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 30 June 2020

Blogging break this week

Hi everyone, 
decided to take a little blogging break this week. Back next week. 
Yes, still doing my Covid photo a day project. Here is a recent one in my garden.

Life here is getting back on track with restrictions easing, as in Western Australia where I live, numbers of virus cases are very low, though increasing in a couple of the eastern states of Australia due to a recent "spike".  
I enjoyed the life "slow down" and I am not sure I want to be back doing all my usual groups, and expectations that are coming back. And I am worried about the "second wave" which I know will come. Trying to stay positive, but not always easy.

 I hope you and yours are doing well. Stay safe everyone. And enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Monday 22 June 2020

Arbor Day - celebration of trees

Last Saturday 20 June was Arbor Day in Australia 2020. 

The day is celebrated on different days around the world. Arbor Day–which literally translates to “tree” day from the Latin origin of the word arbor – is a day which celebrates the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees. 

 The Spanish village of MondoƱedo held the first documented arbor plantation festival in the world organized by its Mayor in 1594.

 The first American Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.

Arbor Day has been observed in Australia since 20 June 1889.

When I was a child in school, Arbor Day for us was a day to plant trees around our school. 

In the light of the horrific bushfires during the Australian summer of 2019-2020 where thousands of hectares of bushland, farmland, and homes were destroyed, this year more than ever seems to be a time to celebrate and plant trees. 

Whilst we didn't plant any trees, I did sketch the Sea-Urchin Hakea - Hakea petiolaris - at my son's block  - I really love the veins on these leaves.

And on Sunday we went up to the bush. So today I am sharing some images, all taken with my 100mm Macro lens. 

There is something really rejuvenating about walking out in nature don't you think away from the stresses of the world, albeit for a short while.  

We were a bit too early for flowering, but I could see where some wildflowers were starting to bud. 

Below you can see:
- Water Bush - bossiaea aquifolium. The sharp pointed leaves collects rainwater and gives you a shower if you brush by. They are covered in yellow pea flowers in spring.

- The Prickly Hakea - Hakea amplexicaulis - flowers August to October. I love the way the prickly wavy leaves wrap themselves around the stem, and the flowers sit on top of the leaves.
Below is the Snotty Gobble - don't you just love the name! The bark lays in thin red paper like layers. I thought at first there was a fire - but it was just the sunlight shining through the paper thin bark.

The botanical name this small tree is the Persoonia longifolia.  In the Eastern States this tree is referred to as the Geebung. Geebung is an Aboriginal word for the fruit which they use for food and medicine.

The snotty gobble flowers in summer and have fruit the size of blueberries which ripens in autumn and falls in June to July. If I had known this I would have looked around the base of the tree to see if I could find some fruit to taste. 

And little mosses growing on fallen logs


Treasures on the forest floor
You have to look carefully to find these tiny orchids - these are from the Greenhood orchid family - Pterostylis 

And marri nuts way up in the canopy- Corymbia calophylla is commonly known as marri, a name derived from the Noongar language of Southwest Australia region

So there you have it - a quick overview of our visit to the bush in the south west of Western Australia on the weekend. 
My tip - bring a kneeling pad and a groundsheet if you want to get down at ground level to take photos.

For more information on Arbor Day -
 History of Arbor Day - USA
Arbor Day Foundation
 National Tree Day - Planet Ark Australia 
 Wikipedia.org - Arbor_Day 

 You might also like:
Down in the Woods today 
Enjoying the Western Australian bush 
Bushwalking at Hoffmans Mill 

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Does your country celebrate Arbor Day - what date is it? And do you do plant trees as part of Arbor Day. Perhaps you would like to share in your comments. 

I hope everyone is well and you and yours are staying safe.  Whilst in Western Australia our numbers of the virus have plateaued, in the Eastern States of Australia numbers unfortunately have spiked this week.  We are in this for the long haul.

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.

Monday 15 June 2020

Explore the painted silos trail - Western Australia

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing ok. 

Over a year ago I briefly wrote that we had been on a trip through the Western Australian wheatbelt to see the painted grain silos trail, but then I didn't get back to showing them to you. So now that travel restrictions have eased in Western Australia, I am back to show the silos to you today. 

I don't know about where you live, but in Australia painted grain silos are a big thing all across the country. The Western Australian trail extends over 1000 kilometres through the wheatbelt to the South coast. Made possible by joint fundings and a partnership with CBH Group, our state's largest grain handler, it is Western Australia's biggest outdoor public gallery painted by internationally acclaimed artists.

You should allow at least a few days to a week to cover this trail, stopping at towns or campsites overnight along the way. There is so much more to see than just the silos. 

Heading out of Perth your first stop would be Northam, 99kms from Perth. 

In March 2015 internationally renowned artists HENSE (USA) and Phlegm (UK) transformed eight, 38 metre silos over 16 days, creating Australia’s first ever painted silo mural and kickstarting a national trend. 
 Phlegm rendered his signature whimsical characters in fantastical flying machines, while HENSE produced his customary abstract patterns in explosive blocks of fluro.

We then head eastward along the Great Eastern Highway and the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail to Merredin in the heart of the wheatbelt.  (161 km Northam to Merredin)

 In August 2017 Western Australian street artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers completed artworks across four 35-metre high silos on the edge of Merredin. His work tells a story about Merredin, its natural environment in the colours, its diverse community in the artwork’s abstract forms and figures, its landforms and agricultural history.

Merredin is close to where my family farm, so it is a handy place for us to stop overnight.

Or you consider camping at the old Kwolyn townsite free camp approx 99kms south west of Merredin on the Bruce Rock Quairading Road and visit nearby Kokerbin Rock while you are there. I blogged about it here: Camping out in the Western Australian wheatbelt
There are toilets, camp kitchen, BBQ, some shelters, and plenty to room to set up. 

From here we head south to Katanning. (296km) Here you will not find painted silos, but many colourful painted walls and transformer boxes. Collect or download a map from the Visitor Centre to help you find them.

 In November 2017, WA artists Brenton See, Chris Nixon, Darren Hutchens and Mel McVee, along with Tunisian Karim Jabbari, arrived in the Wheatbelt town of Katanning to paint a series of colourful murals on walls and transformer boxes throughout town. These smaller murals compliment the broader Trail through distinctive and colourful artworks on a street level.
About 17 kilometres east of Katanning is a free camp site we had decided we wanted to check out - Lake Ewlyamartup. 

We found it to be a pleasant place to stop overnight. This is a salt lake which is popular with water skiers, kayakers, sailors, swimmers, picnickers and birdwatchers. Evidently there are 95 species of birds to be found here, but it isn't always full of water, which it wasn't when we visited. It wasn't too busy so we easily found a spot here when we arrived around 2.30pm in time for afternoon tea and a walk around the area. 

There are some picnic tables, shelters, toilets, gas BBQs and toilets. 
Located next to farmland, it was a peaceful place to spend the night.

After a peaceful night we enjoyed bacon and eggs for breakfast, and stopped at the tiny town of Nyabing the next morning, and bought a cake from ladies running a cake stall for their community church. I do like these tiny towns, and to find a cake stall with homemade cakes was a bonus!

Then on to the next silo town - Pingrup. Sheep population 300,000 - people population 400 (100kms from Katanning to Pingrup)
 In September 2018, Miami-based artist Evoca1 painted the 25 metre high artwork as a tribute to Western Australia’s tenacious, resourceful farming communities.

It was nice to stop along the way when we saw a few wildflowers - this is a hakea - possibly the Pincushion Hakea 

Our next silo town is Newdegate (79km Pringrup to Newdegate) where we had lunch and viewed the impressive and very detailed silo art. It really amazes me how the artists do these works on such a large scale.

 Native Western Australian wildlife takes centre stage in Brenton See’s sky-high silo art at Newdegate painted in June 2018. The paintings represent the region’s native Western Bearded Lizard, Mallee Fowl, Thigh Spotted Tree Frog and Red-tailed Phascogale.

 From here we headed back west to Lake Grace (52kms Newdegate to Lake Grace) , as our three day weekend break was nearly over. But if you are doing this silo trail in full, you would continue east and then south to your next silo at Ravensthorpe.

We had another camping spot to investigate before returning home. About 20 kilometres north of Lake Grace is a free camp at Jam Patch. Set in 202ha of bushland, dominated by salmon gums, jam trees, and York gums, there is plenty of room to set up. There are no facilities, but that doesn't really bother us, as we have everything on board. Arriving at 2pm we had plenty of time of explore the three marked walk trails which make this an interesting overnight stop. 

We tucked ourselves away at the edge of the large cleared area. 
Interpretive signage along the trails tell you about the natural features and the history of Jam Patch which includes the old tennis court originally made from compacted ant hills. It was a very peaceful overnight stop which I think would be lovely in the spring wildflower time.

But back to the Silos trail. If you are continuing on from Newdegate your next stop is Ravensthorpe. (133km Newdegate to Ravensthorpe).

 In August 2016 Fremantle-based artist Amok Island created six stages of the flowering of the Banksia baxteri, onto both sides of the silos -  an amazing 25 metre high wildflower inspired mural.  

While you are in Ravensthorpe you can explore the Farm Gate Art Trail which I showed to you when we visited back in 2017. And in spring the Fitzgerald National Park near the coast is a must.

From here you turn back west to Albany, and the last silos on the trail, located in the port. (293 km Ravensthorpe to Albany).

In March 2018, the artist duo The Yok & Sheryo took on the CBH Group grain silos, and referenced Albany’s pristine environment and sea-life with one very happy-looking local marine creature, the ruby seadragon.

 So there you have it - the Western Australian silos trail. If you haven't seen them, add it to your list of local travel soon. 

More information and stories from the trail and a downloadable map at: Public Silo Trail
I hope you can get out and Wander out Yonder soon. 

Have you been doing any local travel lately? Are there painted silos in your area? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your 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. 

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.