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.



Tuesday 27 June 2017

A walk by the water - Lescheanult Inlet, Bunbury

Well you can hardly believe we are near the end of the first month of winter already - the days have been way too sunny, though cold in the evenings and early mornings. We desperately need rain, but for us urban folk the days are perfect for getting out for a walk in the sun. 

In Bunbury where I live we are blessed with water on three sides - the Indian Ocean, Koombana Bay and the Leschenault Inlet - in fact Bunbury is known as the City of Three Waters. 

Today we took advantage of the beautiful sunny day to take a walk around the Leschenault Inlet which is virtually right in the centre of the city.  This is a view across the Inlet to the city. Can you guess what the building in the centre of the picture is known as? The milk carton! I am sure you can see why. It is the tallest building in our city. My husband says it is a good landmark when you are out in the ocean in a boat.

 Here you can see the Bunbury Rowing Club and Waterfront Cafe, boats at the Bunbury Yacht Club, and the view of the Inlet looking east. 

 An easy walk trail, suitable for walkers, bikes, wheelchairs, and prams, is an approximately 5 kilometres circuit around the Leschenault Inlet.  We weren't the only ones out enjoying the sun. 

 A major feature of the Leschenault Inlet are the White Mangroves (Avicennia marina var. marina). Normally associated with the north west, these mangroves are the most southern occurrence in Western Australia and a remainder of a time when the south west had a more tropical climate.  The nearest white mangroves are 700 kilometres to the north at the Abrolhos Islands. 

 The mangroves are an important conservation area protecting the aquatic and bird life that live here, and also migratory birds that visit from Northern Europe and Asia every year to feed on the mudflats during our summer. A board walk, which was carefully constructed so as to cause minimal damage to the environment, meanders through the mangroves so you can see them up close. 

Unfortunately no bird photos, we could hear them but not see them! 

You can read about the ecology at the various interpretive signage along the way. 

Between the mangroves and the ocean is an extensive area of the Koombana Bay waterfront which is currently being redeveloped. This is as close as I could get to it. It will be interesting to see how it develops. 

The path then meanders through a grove of Swamp Sheoaks - Casuarine obesa - which is a salt tolerant variety found near bodies of water.

You then turn onto a new path which skirts along the edge of the water and the main road into the city.  From here you can see Anglesea Island - also known as Pig Island. The story goes that an early settler put his pigs on the island to save on fencing. The pigs drowned when they tried to escape by swimming back to the mainland. The island became known as Pig Island. 
The waterway here is called "The Blunders" due to the "blunder" with the pigs.

When you reach the end of this new walkway the path turns around the end of the Inlet. Here is the view across the water to the city and the waterfront houses.  Can you see the "milk carton" in the distance? 

It is interesting to note that the inlet didn't always end here. Originally this was the Preston River which flowed through here down towards the Bunbury townsite, and then into Koombana Bay.  However land was reclaimed and the river diverted northward into the Leschenault Estuary and a new opening to the ocean created, called The Cut, as part of the Inner Harbour building project in the 1970s.

You can see the changes in these two old maps from 1850 and 1980 showing Koombana Bay, the Preston River, Leschenault Inlet & Estuary, and the Inner Harbour - (Barnes, P. 2001, Marlston Hill and all that). 

 The name Leschenault honours botanist Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour, who was part of Nicolas Baudin's 1800–1804 voyage which visited the coast and explored the estuary and nearby rivers. The Baudin espedition was a French expedition to map the coast of New Holland (now Australia). More info here - Australian Dictionery of Biography

Turning along the pathway at the end of the Inlet takes you then around the back of the waterfront houses for a kilometre or so before coming out along the Inlet again. It was mid-morning by this time so we decided to stop in at the "Happy Wife" cafe for a cuppa and cake.  I love this little cosy cafe. You can sit inside or outside looking out over the water. We chose inside today.
Now we are heading back towards the city centre. From here you can see silos and woodchip piles at the Inner Harbour.  And the actual southern most mangrove, (bottom right hand corner). 

The bees were having a high time in this tree of beautiful red gum flowers we saw along the path.

and back into the city - now you can see the Bunbury Tower - the "milk carton" up close.

And a place to sit and look out over Koombana Bay towards the Outer Harbour.

I'll have to bring you back here when they are finished with the "redevelopment" of the Koombana Bay foreshore.

 Some interesting information on the Leschenault Inlet can be found in these reports:
 A Sense of Home: A Cultural Geography of the Leschenault Estuary District.

A Report of an Aboriginal Heritage Sruvey of the Preston River Realignment and the Bunbury Port Inner Harbour Expansion Plan

And these sites:
Mangrove Watch Australia

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this walk today with me around the Leschenault Inlet. I certainly learned some new things on my walk. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Pictorial Tuesday 
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
Sky Watch Friday
Life in Reflection 

Tuesday 20 June 2017

June capers

There has been much tragic news around the world lately. It seems every morning when I turn on the radio to the news there is news of another tragedy somewhere in the world. There have been numerous terrorist attacks, particularly in Europe, where innocent people have been killed or badly injured, and also lives and homes lost in a terrible apartment fire in London.  I am sometimes afraid for the madness that seems to be going on in the world, where it is leading to, and what the future holds for our children and grand children. Long gone is the innocence of our own childhood.

These world events make me pause and remember that I have much to be thankful for.  Not to make light of these events, but, perhaps because of them, today I give my blog over to some of the things that I have been able to enjoy in the last couple of weeks. Indeed I am very grateful for living in a relatively safe country where we are free to do as we wish, within reason. 

I am enjoying in sun in my June garden, although rain is desperately needed. It's winter but we have had no more rain since the one evening of rain of over a week ago which I wrote about in my last blog post.  

Top centre is Lilly Pilly - an Australian native fruit. I wrote about them last year here - Lilly Pilly jam
And bottom left hand corner is one of the Australian Native Hibiscuses which has just started flowering in my garden - isn't it a gorgeous colour!   

I am enjoying reading the memoir, Rabbits and Rosaries, written by my friend and former Catholic Nun, Glenys Yeoman. I am enjoying playing my old Carpenters record on my new record player, and Dami Im's tribute to the Carpenters. I am enjoying watching Series 3 of Poldark (I've been a fan ever since reading the books years ago), and last week I enjoyed watching my Grandson sing in his school choir at the Eisteddfod.

 A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed dancing with my Flamenco dance group, Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company, at the Eisteddfod. We won the "Dance Production" section with our "Cafe Flamenco". This is the view before the show. Unfortunately no photos during the performance as photography of the show is only allowed to be taken by the hired professional photography company.

 I celebrated with my two friends  who were both awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen's birthday honours list - historian Phyllis Barnes for her ongoing community and historic work including a number of published historical books (she is a member of my writer's group and truly inspiring), and Eileen Wenn for her services to the the floral arts through a variety of roles including former Australian Floral Art Association president (I know Eileen through Sol y Sombra and she has always been an encouraging supporter of my flower photography). These pictures have been copied from the Bunbury Herald newspaper.

I enjoyed attending the exhibition opening of the collaborative exhibition, "On the Same Page", and the artist talk by two of my friends, printmaker and mixed media artists, Denise Gillies and Lynne Mitchell.  It was a joy to see their beautiful multilayered work, both together and separately, and it was fascinating to hear about how they went about their collaborative work for this exhibition.
Denise and Lynne agreed when working on a collaborative piece it is important to loose any preciousness, to make decisions together, to be open to negotiation, and to TRUST.

"Their multilayered compositions explore texture, shape, colour and the environment. Their collaborative works display openness, trust and comfortable friendship while respecting the artistic creativity of each other". (Graeme Pages-Oliver)

This morning my dear husband has been busy painting the second bathroom and toilet, (thank you! x), whilst I made ginger biscuits and did some pruning in the garden.
And I felt privileged that I have not one but two bathrooms, when I know that there are many people all over the world who don't even have the luxury of clean running water.

 Last weekend we drove up to the beautiful Ferguson Valley and picked olives on the property of a friend of ours, and then enjoyed coffee and cake in the sun on the patio at Ferguson Hart Estate (thankyou Jan!) You can find Ferguson Hart here - Ferguson Hart Estate

We also visited the Wellington Mills community walk trail where the recently erected interpretive signage features a photo of mine of the old Bunbury jetty pylons along the bottom edge of the panels. So wonderful to see my photography out like this.

Last week I did a photo shoot for my beautiful friend and pro-blogger, Jo Castro, from Lifestyle Fifty. You can go to her fabulous blog by clicking here - Lifestyle Fifty
and my grandson helped me with a photography group project, the theme of "fragile".

And finally some opportunities to go walking out in nature - food for the soul. How blessed I feel to be able to do this. 

Did you want the recipe for the Ginger Nut biscuits (cookies) ? Here is is! 

2 cups Self Raising flour
3/4 cup sugar
4oz (113gm butter or margarine)
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
4 dessertspoons golden syrup (you could substitute with corn syrup)

Beat butter and sugar together well. Add egg, syrup and then the dry ingredients (sifted together). Mix together well. You might need to add a little more flour if it is a bit sticky. 
Form into small balls and flatten a little onto baking paper on the tray. Bake in a moderate oven (190 C) for 15 minutes. 
Makes about 27. 
You can also roll this mixture out, and cut into shapes. My grandsons have enjoyed making gingerbread men with this recipe. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your indulgence while I look back over the last couple of weeks. I have much to be grateful for. Do you find there are times where you take stock and be grateful? Perhaps you would like to share with us in the comments.
I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
Sky Watch Friday

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Winter warmers - Minestrone soup & herb scones

Finally it rained last night! It has been dry across Western Australia throughout March-April-May, causing grave concerns particularly among farmers, but finally the drought has broken and winter has arrived. Though we need much more rain, so keep it coming! rain let it rain!

And it has certainly been cold, perfect soup weather. Last weekend I made Minestrone soup, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you here. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 large onion
60g ham or bacon
2 sticks celery
1 or 2 large carrots, diced
1 potato cubed
1 x 410g can kidney beans, drained
6 ½ cups beef stock (made with beef stock cubes) - see note
1 x 140g can Tomato paste
½ small cabbage heart, shredded
½ teaspoon rosemary, oregano and basil
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
few handfuls small size shell noodles

Crush garlic, chop onion, and ham and fry gently in hot oil.  Dice celery, and carrot, drain kidney beans, and drop them into the pot and toss the lot around.  Add stock, tomato paste, rosemary and parsley.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Then add shredded cabbage and shell noodles, and cook another 20 minutes.
Serve, sprinkled with grated or Parmesan cheese. 

Note: Usually during summer if I have an abundance of tomatoes I make tomato soup and freeze it in tubs, and then use this for the base for my minestrone soup, instead of using the beef stock and tomato paste. Although I still do add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to the minestrone soup. 

And herb scones

1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 dessertspoon sugar (if making sweet scones)
¾ cup milk
2 cups SR flour
½ teaspoons salt
For savoury scones – chopped herbs – parsley, oregano, sage, rosemary, chives,
and ½ cup grated cheese
You can also add some finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
Beat egg and sugar (if using) together.  Add melted butter to milk.  Sift flour and salt together. 
NOTE - If making savoury scones, add chopped herbs and ½ cup grated cheese to flour mixture now. 
Make well in the centre of the flour mixture, and stir in egg mixture and milk.  Mix to soft dough.  Turn onto floured board and knead very lightly, only till all combined.  Pat or roll out to about 2cm thickness.  Cut with scone cutter.  Place on lightly greased tray.  Brush with cold milk.  Cook at 230C for 10-12 minutes.

Update -  Maggie from Normandy as just asked me about the plates. They are a special find in an antique shop a few years ago. I love them.  These old French plates - Sarreguemines. were tucked away along the back wall. The proprietor said they were from the 1850s, but my research tells me more likely early 1900s - but do I care? not a bit! I love them!
I have 4 plates and all 4 have a different designs - perfect! 

 And finally, what can be better in winter than curling up in front of the fire with a rug, a mug of soup, and a good book. Oh, and don't forget the ugg boots!

What is your favourite winter soup? Perhaps you'd like to share in the comments. 
Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

You might also like: 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
Sky Watch Friday