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 26 September 2011

In search of wild orchids - Western Australia

In the south west of Western Australia there are around 400 species of terrestrial native orchid species - out of the around 800 species found in Australia - found in a diverse range of habitats. 

Every year in spring we go bushwalking in Manea Park in the southern Bunbury suburb of College Grove. It is Bunbury’s premier bush reserve and home to several threatened species of flora and fauna and more than 30 varieties of orchid.  A limestone trail takes you through the habitat which varies from swamp lands to jarrah and banksia woodland.

Yesterday we went walking at Manea Park. Here are some of the orchids we found - 
In this mosaic from left to right you can see -
Purple Enamel Orchid, Sun Orchid, Silky Blue Orchid, Jug Orchid, Donkey Orchid
Bee Orchid (also called Antelope Orchid), Blue Lady Orchid, Pink Fairy, Cowslip, White Spider Orchid

Thursday 22 September 2011

Light the Night

On Wednesday we joined my son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons as part of Jen's team for Light the Night in Bunbury, which is an initive of the The Leukaemia Foundation to raise awareness of Leukaemia and raise funds for the wonderful work they do supporting families. We went along to support Jen and to remember Jen's mother, Dora, who died on 26 February 2008, suddenly and unexpectedly from acute promyelocytic leukaemia. 

As part of the night, the people attending walk with coloured balloons, remembering those they have lost, celebrating those that have survived, and thanking supporters. 

I didn't take many photos, but two that I did take I share with you here, of my grandson's Jamie and Owen - Jamie who only knew his grandmother for 2 years and Owen who never knew her. I know she watches over them. They are such a special part of my life.

These photos were taken in low light, and I didn't want to use the flash, so I used a high ISO to get this shot. I know it has a bit of blur, but I rather like the effect - and these snapshots of a slice of time in their young lives. 

This is the greatest love of all  xxx

You can see a poem and photos about Dora and our grandchildren here -  
For Dora - our beautiful boys 

Monday 19 September 2011

Where the wild orchids grow - Western Australia

We have a small patch of bush near our home that separates the houses from the main road. I have written about it here before - Wildflowers are starting to bloom

Every year the wild orchids and other wildflowers put on their spring display and I go there to photograph them. Sadly every year I see more invasive weeds taking over, but the delicate wild orchids still manage to push up through the weeds.

I love walking in the Australia bush - it is so peaceful and rejuvenating. So it is lovely to have this little pocket of bush near my home. I hope you have somewhere where you can walk in the bush near you. 

In this mosaic, going from left to right across each row, you can see -

White Spider Orchid, Leek Orchid, Purple Tassels, Milk Maids, Purple Mat Rush
Dampiera, Rush Cotton Heads, Running Postman, Cowslip Orchids, Wild Violet
Donkey Orchid, Mangles Kangaroo Paw (Red Kangaroo Paw), Pink Fairy, one of the Pea family, White Spider Orchid.

Here is a closer view of the Leek Orchid "Prasophythum" of which there are over 25 different species in Western Australia.

And the delicate little Donkey Orchid - "Diuris" of which there are 20 species in Western Australia. So I couldn't hope to clearly identify this one.

The White Spider Orchid - "Caladenia longicauda". There are many varieties of White Spider Orchids - so I am no botanist, I can't clearly identify which variety this is.

 And our Western Australian floral emblem, the Red Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw - "Anigozanthos manglesii"

A wildflower guide is essential if you enjoy wildflower photography or just exploring a bush path. The two I have used for this post are - 
Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia - by Bob Liddlelow - R&R Publications Australia Pty Ltd
Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia - Part 2 Perth and the South West - by Eddy Wajon - Wajon Publishing Company. (currently a set of 4 books covering two thirds of WA)
I hope you have enjoyed this little walk in my bush block with me.
I cherish your comments, so I look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful week.

Friday 16 September 2011

Cathedral Avenue & Australind Pioneer Cemetary, Western Australia

On Wednesday morning I went out to Cathedral Avenue which runs along the Leschenault Inlet at Australind, about five minutes from my home. The paper-bark trees form a natural arch over the roadway, which has now has a re-routed road around it so that you can just walk along the road along this part. It is such a lovely peaceful place to walk.

and a close up of the beautiful bark of the paper-bark tree with the early morning light on it.

We have an old pioneer cemetery in Australind near where I live. There lie the bodies and ashes of some of our early  pioneers from 1842 onwards. The Australind & Districts Historical Society have done a lot of work out there since the last time I was there. And now there are lists on the entrance archway with the names, death dates and numbers of the graves, so you can identify them. Many are marked only with a simple number. Others are falling into  decay - like this one - crumbling and overrun by weeds - I cleared away some of the long weeds.

From the number on the grave I found it was the grave of Rachel Smith - aged 19 - died 2/7/1852, George Smith - aged 32 - died 25/7/1852 and Henry Smith - aged 4 months - died 15/9/1852.
They died so close together - I wonder who they were and what was their story.

The cemetery is a peaceful place in a pocket of bush. In the spring time the freesias push up through the ground and flower in profusion.

I hope you find a time for peaceful wandering over the weekend.

Update - Some information (see below) about George and Rachel Smith was sent to me by Phyllis Barnes, Bunbury historian, and editor (with others) of   "The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton : 1840-1861" . Please click on the link - Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton

Thank you Phyllis for this valuable information. It was wonderful to learn something about George and Rachel. 
Quote from Phyllis - "I believe in getting such info onto the jet stream so long as it is accurate. I cannot tell you how George died, possibly pneumonia but have never quite worked out how a little baby can get to paint – presumably lead poisoning that takes weeks to build up and was sometimes chewed off the cot by a child!!!"

Rachel Catherine Clifton was born on the 10th of March 1833 in London although the family was living in France. She was the fourteenth child of Marshall Waller Clifton who was appointed the Chief Commissioner in Australia for the Western Australian Company in May 1840.

The Co. had purchased 103 000 acres of land that formed a huge square from just north of the Collie River to about Wokalup and from the west side of Leschenault Estuary into the hills; the town of Australind was to be on the southwest corner.  Shares were sold to investors and settlers who were willing to emigrate entitling them to 100 acres of rural land and four ¼ blocks  in town. The surveyors left England in December 1840 arriving in January 1841, but then it all went pear shaped and many investors withdrew taking their money - a blow from which the Company never recovered.

Nevertheless, Clifton arrived in Koombana Bay on the Parkfield on the 18th of March 1841 with 11 of his 14 surviving children including three little girls - Lucy was 11, Rachel 8 and Caroline was 6.

Three sons of the Company Secretary, Charles Henry Smith, came to Australind –
John Valentine Smith, later Sir John, arrived on the Island Queen in December 1840 with the surveyors on the Island Queen, and then George and Henry came on the Parkfield  as Gentlemen Settlers.  All three worked for M.W. Clifton who thought well of them and frequently mentioned them in his Journal.

Rachel and George were married at on the 21st October 1851.  Her brother Charles Hippuff Clifton married Maria Elizabeth Glynn, ward of the Thomas Little of Belvedere, earlier same day in the day in a Catholic ceremony at Belvedere, then joined Rachel and George in a dual Anglican ceremony at Australind.

The young couple went off to live in Perth but Rachel died in childbirth and George soon afterwards.  All this comes to life in 'The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton … published last year.

Phyllis Barnes

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Foodie Wednesday

This week my day off from work was Wednesday, and I spent a lot of the day playing around with food photography. It has been my project this year to learn as much as I can about food photography and it has taken over my days off work. I don't know where it is taking me but I am certainly enjoying the journey, meeting up on the net with other foodies and learning a lot as I go, especially about lighting and styling.

There are lots of resources and inspiring photographers on the web and you can hook up with a lot of them through Flickr and Digital Photography School. Go to my links and check them out.

Here are my efforts from Wednesday.

First is Chai Latte - taken back lit by morning light, this is my first attempt at capturing the steam coming off a hot drink. You need to have a darkish background to capture the steam. You need to have everything ready and pour in the boiling water at the last minute. In the foreground are some chocolate stick biscuits and a piece of cinnamon stick.  Originally I was going to have the cinnamon stick in the glass, but the drink is not thick enough to support it.

 Next is coffee beans - just poured onto a white plate. Again back lit by morning light.  Some friends on Flickr say they can almost smell the coffee beans in this shot.

 Coffee beans again - this time tumbling out of a cloth bag with an old metal scoop that I found at my mother-in-laws house.  This was taken in shade on the patio, so I used a gold reflector to try and throw in some warm light.

Chillis - I would have liked the background to be whiter in this image. I have played with it in pp but this was as white as I could get.

Playing with food photography doesn't always require really expensive dishes - this is two minute noodles.

and a different angle -

And then I read on Dario's food blog about using light from a south facing window - I have always been using a north facing window - but of course it depends on which hemisphere you live in..........so out with the coffee cups for a simple experiment.....the lighting looked pretty good, but I didn't have any time to play around with something more elaborate. That will have to wait until another day.

 Time to cook tea - I had been so involved in my foodie photography that the whole day had gone.  But just one last photo - this is lemon meringue pie - it is my speciality - but you wouldn't be able to see that from this photo - it was probably because I was in so much of a hurry that the meringue wasn't as good as it was supposed to be. It still tasted delicious! And shot again here in my south facing window!

So there you have it. A day of food photography. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday 8 September 2011

A ducks watery world

We have a small swamp area a few streets from us. It is a lovely place to wander and sit quietly on the benches in the shade of the trees. 

When I saw this duck on Monday I rather envied him swimming in his beautiful watery/reedy home amongst the paperbark trees.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Spring is the time for tulips

Every year at Araluen Botanic Park - a beautiful garden set in 50 acres of shaded valley at Roleystone, south of Perth -  they have massed plantings of tulips. We visited today and the gardens were ablaze with beautiful blooms in orange, red, white, yellow, pink........a glorious pallet of colour.

Araluen was first established as a youth camp in 1929 by JJ Simons, who brought back plants from his overseas and interstate trips,  Creeks running through the valley create a cool moist climate, making it an ideal site for Simon's dream garden. Simons called this valley "Araluen", an Eastern States aboriginal word meaning "singing waters", "running waters" or "place of lilies".

Araluen is today a delightful garden where you will find streams and waterfalls, trees, gardens and pathways, places to sit, and places to picnic. 

This year for the first time, I planted some tulip bulbs in my garden. I was advised to store the bulbs in the fridge to get them really cold before I planted them. (It is probably a "you live in a warm climate thing) They were really beautiful, and I will have to plant more next year!


And a little Haiku poetry I wrote in the middle of the night...........

dew drops on petals
glisten in the morning light
and tulips open 

This beautiful bloom was snapped in the wind, so I used it to take some reflection shots.

A few years ago we visited Tasmania in October. Wynyard is the tulip growing area of Tasmania, and in October they have the Tulip Festival. I have never before seen colour as amazing as this.

Thankyou for looking everyone. I hope you have enjoyed this wander through the tulips. I treasure your comments, so I look forward to hearing from you. 

This is my contribution to Mosaic Monday. To see the beautiful images created by Mary and other wonderful contributors, please go to the link - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

I would also love you to join me over on Flickr - Life Images by Jill on Flickr 

You might also enjoy - The Joy of Spring - and - Last Blooms of Autumn