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.



Monday 13 May 2024

Autumn in the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup, & the Aurora Australis - Western Australia

 Hi everyone. I hope you and yours are doing well. We have had more rain yesterday - yay! 

As promised last week, today I bring you some more pics from our annual visit to the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup, Western Australia. I know for those of you in the northern hemisphere, the autumn leaf fall is a common yearly occurrence for you. Not so in Australia, where our trees hold onto their leaves. So to have a place like the Golden Valley Tree Park to visit is fabulous for us. 

We have been making an annual visit the tree park for a number of years. The park is about an hours travel from our place, depending if we stop somewhere on the way. You go through the town of Ballingup before you get to the tree park, so that is a great place to grab a coffee and cake, and often on the way home we stop at Donnybrook to buy some fruit - they are in the middle of the orchard region. We usually take a picnic, and have morning tea when we get there, then do one of the loop trails, come back to the car and have our picnic lunch, then do the other loop trail before heading home. 

We have been in drought since October, and it was sad to see how dry the paddocks at the tree park were. You can see a comparison below - I know we were a few days early this year - but we hadn't had any rain either. 

I've brought you images from the Golden Valley Tree Park before. 

The Golden Valley Tree Park is a sixty hectare landscaped park set in the picturesque hills of Balingup. The heritage listed site has a collection of international trees that was begun over one hundred years ago, and is now the largest arboretum in Western Australia. The land was bought by the Government in the late 1970s and  park was established around 1980. 

We were a little early this year - but there was enough colour to satisfy me - and it was a lovely day for a walk and a picnic.

This is a persimmon tree 

And an avenue of Chinese pistachios that were looking a little sad this year

my new favourite - Zelkova serrata from Japan

The tree park is 1.5 kilometres south of Balingup, or you can walk to it from Balingup via an easy 2 kilometre walk along the part of the 1000 kilometre Bibbulmun Track, which passes through the park. Please shut the gates as sheep graze on the property. 

To learn more about the Golden Valley tree park you can go to their web page

or some of my previous posts - 

Autumn season of change - 2016

Autumn in the Golden Valley tree park - 2017

Autumn colour in Western Australia - 2019

Autumn in Western Australia - 2021

Balingup Golden Valley Tree Park - 2022

The area that comprises the park was first settled in 1898 by Frank and Margaret Cleverland.  Their home was built of bricks made from clay dug from nearby Yungerup Spring. The original 20 plantings of exotic species by Olwyn Cleverland during 1930-1940's has grown to an impressive world collection of over 500 species, represented by over 3000 individual specimens. The Park, which is heritage listed, is maintained by volunteers and sponsorship. From its first plantings over 100 years ago the the Golden Valley Tree Park is now the largest arboretum in Western Australia.

Nuts on the Oriental Plane tree - 

There are places to walk, places to sit, and places to picnic - the Balingup Golden Valley Tree Park is a treasure of the south west of Western Australia
Forgive me - these 2 photos are from a previous greener year....
The other unexpected thing we experienced this week was the Aurora Australis - ie the southern lights as opposed to the northern lights. We had never seen it before. Due to huge sun activity the aurora effect could be seen about half way up the Australian continent. We couldn't see it with the naked eye where we were, other than a faint glow, but I was able to capture some images with my camera. Though not sharp, I thought I would share them with you. the top image here was taken over the ocean, and the other one in our Ferguson Valley region about 20 minutes from home. There was a lot of excitement from everyone about this event and lots of people out taking photos. I've seen some amazing ones on the net. 

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!


  1. Hello Jill,
    Beautiful landscapes and the Autumn colors and trees are gorgeous.
    We missed seeing the aurora, it was too cloudy here.
    Your captures of the northern lights are gorgeous.
    Take care, have a wonderful week!

  2. The comparison photos were very interesting. The effect of climate change is happening much faster than anyone predicted. The Northern Lights could be seen from England over the last few days. I saw some spectacular lights when I was in Iceland last year but I didn't stay up late to see them this last week. Your photos look amazing.

    1. yes, we see climate change everywhere. I dread what the future holds for our children and grandchildren.

  3. Indeed, the colours of autumn are exquisite in the nature around the world. Sad, that the climate change disturb the plants and of course the animals and last but not least ourself. We must life with this.

    Another round of MosaicMonday in beautiful May... and I am very happy about your contribution. More pictures this week that tell the story of your surroundings, of nature, of your everyday life.
    Thank you for your participation.

    Have a good time, best wishes from Heidrun

  4. Hello Jill, your photos are beautiful. In the European autumn the leaves fall from the trees, but they are not always so colorful. We have also been able to see northern lights in the last few days, but unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph any myself. Thank you for linking your post to Nature Thursday. Warm greetings and happy Pentecost – Elke


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.