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.



Sunday 29 December 2019

2019 - and that's a wrap!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my last blog post for 2019. And the time of year again to look back over the past year. I don't look too far forward into the future and make New Year resolutions. Do you? Though it is nice to maybe have a bit of a plan about things I might like to do or achieve during the coming year.

2019 was a mixed year of illness, with two bouts of the flue in the first half of the year, and a broken ankle in September. Still it could have been worse. I mourned the loss of two friends whose deaths came far too early for these two wonderful souls. Over the last few months there have been bushfires burning all across Australia, and I send my thoughts and prayers to those battling the bushfires and to those who have sustained losses.  There have been many homes lost, and a few tragic deaths. These things put my life in perspective and make me feel grateful for all I have.

Here is a brief look back at some of my life's happenings over the year. If you click on the links they will take you to posts about these.

In January I attended a couple of Summer School classes at the Stirling Street Art Centre, and spent time with my sister.  I think my watercolour and calligraphy skills have a long way to go.

In February I attended a Fringe Festival performance by local group "The Roof Goats" 

 In March I had a market stall at the Tree Street Art Safari. It was a fabulous day meeting lots of people.

 I also attended a workshop to learn how to make paints and inks from plants. This is something I want to learn more about.

In April we visited the Field of Lights in Albany dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War 1.

In May I participated in a weekend Portrait Photography workshop with the Photography Group of Bunbury

In May we walked a short section of the Cape to Cape track in the Boranup Forest region

In June I danced at the Eisteddfod with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company,
where we won the "Any age - National Troupe" and the "25 and over theatrical style".

I was privileged to provide a piece of botanical eco-dyed cloth to be included in the "Peace Cloth" for the "How Far Does the Hand Reach" project as part of a bigger exhibition in England, Botanical Signatures, by artist Maria Clarke-Wilson.

 The latter half of July, all of August and early September we took off on our half lap of Australia - 13,329 kilometers in 7 weeks and 3 days, 16 caravan parks and 11 free camps. 

 In August we walked on country in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, and got up close to the wildlife.

 In late August we continued down the center of Australia and we explored the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia for the first time, and I met a blogging friend, Marion from Redz Australia. We had been following each others blogs for a few years so it was fabulous to finally meet in person. 

After returning home in early September it was wildflower season in our corner of the south west, so we went hunting for wild orchids. Unfortunately I broke my ankle while we were out taking photos, which put an end to my wildflower season.  But we did find some beautiful orchids which we had never seen before.
In late September I ran a food photography workshop at my house for participants from the Photography Group of Bunbury

In October I was involved in a photography exhibition with the Photography Group of Bunbury at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery
And one of my photos was used as the cover of the South Side Quills 10th Anniversary book. 

 In November I was awarded second place Photographer of the Year (awarded on points earned at the monthly competitions of the club), Highly Commended Mono and Colour Image, and Most Consistent, with the Photography Group of Bunbury.

In December I celebrated the beautiful summer colour in my garden.

 In between all of this I looked after my family and helped out with my grandsons when needed, and volunteered at our local primary school library. I photographed, wrote, had some magazine articles published, held a couple of market stalls and indulged in my passion for botanical eco-printing. 

When I look back over the year it has been a busy one. 

Thank you so much to you all for coming to my blog for the past year, for the link ups to various linky parties, and for your comments. Without you my blog would just be a way of recording our life through my on-line diary. But through your participation I can share some small part of my life with you. Thank you. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Also a huge thank you to my family, friends and members of "Ladies who Lunch", South Side Quills Writers Group, Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company, and the Photography Group of Bunbury. You keep my creative juices flowing!  And my dear husband who is my driver across our amazing country, and everything man.

I wonder what 2020 will bring. We haven't any plans as yet, but I am sure the year will evolve. 

As Australia continues to burn, I worry about the future.  The fires started in August and are still burning. Everyday we hear on the news about another flare up, another fire which has started, about the thousands of people that have had to evacuate or lost their homes, about the injuries and death of people, wildlife and ecology. Another firefighter died in the fires yesterday. Our country is so dry. I pray for rain. this is the latest map which I've just downloaded tonight. 31 December.

As I write there are thousands of people sheltering on the beach as the fires engulf their towns. I cry for them. Please pray for them.

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. 

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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Sunday 22 December 2019

My December summer garden and Seasons Greetings

I love my December summer front garden. Every year it blooms glorious colours - red, yellow, pink, bluey mauve - and best of all these plants come back year after year with little maintenance. They bloom, I water and  clip them back a little, and next summer they bloom again. Beautiful. So today I share some of them with you.  

The Australian native red bottle-brush
 Mauve-blue agapanthus, against the backdrop of the red coral bush, and along the bottom my wild hibiscus - an Australian native 

Pinks and mauves of the hydrangea - I must admit that the ones along the top row are in my neighbour's garden

 Roses, though they have finished their first glorious flush
 A yellow daisy that is a wonderful border plant, frangipani, and the yellow rose bush

 Native yellow and green kangaroo paws

For those that celebrate I wish you a very Happy Christmas, and for those who don't celebrate I wish you happiness that comes with this season. For all good health, peace, and wonderful times making memories with those you love. Let us all be kind, thoughtful, caring and good to each other. 
Don't forget Christmas is not just for one day and is a time for family and sharing

And prayers for light to brighten the darkness and hope for the future.

 I send special thoughts and love to those who have someone missing from their tables for the first time this year. And also special thoughts and prayers go to those battling or who have sustained losses in the devastating bushfires that are all over our country of Australia at the moment. 

 One of my favourites - from Enya - The Spirit of Christmas Past

 And because it is hot down here downunder at Christmas - something a little different and light-hearted - strolling through a summer wonderland from Ronan Keating - 

 You might also like - 
Summer in my garden
December summer colour
The trees are blooming for Christmas
Christmas is time for family and sharing 

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Best wishes for the season. 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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Exploring country - Kakadu, NT - Part 2 - Half Lap of Australia - Part 10

Welcome back to my half lap of Australia. If you remember last week we started exploring the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.  Please click on the link if you want to back track - Walking on country

 This week we are continuing our exploration of the 20,000 square kilometre UNESCO World heritage listed Kakadu National Park.  

 We left Jabiru caravan park after a couple of nights and only had a short 56 kilometres drive to Cooinda Lodge. We decided to relocate as Cooinda Lodge is a little further south than Jabiru and will give us access to other places in the park. Jabiru and Cooinda are the only two commercial accommodation options in Kakadu - however there are a couple of opportunities for bush camping but with no or only very basic facilities. 

Monday 9 December 2019

Walking on country - Kakadu - Northern Territory - Half lap - Part 9

I can walk on your country, I can listen and hear your stories, I can learn about plants and see the trees, birds, flowers, animals, I can study your ancient rock art, I can walk along your paths, I can sit under a tree and be still and feel the breeze on me, but I cannot really know your deep connection to your country, your cultural heritage, and what it means to you. But I, as a non-aboriginal "Balanda" can try. 

For aboriginal people "country" is not only the landscape, but the rich interconnection between the land and the people - they are inseparable.

 Hi everyone, and welcome back to my half lap of Australia, part 9. This week we leave Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, and travel via the Arnhem Highway to Kakadu National Park - about 150kms to the entrance of the park from Darwin.  

Sunday 1 December 2019

Getting even CLOSER to the wildlife - Corroboree Billabong, Northern Territory - half lap - Part 8

Hi everyone, I promised last post when we were at the Territory Wildlife Park to get you even closer to the wildlife this week, so here we are, at the three purple circles on the left and centre of the map below, in the Northern Territory of Australia on our mid year half lap of Australia. 

To get even closer to the wildlife, actually in the wild, not in a park, we took a day trip out to Corroboree Billabong for a one and a half hour wetland cruise. 105 kilometres from Darwin (allow about 90 minutes driving time), we left our caravan park in Darwin before 8am to get to the billabong on time for our 10am cruise. This is the closest wetland cruise available to visitors from Darwin and it is well worth the drive and the cost. ($55 for adults August 2019).  I highly recommend this cruise.  Bookings essential.

Head out along the Arnhem Highway south of Darwin towards Kakadu National Park. I recommend you bypass the Jumping Crocodile cruise at Adelaide River. Whilst this is very popular with tourists, and I haven't actually been on this cruise, for me it is orchestrated. I would rather see the crocodiles in their natural environment not jumping up to catch fresh meat hung over the side of the boat.

I think he is smiling at me.....  Do you know the song "Never smile at a crocodile, don't be taken in by his welcome grin...."