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.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".



Monday, 28 August 2017

Crooked Brook Forest walk, Dardanup, Western Australia

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and had a chance to get out in the fresh air and do something enjoyable in the great outdoors. On Sunday we went for a walk along one of the walk trails at the Crooked Brook Forest Reserve, which is nestled in jarrah woodlands, about 10 km from Dardanup off Crooked Brook Road, and 25km (or 20 minutes) from Bunbury, in Western Australia's south west. 

I always enjoy getting out into the bush away from the stresses of life, especially on a sunny winter or spring day.  There really is something regenerating about it don't you agree. 

I was surprised when I discovered that we hadn't been to Crooked Brook for a few years despite it only being about 20 minutes from our home.  We had our grandson with us, and despite him not particularly wanting to go with us, he enjoyed running along the pathways and discovering things in the bush. 

Like tadpoles in the creek and this beetle for instance....

There are circuit four walks at Crooked Brook. The sealed easy 600 metre Forest Path is wheelchair and pusher friendly and takes you along the brook to a billabong and is suitable for all ages. There is seating along the way so you can rest or just sit and enjoy your surroundings, and interpretive signage telling about some of the plants you will find. 

The other walks include the easy 1.5km Jarrah Walk, the moderate 3km Wildflower Walk which takes you to a lookout over the valley, and the moderate undulating 10km walk for those who are used to longer trails and have reasonable fitness. Allow three hours for this walk. I like that all the walks are circuit walks and that they all start and finish at the carpark.  Before you start on the walk trails, you might like to check the signage at the information shelter near the carpark, giving you details about degree of difficulty and length of time expected for completing the walks.

We decided to do the Jarrah walk. Although a little early in the season for wildflowers, there were touches of colour through the bush, and great swaths of yellow wattle. 
The wattle is one of the dominate flowers of Australia this time of year, no wonder the wattle is the flower emblem of Australia! 
Here are some other flowers we saw along the way. I am sorry I am not a botanist so I can't absolutely identify all of them. 

Reds clockwise from top left hand corner  -  Hairy Jug Flower - Adenanthos barbiger;  Mangles Kangaroo Paw - Anigozanthos manglesii; one of the pea family; and one of the Darwinias. The bee was enjoying it! 

Here is another look at the Darwinia...

Yellows - clockwise from top left hand corner. From my research I think this first one is one of the Stackhousia family; then we have one of the Hibbertias, there are a few varieties; and then along the bottom one of the Dryandra varieties, seen here just opening and opened.

Whites - clockwise from top left hand corner - white colour along the trail; Musky Beard Heath - Leucopogon apiculatus; Prickly Hakea - Hakea amplexicaulis; and the bottom left hand corner is either a Grevillea or a Hakea....sorry I am not sure which.... I know it was very spiky!

Here we have... clockwise from top left hand corner - Jug Orchid - Pterostylis recurva; Blue Squill - Chamaescilla corymbosa; one of the Myrtles; and Pink Fairy orchid - Caladenia latifolia.

Did I mention about the prickles on some Australian plants? Look at these beauties.....

An interesting plant of the Crooked Brook Forest trails is the Pineapple Bush - Dasypogon hookeri - which seems to grow in profusion here to a height of half to 3 metres tall.

Crooked Brook is promoted as a ‘Forest for all People’ and it certainly is particularly with the wheelchair and pusher friendly Forest Path.  The Crooked Brook Forest Association of volunteers has worked tirelessly on the area since 1994 and continues its work in collaboration with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom is the best time to visit. Facilities at Crooked Brook include a picnic shelter, bbqs, new Eco-toilets, and a 'Flintstone' log car for the children.  Please wear a hat, good walking boots and carry water with you when walking along the trails and I also recommend insect repellent as we found the mosquitoes particular bad this trip.

Crooked Brook Forest is on the doorstep of the beautiful Ferguson Valley where there are galleries, wineries, and restaurants to enjoy, and even a Gnomesville!

For more information please head over to: Crooked Brook Forest

You might also like:

How Green was my Valley - Ferguson Valley
Down in the Woods Today - Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley
Dardanup Art Spectacular and Art Trail

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed my little visit to Crooked Brook Forest. Do you have a favourite walk trail particularly during spring? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it 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!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Monday, 21 August 2017

What do Gerald Durrell and Nannup in Western Australia, have in common?

Do you ever have those "moments" when you have been talking or reading about or seen something or been somewhere and then something happens out of the blue that relates to it? I am not sure what you call those moments. 
Not really serendipity .... though the moment can prove truly delightful ...

I've just read that "analytical psychologist Carl Jung referred to it as "synchronicity" - the convergence of events. The universe's way of telling us that everything happens for a reason and there is self-awareness on a cosmic scale". You can read more here -   Wikipedia-Synchronicity

This "synchronicity" happened to me last week - which is why I say that Gerald Durrell and Nannup in Western Australia's beautiful south west have something in common. 

But first the back story.....
We visited the annual Nannup Flower and Garden Festival last Friday. It was a four day event running from Thursday to Sunday. We normally go on the weekend, but this year decided to go on Friday as we had a free day and the weather reports pointed to Saturday and Sunday being wet. Well the weather gods decided to let it rain on and off on us all day while we were at the Garden Festival. I felt so sorry for the organisers and the stall holders who I am sure were looking heavenwards and wishing the rain would go and the sun would come out. 

The theme for the festival this year was "saving the planet one bee at a time", and as we were travelling down to Nannup we heard a third general bee keeper talking about bees on the radio from the festival.

An annual feature of the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival are the beautiful tubs and beds of tulips and daffodils flowering around the town, hence the tulip photo up above here that I managed to snap between rain showers. Silly us hadn't brought an umbrella with us, but thankfully we had our raincoats. Unfortunately without adequate shelter I didn't take as many photos as I had hoped to. To escape the rain we ended up spending a pleasant hour or so sitting on the elevated sheltered verandah of the Nannup Bridge Cafe with our coffee and delicious muffins and looking out at the rain pattering on the garden and river beyond.  

When the rain eased off a little we donned our raincoats and wandered up the street, along where the stalls were setting up selling all manner of delights, and to my surprise arrived on the doorstep of Wild Eyed Press.  I already knew the work of Leanne White as I had attended her introduction to watercolour workshop at the Stirling Street Arts Centre in January this year. But for some reason I didn't realise, or had forgotten, that she was actually based in Nannup.

Anyway, I was in raptures when I entered her studio and I purchased two books. The fellow at the counter (her husband?) asked if I would like Leanne to sign them for me, and to just go through to the back where she was working. Which of course I did. Leanne signed the books, and we had a lovely conversation with Leanne about her work, she showed us some work she was currently working on, we talked about the value of books to children, and she told us some things to highlight in the books we had brought when we read them to the children we were giving them to. Leanne was so generous with her time and I really enjoyed meeting up with her again. I am hoping she will do another workshop next summer school.

I bought two books,William the Wild Goes Camping, and William the Wild Plays at the Beach.

So what has all this to do with Gerald Durrell?  Ok, I am now getting to the part where I explain what Gerald Durrell and Nannup have in common..... 

Below is one of Leanne's paintings from her book William the Wild Plays at the Beach..... "a giant rock pool with sea life galore clinging to the rocks and on the sea floor"... Aren't the paintings glorious - such a richness of colour. 

 Leanne told us when they were in Denmark, on the south coast of Western Australia, her children had gone night snorkelling with lights at Green's Pool at William Bay. Certainly one of the most beautiful places to swim at Denmark as it is protected from the open ocean by large outcrops of rock. Using lights had lit up all the amazing sea creatures on the reef that you might not ordinarily see during the day. And hence her book came to life. 
Here is a photo of Green's Pool. 

And now, finally to Gerald Durrell. Do you know "The Corfu Trilogy" - My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beast and Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods - relating Gerald's early life with his family on Corfu? At present I am reading Birds, Beasts and Relatives.  (ps - the TV series "The Durrells" was fabulous). 

The night before we went to Nannup I read this....

"we had been returning late from town, and standing on the road by the little path that led up to the villa, we had seen a boat passing before us, being rowed very slowly, with a large carbon lamp fixed to the bows. As the fisherman maneuvered the boat slowly through the dark, shallow waters, the pool of light cast by his lamp had illuminated great patches of sea-bed with the utmost vividness, reefs smouldering citron green, pink, yellow, and brown as the boat moved slowly along." 

A short time later Gerald met the owner of the boat, Taki, a fisherman, and asked if he could go out in his boat with him one night, which he did....

"Very slowly we edged our way round the biggest of the reefs, the light illuminating the strange submarine cliffs covered with pink and purple seaweeds that looked like fluffy oak trees. Peering down in the the water, one felt as though one were a kestrel, floating smoothly on outstretched wings over a multi-coloured autumn forest....there were blood-red starfish and purple, brittle starfish, their long slender, spiky arms forever coiling and uncoiling...."

So there you have it - what Gerald Durrell and Nannup have in common - well more precisely, Leanne White and her book - William the Wild Plays at the Beach.
...... and my 'synchronicity' moment. 

Here are some pics from our visit a previous year to the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival when we had been blessed with a glorious sunny day

This year there had been so much rain that even the walk trail along the river was flooded - no walking here today - 

but there were some wildflowers to enjoy near the bridge - these are some of the pea family

And some more tulips -

 I hope you have enjoyed my 'synchronicity' moment, and my little look at the
Nannup Flower and Garden Festival and meeting Leanne White.

Have you ever had a 'synchronicity' moment? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

If you would like to see more of Leanne's work and the work of other artists at Wild Eyed Press, please click here, and also to go to their online store  -  Wild Eyed Press

You might also like -
The Old Timberline Trail, Nannup 
A weekend of lunch, gardens, music and dance

Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you and in return will try to visit your blogs.
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!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Winter days & an Energy Bar recipe

It's winter here down under in Western Australia. We had a slow start to winter this year. It was only a couple of months ago in June that I was rejoicing that the rain, and winter, had finally arrived and I celebrated by bringing you a soup recipe - you can see it here if you missed it - Winter Warmers

Since then we have had a very wet July and the start of August has been much the same. We had a rain front cross the coast on Friday night, and another one is due on Sunday.  In winter many of us hibernate, so it feels good to get out when we have some sunshine, or to meet up with a friend in a cafe.  

Too cold to sit here on the waterfront.....

Or here outside the cafe.....

This is much better.... cosy inside and a delicious array of goodies in the cabinet where I met my friend at Benesse Cafe

We are blessed with LOTS of cafes in Bunbury where I live. And of course, we all have our favourites. I particularly love the ones that bake wholesome food on site.  This was at Natural Temptations

Where they were adding a little spring sunshine to the footpath on a winter's day......

But if you don't want to go out you can always cook a wholesome slice at home. I've borrowed this recipe for sugar free Energy Bars from the So Vegan blog. Packed with oats, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, they are really delicious. I made it today.

 Here is the recipe with some of my own notes added in..... do you have problems adapting recipes? I am usually happy to give it a go...

1 cup oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (I accidentally bought pepitas, but they were fine)
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (I couldn't find any, so I substituted the same amount of plain flour which worked fine if you are not worried about gluten) (So Vegan recommends just using more oats or another grain) (another reader suggested spelt)
1/2 cup raisins (sultanas are fine)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup soft dried apricots (or you could use dates)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or you could use honey)
1/4 cup water 

Note:  Buckwheat Groats can be found in the kosher section of your supermarket, if you have one. They are called Kasha. It is not wheat but a berry. There is no gluten. 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Spread out the oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds evenly on the tray, then roast for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  3. Meanwhile, put the softened apricots, maple syrup and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Note: I found that I needed to soften the apricots by cooking in the maple syrup and water first before I blended them)
  4. Next, add the buckwheat groats, raisins and cranberries to the bowl.   
  5. Remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool, but leave the oven switched on. After cooling, transfer the roasted oats, pumpkin seeds, and almonds to the large mixing bowl. Mix all together. The mixture needs to be sticky. (I added a little extra water)
  6. Line a 7” x 7” square cake tin (I just used my usual 9 x 13" rectangle slice tin) with baking paper, then transfer the mixture into the tin. Smooth over the top using the back of a spoon, pushing down to make sure the mixture is compact. Make sure you push down as firmly as possible to prevent the bars from falling apart when you slice them into bars. (this is very important)
  7. Place the baking tin in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the tin from the oven and leave the energy bars to cool completely. Note: the energy bars might crumble if you try to slice them before they have cooled completely.
  9. Cut into bars 
So there you have it. Delicious! Do you have a favorite nutritious easy make slice? 

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: 
What's baking at your house? 
Making Anzac biscuits 
June capers - Gingernut biscuits 
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!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Monday, 7 August 2017

TEDx Bunbury 2017

A few weeks ago I was excited to be able to attend my first TEDx which was being held in our home town. You might have heard of TED events. You might have even been to a TED event. But perhaps you have heard about them but never attended because you don't really know what TED is all about? 

 So what is TEDx you may well ask? 

TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Please click on the link to learn moreTed - Ideas Worth Spreading

 You can experience TED for yourself here - The most popular TED talks of all time

So our TEDx  was an independently organised TED event. I decided for my blog post this week I would share some of what the speakers talked about at our local event. Just a few notes..... have you ever tried writing notes in the dark? My tip is to keep the thumb of your opposite hand on the edge of the page and move it down as you write each line. It worked fairly well for me, except those instances where I wrote over the preceding line!

The theme of our TEDx was "wave" - waves of appreciation and love, the spreading of shared ideas, to spark conversation, to inspire action. The more you put into your TEDx experience, the more you take out of it.  

I must tell you now, as a huge departure from my usual posts, none of the photos below here are mine :) Thank you to Facebook and the internet and YouTube! 

Our host Rebecca Cotton did a fabulous job of introducing the speakers and keeping the event moving along.  We even did a "Chinese whispers" exercise across the rows of the audience with very interesting results! 

Whilst in the intermission we were treated to fantastic piano playing by 11 year old Louis Rebeiro that had us all tapping our feet and wanting to start dancing. You can see and here Louis here - Louis Rebeiro on You Tube

First we had a "welcome to country" by Noongar elder Phyllis Bennell, followed by a talk by Charmaine Councillor, who is an Education Officer at the Noongar Languarge Centre in Bunbury. Charmaine is also a Noongar language teacher, an author and artist of five children's books, as well as a singer and guitarist. 

Charmaine's very interesting talk centered on how language can empower a nation, the importance of "mort" - "family", the extended family and community, and the importance of continuing our cultural languages. The "lore" that governs people, protocols, how to conduct yourself. Giving respect to elders as there is much we can learn from them. They have the knowledge, but we must take time to connect with them and listen to them. Our languages are only as good as the next generation. Language is a part of your identity, and we must teach our language to the next generation so it is not lost. 

The second speaker was Joel Whitwell, who talked about the positives in his life despite his facial disfigurement which he was born with. Joel talked about the important of letting go and moving on. Don't judge people by looks but by what is in their heart. Set goals and go after your dreams. You can achieve anything you want in life, the only thing holding you back is yourself.

We were then treated to a fabulous high energy performance by world champion spoon player Deb "Spoons" Perry.  If you've never seen anyone play the spoons just look up Deb Perry on UTube. Amazing! Deb Perry on Australia's Got Talent

The next speaker was Rachel West, who suffered chronic pain in her early 20s, and talked about the idea that pain is an experience made by your brain. Evidently one in five Australians have persistent pain, and $34 billion dollars is spent on pain in Australia every year. But Rachel believes we don't have to be continually taking pain medication which only reduces pain by 30%. There is another way through a multi-disciplined approach - mindfulness, pacing your activities and using Yoga to manage persistent pain by rebuilding pathways, breathing, and calming the nervous system.  

Following Rachel we were treated to an amazing energetic dance performance by Nathan "Nitro" Phillips who owns and teaches urban and hip hop dance at South West Urban Movement. 

We then viewed a video of Derek Sivers talk from TED in the USA - on how to start a movement and the importance of the first follower. You can see the video by linking here - Derek Sivers - How to start a Movement.  

I urge you to take a look at it via the link, which Derek showed to demonstrate his point that a movement starts with one person, who might be perceived as a lone nut at first, and how the first follower has a crucial roll. Once there is one follower, more people join in and as more people join it becomes less risky to join, and it becomes a movement. And then if you don't join in you may be ridiculed. 
So it is important to nurture your first few followers.

 We then heard from Wendy Perdon from the Ferguson Valley on "be careful how you protest". Gnomesville which has been in the Ferguson Valley for 21 years started as a little protest, and now has over 10,000 gnomes and is the third most popular free roadside stop in Australia! I blogged about Gnomesville last week - you can read about it here if you missed it - Gnomesville, down in the woods today.

It was actually Wendy's talk that encouraged me to visit Gnomesville after not stopping there for quite a few years. I was amazed! 

The next speakers were Julie and Menzies "Ming' Goyder who talked about Alzheimers, and their life with their husband and father who has Alzheimers. 

They emphasized that people with dementia are among the loneliest people in the world. A person with dementia is not dead and gone.  It is important to engage with them. A conversation with a person with dementia is still a conversation. Go with the flow. Don't contradict them. It might not always work however, so diversion tactics might help. 

I really related to their talk as I watched my mother-in-law decline through dementia, and I think my own mother was in the early stages when she passed away. 

Next up was Jeremy Hedley and his topic on local journalism - a topic which actually affects us all. Jeremy said that the future of journalism is in our hands. Freedom of the press is only for those who own a press - but we are in fact all citizen journalists through social media such as Facebook and blogging, but we must make sure we do it responsibly. 
Some points Jeremy made were - 
1 - The difference between journalism and public relations. A press release is only an indication that there might be a story. 
2 - Empathy (identifying with) does not equal sympathy (being affected).
sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another
3 - Framing - take the story apart and put it back together. Think outside the box - there is no box! 
4 - How to tie up loose ends. A lie may benefit an individual, whereas the truth benefits everyone. 

 We were then treated to a video demonstration by Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival demonstrating the power of the Pentatonic Scale with a live audience. You can see the UTube video here - Pentatonic Scale - you must watch it! 
You might know Bobby from the song "Don't Worry be Happy". 

The last, and I must say, hilarious presenter, was Lucy Peach, as she through song, science, and stories, accompanied by her husband Richie's doodling, shared how she was able to transform her menstrual cycle from a curse into her own personal life coach. 
You can see more of Lucy here and where to catch her shows - Lucy Peach on Facebook


  Congratulations to Susie Delaporte, the TEDx Bunbury Licensee, for bringing TEDx to Bunbury and for everyone who participated in putting together this fabulous event.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have you ever been to a TED or TEDx event? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it 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!

Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too!