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. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

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Monday, 28 December 2020

The Christmas in Australia edition


A few years ago a visitor to my blog commented:

"The opposite seasons in Australia always blows my mind. Here, we are just gearing up for winter.
So why don't I ever hear about hot temperatures in Christmas songs? Do Australians not sing? Or maybe the US is just too far away to hear Australian artists?" 

So I thought I would show you some of our Aussie Christmas.

Yes it is usually hot here in Australia on Christmas Day. Where I live in the south west of Western Australia it was 38 Celsius on Christmas Day and it didn't cool down till very late in the day, and in our capital city Perth it was 40!
But many of us still eat a traditional roast Christmas dinner and pudding. Crazy hey? It is a tradition that our ancestors brought from the UK. 

But others love their seafood, cold ham, salads and pavlova. And of course there has to be something cold to drink. No egg nog or mulled wine or hot chocolate for us! 

I also make little puddings - so simple, and the apricots in our back yard are starting to ripen. I love this time of year with the stone fruit so plentiful. 


After Christmas lunch we usually flop on the lounge in the air-conditioning and watch a movie or play a board game. For many back-yard cricket seems to be the thing to do. 


Many people head to the beach, if not on Christmas Day, then they go on Boxing Day. If we go out in the boat we might be lucky enough to have a dolphin swim up to our boat. You can do a dolphin tour at The Dolphin Discovery Centre in Koombana Bay. Lucky for us there are plenty of opportunites to 4WD along the beach to get away from the crowds. 

As well as a wreath on the front door, and a Christmas tree in their house, many people put up lights outside their house too. We enjoy going around before Christmas to see them. Also in Australia we have Christmas Carols by Candlelight events. Though sadly this year they have been limited or gone on-line due to the pandemic. I didn't know that Carols by Candlelight is an Australian event started 83 years ago! 

This year I made Christmas cards and some baubles filled with dried wildflowers 


And of course after all that eating we need to go for a walk The Leschenault Estuary is not far away and we see some stunning sunsets. 

And yes there are Australian Christmas songs: I must admit many of our Christmas carols and songs come from colder climates with snow. But we do have our own too. Have you ever heard of "Six White Boomers" and we have an Aussie 12 Days of Christmas. I've just found this link - 

But for an authentic look at an Aussie Christmas, I do like Ronan Keating's version of '"Summer Wonderland" - although the countdown at the beginning is from New Zealand. You can hear it here - 


So there you have it - a little look at an Aussie Christmas. Thanks to Mandy and Justin from With Love travel blog - http://blog.youreverydaytraveler.com/


Wherever you live and whether or not you celebrate Christmas, the thought of hope for the future from Jesh from All Seasons blog puts it perfectly -
"Christmas is for me all about light in darkness. Light always conquers."

I think that is very relevant for us all over the world today. 



Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you and yours are safe and well and have been able to spend time with your loved ones this Christmas. 

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!

Monday, 21 December 2020

The Western Australian Christmas Tree

Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are going ok. I have a friend who is desperately trying to get home to her family in Western Australia for Christmas. I hope you will be with your loved ones this year. It would be a very sad time to be apart, especially after the year it has been, and I know that many around the world will be without a loved one. 

The Western Australian bush around where we live is alive with colour this time of year. I've blogged about it before: The trees are blooming for Christmas

The yellow of the Candlestick Banksia, the purple of the Jacarandas, the red of the Red Flowering gum, and the golden yellow-orange of the Western Australian Christmas tree - Nuytsia floribunda.  

This tree is actually the world's tallest parasitic tree. It occurs naturally only in the south west of Western Australia. Their roots parasite onto the roots of other trees or plants.

I read some astounding information about it the other day at Australian Geographic - Australia's giant parasitic Christmas Tree

"The Christmas tree is indiscriminate, stealing juice from almost anything green – grasses, sedges, carrots, weeds, vines, shrubs, eucalypts." 


Named moojar  or Kaanya Tree (kaanya, meaning recently departed soul) by the indigenous Noongar people, it has a powerful spiritual significance for the Noongar culture, who believed the spirits of ancestors rested in the branches. For this reason they stayed away from the tree, would not cut it down, and didn't disturb animals that rested under it. 

I read that it was prized for its edible roots and gum, but this may not be correct. There is an interesting web-post you can read more about this here: Anthropology from the shed - Traditional significance of the Moojar

However here is an interesting podcast which has slightly different information regarding the uses of the tree - abcmedia.esperance-Moojar tree

Up to 10 metres tall it flowers from October to January, though where I live we usually see it from early December. It is the only plant in the mistletoe family that has seeds that are wind dispersed. The flowers are a rich source of nectar for the nectar eating birds and insects for the insect eating birds.


Click here to find out some more fascinating information about this tree: ABC.net - native WA Christmas Tree

and Australian Native Nursery

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed my post today about the native Western Australian Christmas tree. We enjoy seeing this splash of colour in the bush this time of year. 

For those who celebrate Christmas I wish you a very happy Christmas spent with those you love. For those without their loved ones I hope that you will be reunited soon or can be comforted by happy memories of them. I know this Christmas will be like no other, but I hope you will feel the peace and joy of Christmas. And for everyone, a safe and healthy conclusion to 2020 and a better 2021.

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.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Summer colour in the south west Western Australian bush - Manea Park

 I have always said that there is always something flowering in the Western Australian bush. And it is true even in summer.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am a wildflower hunter, and I feel incredibly lucky to live in Western Australia. 

There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in Western Australia, making it the world’s largest collection.....60% of Western Australian wildflowers are found nowhere else on Earth. 

This is Jarrah - Eucalyptus marginata - flowering spring and summer 


We have been making regular visits to Manea Park near where we live over the winter and spring months. I've shared pics of orchids with you from time to time during my Covid Photo a day project. 

There has been an orchid we have been waiting to see come into flower over the last couple of months. And last week we were rewarded. 

When we first saw these leaves in the middle of the year they looked so much like eucalypt leaves we didn't know they were orchids, but the wonderful people at the Wildflower Society of Western Australia on Facebook helped me with identification. 

These are Slipper orchids or Western tongue orchid - Cryptostylis ovata - a summer flowering orchid endemic to Western Australia's south west. They grow in colonies and four to fifteen flowers form on each stem, though not all plants will flower each year. 



But I have gotten slightly ahead of myself. We had hardly started along the path into
Manea Park when we spied a young kangaroo sitting on the edge of the path. He was unconcerned about us. I think he was last year's joey as sitting just off the path was his mother with this year's joey sticking his head and legs out of her pouch. So cute! These reserves of bush in our cities are so important for the preservation of wildlife and flora. They are good for our well-being too! 




There was not a lot flowering, as it is summer here, but there are still flowers to be seen. I know why I don't frequent this bush block in summer - it was hot! - and probably why there were flowers I hadn't seen before. 

Below here you can see clockwise from top left - Spider smokebush - Conospermum teretifolium, Snotty gobble - Persoonia saccata, JarrahEucalyptus marginata, and one of the pea family 


And here is one of the Fringe Lilys - Thysanotus multiflorus


We had never seen this one before. Yellow starflower - Calytrix angulata. Rather gorgeous don't you think. 


And the Spearwood - Kunzea glabrescens. Evidently it's long straight branches were useful to the indigenous people for making spears. 


And this is the Candlestick Banksia  - Banksia attenuata, also known as slender banksia or biara to the Noongar people. It reminds me so much of giant Christmas candles this time of year. This tree commonly reaches 10 metres tall and the flowers 25cms long. 


You can see it at the different stages of flowering here. I love how the new leaves unfurl - as in the first two photos. The bottom right photo is the hard banksia nut. 
There are many forms of banksia - I have blogged about some of them here - 


The bees love them


Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you and yours are well and that you have enjoyed my post today. Take care and stay safe. 
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.