - as they are looking forward to spring.

 Thank you for looking! I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday 25 February 2011

For Dora - our beautiful boys.................

I see you in the soft breeze 
       and the perfume of the flowers in my garden
I see you in the eyes of our grandsons
I hear you in their laughter
And I know you are a part of all that is good in them.

I cry that you are not here to share in their lives
      and yet I know you are watching over them from afar.
I cry that your daughter is without her mother
      and that I can never be the mother she has lost
And yet I know you talk to her in her dreams
      and that you bring comfort.

It has been three years since you left us when Gold called
      and yet you are all around us
You smile at me from your frame on my mantlepiece
      and I light a candle for you 
And I cry for all that has been lost from our lives
       without you here.

This is my gift to Jen and our beautiful boys in the memory of Dora - 26 February.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Roses for the day of love

It is Saint Valentines Day, 14 February, and the day that lovers everywhere tell their loved ones what they mean to them. So for my post today I send all those in love a red rose for love. The rose has come from my garden and the Champagne cork is from a bottle of Champagne we drank with friends in Paris - a trip we gave to ourselves to celebrate our wedding anniversary in 2005 - beautiful Paris! the city of love!

You said "I love you"
      and time stopped
And your words hung  suspended 
      in the air –
A magic whisper.

You see in the mosaic below a bunch of dried red and yellow roses which hangs on the wall outside my bedroom door. No-one probably knows where they came from or why they hang there. In 1996 I was involved in a boating accident, suffered two crushed vertebrae in my back, was in hospital for 4 weeks, and in a back brace for another 2 months after that. I was extremely lucky to still be walking. I had visitors every day  during that 4 weeks, friends and family who came to visit me, and my room almost looked like of florist shop. I saved these few rose blooms, and hung and dried them, and brought them home and they have hung on the wall ever since. They remind me of the special love that enveloped me during that time. 

As I lay in that hospital bed I had a long time to think about the preciousness of life and what is important to me, and the resolve that you must do and experience all that you can while you can. Life is precious but all too short, and we should make every special day count in our words and actions and spread love and caring around us.   So here is a mosaic of roses. Yes they are faded, and they are edged with tiny spider webs, and a few petals fall off if I touch them, but they are very special and beautiful to me.

And so I send my special valentine to my husband and my beautiful family, all those people who showed me their love in those long days. Thank you.

I played around with different mosaic arrangements through Picasa, and came up this this shuffled look which I thought suited the photos. For isn't life like a deck of cards - you never know what hand you are going to be dealt next - and what is important is what you do with it.

This is my contribution to Mosaic Monday - to see the beautiful work of Mary and other wonderful contributors on Mosaic Monday, please click on the link -  http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.com/

Sunday 6 February 2011

For the love of roses

 Photographing roses is one of my favourite past-times...this is one of the iceberg variety from my garden. It has quite a small flower. I love the way the light comes through the petals in this photo.

The rose is the enduring symbol of love and friendship. It is also like the circle of life. It starts as a tiny bud that gradually unfolds, grows, changes, evolves, and then blooms to display its full potential and radiance. Just like our lives - as we grow and are nurtured, we gently unfold and reach the potential of our full bloom. Each step is precious and beautiful. As we look at the rose we can see on the outside the petals that have already evolved but in the centre is the richness of life that is still to come to us if we open up our hearts and minds. When I photograph the rose I seek to capture its perfection and the inner beauty and promise of what is to come. 

I have been experimenting with some collages of this beautiful rose through Picasa. I don't always get the boxes the size I want them, as the program does it for you, but it is interesting to move the pictures around to achieve the final result. I hope you enjoy them. Thankyou for visiting. 

This post is part of Mosaic Monday. Please visit the work of Mary and other contributors, on Mosaic Monday at Little Red House - click here to visit - 

Thursday 3 February 2011

Walking in the Shannon, Western Australia

There was a rustle in the swampy undergrowth as we approached the wooden hut along the walk trail. Was it a lizard or a quokka disappearing along its runnell? Around the observation shelter there was evidence of the quokka colony – pad runnels and flattened places through the swampy undergrowth, although the interpretive panel informed us that being a night forager, we were unlikely to see the squat marsupial quokka during the day.

We recently visited Shannon National Park, 53 kilometres south of Manjimup, and one of seven National Parks within the Walpole Wilderness area of Western Australia’s beautiful south west corner.

There was once a timber mill here, but after timber cutting ceased here in 1983, the forest regenerated and Shannon became a National Park in 1988 covering 53,500 hectares of the Shannon River catchment, and includes a mixture of karri, jarrah, marri, blackbutt and karri-oak forests, wildflowers, sedges, heaths, wetlands and granite outcrops. 

There is a day use area, campground and four bush walks which enable you to enjoy learn about and enjoy the natural history and history. 
The Shannon campground is a peaceful place to camp any time of year, and the forest comes alive with wildflowers during spring.  It really is a beautiful area, and I know I will return again one day. 

There is something really special about being able to walk in quietness in the bush, absorbing the sights and sounds and smells, being within your own self, observing, being at peace, and being thankful for the beautiful world in which we live.

In the words Vincent Serventy, noted Australian naturalist “Surely there can be no greater cathedral than forests such as those of the karri”.

My Campsite Report -  Forest and Flowers about camping in the Shannon National Park, was published in July 2011 edition of On The Road Magazine, Australia.   -    On The Road Magazine

And also walking, touring and camping in the Shannon in Go Camping Magazine - October-November 2011 - Quokka Hunting in Karri Country

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Niagara Dam - Goldfields, Western Australia

If you are looking for a free camp site during a tour of Western Australia’s goldfields, Niagara Dam, located 60 kilometres north east of Menzies via the Kookynie Road, is a great place to stop for a picnic, to camp overnight or for a few days and to observe the abundant birdlife that are attracted to the Dam.  

We discovered this lovely oasis on our return trip from the Great Central Road and the Northern Territory and arrived mid afternoon which gave us enough time to explore. 

The 30,000,000 gallon Dam was built in 1897 with cement hauled from Coolgardie on 400 camels by the Afghan cameleer Abdul Waid. The Dam was to provide water for the now abandoned goldmining town of Niagara, the surrounding district, and for the steam locomotives using the railway linking Kalgoorlie, Menzies and the northern goldfields.
By 1916 the mines ran out around Niagara and the population moved away, taken over by the town of Kookynie seven kilometres north east which had been boosted by longer lasting mines.   Nothing remains of Niagara now, other than the faint imprint of the two main streets, but you can visit the living ghost town of Kookynie and have lunch at the Grand Hotel built in 1902.

Underground water was found at Kookynie soon after Niagara Dam was completed, and the Dam proved unreliable due to intermittent rainfall.  Named after a nearby waterfall which proved to only flow after heavy rain, Niagara was a little different to its gigantic namesake. 
Once part of a grand plan for the area, Niagara Dam today provides a day use area for visitors with picnic tables and BBQs, an upper camping area, and a lower camping area.  I recommend the lower camping area as it is sheltered amongst trees below the Dam wall, whilst the upper area is more open and exposed.

There are two walk trails – the Round the Dam Trail (1150 metres) and the Breakaway Trail (1600 metres). The walks are relatively easy and are well marked with steel marker posts approximately every 70 metres leading you through a fascinating area to explore and learn about the landscape through the interpretive panels. 

The Breakaway Trail starts near the Dam wall and takes you westward along the main breakaway for about 700 metres before descending to follow the water course.  You may find evidence of dam construction relics along the way.   

There is a spectacular view from the lookout point before a short descent down the side of the breakaway. The trail then follows the usually dry creek-line back to the Dam. The rugged rusty red and softer yellow and white cliff faces of the breakaway are quite spectacular in the early morning or late afternoon light.  The breakaway itself is caused by erosion of softer soil types leaving the hard laterite layers of ironstone and granite which form the steep breakaway ridges. There is a gentle climb back up to the Dam wall. 

To see this full campsite report - see Go Camping magazine - February 2011