Our quest to find the unique “wreath flower” Leschenaultia macrantha

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Mike had an AFL game in Coorow this weekend, so we travelled up on Saturday morning.  He played really well but sadly the team was defeated.  We enjoyed a really nice night out with some friends afterward and stayed as guests at the Coorow Hotel when the night was done.  Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.00.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.00.48 PMDuring the game I drove to a little road a few kilometers from town.  It has a sign marking it for flora, and throughout the season it changes dramatically.  Here are some of the flowers I found whiles Mike way playing the first half of his game… Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.00.40 PM

I’ve not yet been able to identify this orchid…Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.00.29 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.00.18 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.59.14 PM

Here is a fringe lily just starting to unravel it’s petals.Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.59.02 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.58.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.58.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.58.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.58.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.57.59 PM

This tiny little trap door spider was 1/6th the size of my ring.  I spotted him closing his door as I was about to walk toward the car.  I then flipped open the lid to see what had shut itself in.. and found this small spider.
Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.57.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.55.54 PMThe morning we left we decided to take the word of someone the night before whom mentioned that the spectacular wreathflowers were just coming out…we did a bit of driving before we eventually called a friend to point us in the right direction. Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.55.41 PM

Mike found all of them…they are small and lay low to the ground.  Only one bud was to the point of nearly flowering..  We might get to see them blooming in a few weeks time.  These flowers grow on disturbed gravel in a very specific terrain here in Western Australia.Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.55.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.55.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.55.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.54.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.57.07 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.56.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.56.38 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.56.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 7.56.04 PMAt the end of our day we caught up with Glen, Mikes brother at a place called “Bells Rapids”.  They decided to try and find some fresh water mussels.  They brought a rake, and hunted…but did not gather any shells.  We finished the day off with icecream before we headed back into the city.

Our dear friends.

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Danae and Bryn.

Some friends are there for you no matter what continent you land yourself… and some relationships fade in due time.  It is enevitable as we all become caught up in the immediate world surrounding us.  I’ve come to accept and also appreciate the fading of old relationships, strengthening the strong, and nurturing of the new.

Danae (and her equally wonderful sister Carly) met Mike and I in Lake Louise, Canada six cold years ago.  It was the deep winter, and we were drinking at an 80’s party.  They had travelled from their lodge up the road to the chalets that Mike and I worked at.  With limited social gatherings, it was really nice to let loose with our neighbours (Baker Creek is situated on a lonely stretch of road that cuts through some majestic and altogether impressive mountains).

It could be a lonely life for some… but for us… it was heaven.  The snowboarding, the log fires, and sense of adventure kept us all connected.  We shared a passion for the great wilderness that is Banff National Park.

It’s been nearly 6 years since we all met…and it’s been awesome to remain close with the Watson’s here in Australia.

Yesterday it was Danae’s birthday.  She is incredibly intelligent, gentle, warm and kind hearted.  We celebrated at Fremantle’s “Little Creatures Brewery” and legitimately ate like kings and queens.

I feel very fortunate to call her and Carly friends.  I know Mike does too.

Bubbles to Make Us Smile.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.42.14 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.42.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.44.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.44.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.43.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.43.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.42.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.41.54 PMAndrew has been making these impressively large bubbles for kids here in the heart of Perth.  I’ve noticed him on my walks home from work the past week or so.

With a stick and a soft piece of string, and some soapy water he has created a space for people to pause and take life lightly. Today I stopped and enjoyed the bubbles just as much as the kids…

He has been creating happiness for adults and children alike in the hopes to help fund a trip around Australia.

The Wild Flowers of Western Australia

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The scent these small pink flowers exuded… reminded me of fresh citrus tree blossoms.Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.15.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.14.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.14.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.14.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.14.00 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.13.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.13.27 PM

It’s only the beginning of the wildflower season here in Western Australia… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much out yet.

Yesterday before we arrived at the farm, we did a very quick detour to Lesueur National Park (I’ve posted about this amazing place a few times over the past several years).  The windy was chilly, however the sun warmed our backs and faces as we moved about the scrub looking to see what had already sprouted.

It was beautiful.  There were at least 40+ species out in the short time we spent looking at various stops throughout the park.

The weather, lack of flies and the smells (there were some gorgeous rose scented flowers that were intoxicating) it really could not have been a better day.

It was a short trip to Eneabba, we caught up with Brian and Tessa and their (very cute) grandson Jack.

Tessie sadly stayed behind this trip, but we’ll bring her into the city the next time we’re out again.

MAMMÚT and more…

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Tessie, Bonnie and Chocco loving the long walk and spreading happy vibes

Every couple of months there appears to be a dry spell of decent music that is pushed out into the webisphere, and then suddenly it rains and pours.  I hold out for these days.  This has been the trend for the past two years. I spend a few hours each month listening to the backlog of music to listen to what’s been hyped.  This involves sorting through some garbage (you might even think some of the stuff I’ve listed here before is in that category) – and even a few of the choices below might not be like fine wine on your ears.

Here are today’s finds.   If you take a listen, let me know what you think.  I’m aaaaalways open to new music.  So if you feel like sharing with me… Could you let me know what have you been listening to lately?

MAMMÚT – Salt (this one is simply haunting – English Version)

MAMMÚT – Salt (Icelandic Version)

Wolf Alice – Bros

Slaptop – Sunrise

Litany – Woman (Feat. Appleby)

A$AP Rocky – LSD (Shemce Remix)

Lewis Del Mar – Loud(y)

Baile – Matter (feat. Felicia Douglass)

Dillon Francis – Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Lovin)

Michael Calfan – Mercy

In Search of the Jumping Spider Holy Grail…

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This morning Mike agreed to come with me to the park near my office (it’s Saturday).  The place is just crawling with little jumping spiders.  I think of the place as a wee little spider treasure trove.

We found some straight away.  Mike quickly tired and lay on a grassy hill in a sunny patch.  The park is quiet, with a rush of water to drown out the sound of the local traffic.  It’s really peaceful there.

I did a few slow laps in search of more spiders and eventually settled on the grass beside Mike.  We spoke of this one jumping spider that has been eluding us for a few years now…

The peacock jumping spider.  Have you heard of it?  If you’re in Perth and you’ve seen one, please get in touch.  I am so keen (as is Mike) to see one in real life.  Where might we find one?  I’m always searching…and now Mike is too.

Grateful for solitude.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.19.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.15 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.18.08 PMThe past month I’ve been silent, reflective…private.  I hope you’ll understand.  I’ve been learning to listen and nurture my mind and body.  Everything has slowed down to a crawl, and I’m enjoying the peace and space this has brought me.

These photographs were taken at Lake Leschenaultia and Perth.

Only If For a Night – Rihanna 

Patrick Watson – Love Songs for Robots

Jaymes Young – I’ll be Good (Thero Remix)

Jaymes Young – I’ll be Good (the original and the remix are…wonderful.  I love them both).

Madeleine Peyroux – This is Heaven to Me

Banksia’s Banksia’s Banksia’s!

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.23.06 PMThis Banksia is pulling out all the stops.  
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.23.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.22.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.22.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.22.06 PMThere are several variety of grevillea popping out all over Kings Park.
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These are verticordia… not quite sure of their name.

Coorow – A short trip inland.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.43.28 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.33.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.42.07 PMThe moon was nearly half full, and so drown out the milky way, but about a week ago Mike said the stars were incredible.  I’ve left my tripod at the farm to make sure we’re ready and armed for the next trip.  This I believe is the North star. Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.41.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.40.33 PMThis is the first orchid of the season.  A “Bunny” orchid.  This was the only one I spotted. Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.36.44 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.36.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.35.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.35.17 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.59.00 PM

This incredible moth was laying on the ground so I picked him up and took him to the house.  I named him Ragnar.

I just got back this afternoon from a long weekend in Coorow.  Mike has been there now for two weeks, and so naturally I took the first bus out to spend some down time with him on the farm.  Our first day was pretty relaxing, just a lot of eating and talking!  He played a game of footy with the team yesterday, and during that time I half watched and half socialised with friends whom I’ve not seen in about two years (since we were both in Coorow seeding together).

Many of the girls now have very young babies, and they are all gorgeous, plump little roley polleys.

One of the best parts about this weekend was having a house to ourself to unwind and put our feet up.  We ate loads of chocolates and enjoyed the bloodbath television program that is “Vikings”.  When I say we… I had a glass of wine yesterday after spending 5 hours outside in the sun and cool wind, and promptly feel asleep on Mikes lap. I’m fascinated by the vikings.  This show is gruesome, but at the same time I’m learning so much about a pagan culture I’d otherwise never have had the thought to do any research… If you get a chance you should at least consider watching an episode.  Ragnar Lodbrok is formidable, as is wife.  I really admire her.  Anyway…

I was very reluctant to head back to the city this morning.

Just as a note here, I’ve been only shooting with one lens since last October.  All of the images featured here have been with the Canon 5D Mark III and a 100mm macro prime lens (it’s a wonderful and versatile lens!).

Ps: Don’t forget to comment here for your chance to win a limited edition signed print of your choice!  The draw is in 2 days.

Farmers, Greens & Unions – United to Stop Anti-Protest Laws

Tuesday afternoon I found myself standing at parliaments front steps.  It was here that I began photographing the handover of a petition of over 14,600 signatures. Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.03.23 PM

Farmer, Rod Copeland believes anti protest laws could hinder his ability to protect his farm from fracking.

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Mark McGowan MLA, WA Labor Leader – Publicly rejected this new bill in a speech, as did farmer Catherine Davenport.Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.03.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.01.28 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 6.59.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.04.22 PM

Piers Verstegen from Conservation Council of Western Australia, also spoke against the bill.

A diverse group of organisations and individuals from across Western Australia (including: farmers, conservation groups, religious organisation and unions) were protesting the state governments vague new law that would see a protester jailed for up to two years and fined upward of $20,000 dollars.

You can view the new bill in all it’s vague glory here.

The bill is not specific and could lead to even the most passive of protester being arrested.

68AB. Preparation for physical prevention or trespass 2 (1) A person must not make, adapt or knowingly possess a 3 thing for the purpose of using it, or enabling it to be 4 used, in the commission of — 5 (a) an offence under section 68AA; or 6 (b) an offence under section 70A. 7 Penalty: imprisonment for 12 months and a fine 8 of $12 000″

You could be jailed up to two years just for holding a “thing” which could mean holding a shovel at your gate, or having a chain in your Ute or even waiving a flag.  Not only that, but you’d be presumed guilty and would have to prove your innocence in court.

Great.

If you live in Western Australia and this concerns you too, please write or email your your local MP and let them know it needs to change.