Getting married? I think you might be insecure.

I think since I’ve started this, I may as well just put it out there.  Of course I feel awful knowing this is going to be painful, and hell I find it painful talking about it.  But I started and I think I should finish and say what I mean.
It’s hard to have my own opinion and not upset others as at the heart of it no matter what I guess I just don’t buy in and a few people have taken it personally.
Where does my anti-marriage view come from?
Well, actually from the following statements from various women (never men).
I’ve had a few married women (in particular) tell me when I say we aren’t getting married…
“But!  You’ll feel more whole, and there’s that fact that you just know you’re together forever.  There are a lot of people witnessing the commitment.  It’s such a serious vow to make in front of your friends and family.  I’ve never felt more secure in my relationship”
I can’t tell these people what I’m really thinking…
This is where my opinion stems from.  I believe it’s unusual that a couple would feel more secure by the ceremony.  I think it speaks for a lack of security and insecurity in the relationship that a wedding day is so important for some.
That would really anger a lot of people if I said it out loud (I’ve definitely thought it)… and it’s what I really believe.
Then there’s the whole staged production (acting sometimes), money, materialism (greed) all wrapped into one day which (often) doesn’t feel like love at all to me.
A few weddings I’ve photographed have been a lot of fun, and there was a lot of love.  And a few that I’ve attended, I was just observing a carefully orchestrated vision of what love looked like.  These weddings in particular did not captivate me for the right reasons…
Something like 4 out of 5 marriages these days do not last (found that in an article on line so it’s not a real figure).  Which regardless of it’s academic pull is an enormous statistic, and when I see that percentage I just wonder wether people have got it all wrong…
Government should have no bearing on who I choose to spend my life with.  The system of marriage originated in trading women between families (they were second class citizens when this started) which sparks frustration deep in my gut and I have a serious distain for religion.
Ok phew.  So, that’s what I believe.
Not every wedding feels forced, some are really beautiful…but this idea that it secures your relationship feels wrong, particularly given the amount of divorce.
If the numbers proved me otherwise I might not have such strong feelings about it…
It’s brutal, and judgemental.  I can’t deny that.

I probably offended you…I’m sorry for that.

My post yesterday has been altered.  I do believe marriage is dated (among other things), and my partner and I both agree it doesn’t suit us.  What I didn’t intend was to belittle anyone else’s choices in stating my own.  For that I apologise.

I suppose the topic is frustrating, as I feel very strongly about it.

If someone casually asks me if I’m getting engaged… they might be met with a long rant about religion, government, women’s rights, progressive thinking, societal pressure and individuality.

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Why won’t I marry Mike?

Because he farts in the bed.  haha… I jest!

This topic is contraversial, and personal for me.  My thoughts are peppered (heavily) with feminist ideals, and in previous conversations I’m fairly certain I’ve offended a few of my friends and complete strangers with my strong opinion.

Before I begin, Mike also won’t marry me.

Everyone has the right to choose what best suits them and their significant other.  If you want to get married, that’s amazing.  I would (and have) fully support anyone who makes that choice. Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.46.16 AM

We have been together for nearly 5 years.  We love each other, and want to have a family together. We’re absolutely committed to one another.  But one specific celebratory day in our lives does not determine that we’re suddenly officially glued together for life.

We’ve already made that commitment to each other each and every morning we wake up.

I want people to see that our relationship (and others) can be just as beautiful, loyal and meaningful even if we never marry.

We choose each other every morning we wake up and every evening we lay down, even if that means enduring some terrible flatulence!

Every single day of our relationship is as meaningful as the last.

Fredericks not doing well…

I’m very concerned for Frederick.  He’s been floating around the top of the tank the past few days, and we can’t figure out what’s wrong.  Rayden died about 1.5 weeks ago (seriously thinking about renaming our fish tank “death tank”)…and now this.  We’ve also raised about 60 baby guppies.  Which is now leading us to the problem of facilities.  Our baby tank is soon going to be crowded and our adult tank…can’t hold much more than it already has.

Who knew fish friends were so difficult to take care of.  

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We saw Wuzza on the weekend and I thought I’d add him into the post too. 

My memory of our fish tank as a child, was that it was low maintenance and all joy…not constant death (apart from that one time my younger sister “fed” the fish ketchup and 7UP – which was a totally cute moment, but came with horrifying results.

I can hear Fredericks shell hitting the side of the tank periodically… it’s haunting me.  I just want him to get back to good health, and I promise right here and now I won’t even get upset if he eats a big fish.

Have you ever had pet snails?  Did they eat your fish?  Were they difficult to take care of?

Western Flora Caravan Park

 

 

We’ve just returned from a wonderfully relaxing and educational weekend near Eneabba, Western Australia.  We stayed at the Western Flora Caravan Park where local legend Allan Tinker has been giving tours and recording flora details for a number of years.  Allan, is very passionate about the local flora, and had been very helpful for me over the past few years when I needed a hand identifying several mystery flower species.

Our accommodation was a very charming, caravan which had a double bed, kitchenette, and came kitted out with fresh towels and linen.

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For our trip, I recently purchased a macro lens to test on the endless variety of wildflowers and orchids with my very new camera the Canon 5D Mark III.  This camera is a dream to shoot with.  The ergonomics and wide viewfinder are very enjoyable to work with.  All of these images were taken with the body and macro lens.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.14.35 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.14.27 PM

A very dainty rabbit orchid.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.14.19 PM

Spider Orchid.
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During the daily tour at 4:30pm, Allan teaches the group the various channels through which pollination can take place.  Wind, birds, insects, and mammals… Each flower is designed to attract a specific pollinator.  I cannot even emphasise how informative this session was.  Caravan guests attend for free while non staying guest pay a fee of $28.00.  When the tour is completed you can also opt into joining a large home cooked meal put on by his wife Lorraine.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.13.52 PM

At the end of the session, Allan selects various flowers and magnifies them in his microscope, which is simultaneously projected onto a screen.  This is an invaluable experience as it enhances the experience by showing you details you’d otherwise miss.  Such as a small insect leeching nutrients from the Geraldton wax, or the delicate fibers that construct a minute petal.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.13.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.13.36 PM

In his closing remarks Allan spoke of the need to educate ourselves with the connection of each plant and it’s place in a vast system of interconnected dependent species.  He touched on the topic of Fracking, and voiced concern over the future of the region.

Each of us is responsible for this planet.

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Mike helped me find a variety of orchids (several of which I’d not yet seen before).  This is a pale cowslip orchid, being one of them.  The season for wildflower enthusiasts is currently in full swing.  I met many men and woman who are in retirement, travelling with their cameras and stories… I felt I have “found my people”.  60-70 somethings who are just MAD for nature, birds, flowers…beauty.  I was truly at home here.  Mike laughed when I told him this in confidence…Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.12.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.12.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.12.04 PM

A pristine… blue china orchid.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.50 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.35 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.16 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.11.05 PM

Tessie stayed with us at the park for the first night, however slept in the car, and was kept on a lead the whole time.  Pets are welcome however they must be kept on a lead.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.10.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.10.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.10.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.10.24 PM

On the way home we stopped at Mount Leseur to see if we could spot the beautiful Queen of Sheba orchid (which I’ve yet to see, but would love to view it just once).  We didn’t have any luck, but we did enjoy the slow easy pace of our journey back to the city, as neither of us was really ready to return.

If you’re interested in travelling north to view the wildflowers, please do head to the Western Flora Caravan Park.

She hogs the bed.

Tessie has been visiting for 1.5 weeks.  She’s silly, strange and timid in the city.  We’ve been enjoying her company, though I’m not sure she always enjoys our company.  Her obsession with my side of the bed, extends well into the twilight hours, as she’ll come and whine at me to move and let her up…several times each night.  I have been resisting…. for the simple fact that I feel sandwiched and can never get up to eat my midnight snack, or run to the loo.

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Despite the inconvenient sleeping pattern, I love watching her light up when we go out for walks.  She’s been so good for us and I’m going to be so gutted when Mike takes her back tomorrow.

These photos are from Lake Leschenaulta, and a few state parks along our drive back to the city.

I’m moving on, with a “newer” model…wait maybe not.

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You were really good to me when we first met.  You were shiny and new and you produced really consistent images.  I could always rely on you when I was under pressure.

Sadly, you’ve gotten a bit lazy.  You no longer let me take you out and shoot easily.  One of your buttons gave out 2 years ago, and I’ve been working around that hoping you’d magically come right again.

A few weeks ago you became even more hesitant to help me out…another of your features suddenly gave out.  I know I rely on you heavily, and we’ve worked together for nearly 8 years, but it’s time to give you a little break.  I promise I’ll still take you out from time to time.

Unfortunately, my new gear is giving me slight problems… I’ve readjusted a few settings and I’ll try again first thing tomorrow morning.  Below is what I’ve captured on your replacement.  I’ve read a few reviews and it’s looking like this model is actually quite a bit of a dud.  The images are just not sharp.  Probably going to have to return it…. Dang!!!  Canon 7D.

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I know these looks sharp as 4×6 size images, however when blown up there is little to no detail, and it makes me sad.

Have you found this happen with a product you’ve bought?  I’ll be going back tomorrow to select another model… Probably the Mark III, which is going to leave me for broke!

Locals protect Western Australia from Fracking Industry

The town of Eneabba consists of one convenience store, one auto body shop, an elementary school, one tavern and one petrol station.

It is a dry, sandy, vast, empty, desolate landscape.

Total population? 286.

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I will admit freely, that on first glance there was not much to be enthusiastic about Eneabba.

When my partner and I moved to the area we had to convince ourselves that we’d made the right decision. Mike and I discussed this as I watched the rolling horizon sprawl for miles from the passenger seat in our pathetically small car.  I had been warned, but had no idea how people survived let alone farmed in the brutal conditions on this land.  We were only meant to stay for three months. I just needed my second working holiday visa (which in Australia means you need to work in a remote area to extend your visa for a second year).  I was going to check in, do my hard time and then leave. I couldn’t wait to make my exit, and we’d only just arrived.

Through blood, flies, sweat, love, fire, and tears; we lived, worked and relaxed alongside the locals in this isolated town for two years.

Over time, I became enchanted with the place.

The community in Eneabba welcomed us with open arms.  The landscape slowly revealed it’s many natural wonders.

When I wasn’t chasing sheep, or rounding up cattle I was crouched in the bush with my boss observing the exuberant displays of colour exploding through the spiked, brutal bushes from May to December.  She was passionate and quickly showed me the endless variety of wildflowers on her property.

And honestly? It was astounding. The drab lifeless bush that I had initially scanned and discarded was in fact teeming with thousands of varieties of wildflowers.

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Among biologists, this region is regarded as one of the main biodiversity hotspots in Australia (and also world wide). There are over 12,000-recorded species of wildflowers in Western Australia. In fact this region is so highly regarded in it’s diversity that the likes of Sir David Attenborough have been here to study it’s wonders. As a relative comparison the British Isles have 3842 types of plants on record.

While the native flora and fauna have adapted to the harsh, dry conditions; mankind and our counterparts have not. The region’s water is supplied by tapping into subterranean aquifers. This (apart from rain water – which can be sparse) is the only source of water in the region. The locals rely heavily on the bore water to survive and sustain their livelihood (farming cattle and sheep as well as cropping).

This place is special. It’s also worth saving.

The land in this region is currently being pursued relentlessly by the gas industry.

The locals have previously protected the land from coal mining, and have come together again to help protect the countryside from gas mining.  Coorow Shire (where Mike and I spent a season seeding just before we moved to Perth) has just recently called for a moratorium, and it’s very hopeful to know that many other local shires will indeed follow suit.

Right now people are fighting to protect this shared water source from pollution, and prevent future generations disparity over poor choices in our lifetime.

Eneabba is one of those towns.  In fact there are many small communities that are fighting against this terrible industry worldwide.

Australia, United State, Canada and many other countries are all entangled in this mess… If we all speak up and act, it will discourage this damaging, unregulated, dangerous industry from taking hold in small communities and steer us to embrace energy sources that are indeed sustainable.

Please share this blog if you are concerned for future generations right to safe water.

You can also retweet if you follow @Redterrain on Twitter.

© 2014 Redterrain

Eneabba, lets run away together.

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 I’ll sort out my own breakfast though mr. spider…  thanks for offering!

Eneabba always offers up some excellent moments for photography.  Be it birds, wildflowers, the livestock or insects (hey even the people!) there is always something to admire and capture.

This weekend Mike and I spent a few days with Brian and Tessa while they sheared.  Mike definitely did more work than I, as I traipsed around the bush with Tessie (I felt so guilty!).  However, I did manage to make myself useful and cook some dinner and lunch… I hope that made up for my wandering.

It was a really nice getaway.

We brought a very nervous doggie back to the city with us for the week (whom was immediately chucked into the shower with me for a wash…).  With a belly full of dinner, she is now passed out on the bedroom floor.

I’ve heard some news that Coorow shire (where we seeded last year) has called for a moratorium on fracking (HURRAAAAY!) for their area, and I’ll be writing a bit more about that shortly.  We’re hoping that the Carnamah shire follows suit soon.

 

Have you seen Zeitgeist?

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I feel like shouting at the top of my little lungs.

Last night Mike and I watched a documentary “Zeitgeist” which had been recommended to us by a few people over the last few years.

I went to bed angered. Mike went to bed frustrated.
We both contemplated society.

Have you seen this film? How did you feel after you finished watching it?