Campfire, community gathering.

Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.31.54 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.03 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.10 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.19 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.26 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.34 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.45 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.32.53 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.33.04 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.33.18 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.33.38 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.35.35 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.38.59 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.39.22 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.39.51 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.39.59 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.40.12 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.40.39 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.40.48 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.41.02 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.41.19 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.41.27 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.41.36 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.41.45 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.40.25 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.40.18 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.38.34 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.33.28 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.31.40 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.31.08 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.31.24 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.30.50 amScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 8.30.57 amThis past week we had so many sweet little moments savour.  We’d planned a community gathering at the house to enjoy a bonfire and marshmallow roasting.  20 people came out (including kids) and enjoyed a roaring fire (on a cool windy day).  There was a bit of a spread of food too – there were cookies, pastries and savoury quiche to have too.

The kids had so much fun chasing each other and enjoying little “Spud” a mix terrier that was brought along to enjoy his first outing.  They also enjoyed some mammoth sized marshmallows.  They were literally about 4 inches long!

Mike and Wesley and I did a drive to the coast about 20 mins away and found this Arrowsmith Spider Orchid, enjoyed a delicious lunch at the beach and then travelled onward to Lake Indoon on a dirt track.   It was on this path that we came across over 200 endangered, Carnaby Cockatoo who were munching away on the bushes quite happily.

As I hopped out of the ute to take a photo, they took flight and oh my god – it was breathtaking.

There are orchids all over the place and each time I get the chance I pull over to see what’s about.

We’ve been also checking a site nearby for the Queen of Sheba orchid – and think we may have found the spot.  Fingers crossed it opens soon!

Lastly, Wesley had a little friend sleep over this week and they were having a blast together.  They had cots in the same room and fell asleep talking to each other.  They also bust into hysterics when I took them for a drive up our bumpy, sloppy, muddy road.  Since his mates gone back home, Wesley has woken each day saying “Reuben, where are you?” and searches the house for him.  It’s sad, that he misses him that much!  We’ll have to do it again – they were so good together.

Also pictured:

  • This month’s waxing crescent moon (it rises this way each month, this is the first time I’ve been alert enough to grab my tripod and brave the cooler temperature to get the shot).
  • A tribonanthes flower (with the native bee pictured) is so fluffy it could be a teddy!
  • Wesley enamoured with the tiny puppy
  • Two little monkeys jumping in the spare bed
  • Catspaws between my toes
  • A tiny black mushroom sprouting from the sand.
  • Arrowsmith Spider Orchid (opened and closed)
  • Some sort of nymph bug – red and strange looking with large antennae.

Blue Blood Super Moon Eclipse, Western Australia

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.01.40 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.30.06 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.27.40 amThese are some images from last night’s super, blue, blood moon eclipse.  We stood out peering at the moon in wonder as the earths shadow slowly swallowed it whole.  The third image is a section of the milky way that was visible in the darkness as the moon was hidden.  It was such a nice night with friends – we’d had a pretty massive dinner together and then were enjoying the sunset on the porch before we noticed the super moon.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.01.58 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.02.12 amIt’s fascinating how many orb spiders we’ve seen around the area – this one particularly is striking.  I found a few days back.  The red on it’s legs and abdomen stopped me in my tracks.  It’s also giving me serious cooked seafood vibes with the deep orange red hue.  I cannot stop looking at the perfect like 4 square set up it’s eyes have.  Such a unique placement!Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.03.43 amBrian and Wesley heading into the lambs paddock to stir up some trouble!Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.00 amThis tree is the biggest one for kilometres.  You can see it at least 6 km away on the drive up to the property.  We’ve planted a few trees here ourselves (bottle brush) to help close in the yard and provide more shade around the home.  We’ve got quite a bit of firewood to sort out and I think we might set up some form of bonfire pit over winter.  Maybe.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.10 amThese are some gorgeous figs that we’re patiently awaiting.  They have been sitting unchanged for months and only just today are they showing signs up plumping up and darkening to a pale purple pink.  Tessa makes this incredible stewed fig desert with brandy.  I ate it 6-7 years ago and I can still recall the flavour.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.47 amThis last image was taken last week in the light of the half moon.  I was stunned to see this many stars when I reviewed the image on my camera.  It was incredible to see how much light my eyes were missing!

Have you ever taken any night photos?  This is kind of unchartered territory for me, and I’m still learning the basics.  Hopefully the next time I’ve got a bit more skills and can show you the milky way in the next new moon here in Australia.


Gin Gin Space Observatory – Star Gazing.

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This is the moon rising over Gin Gin, Western Australia.

We drove ourselves an hour out of Perth to the little known Gin Gin Space Observatory (it wasn’t open) but we decided it would be the perfect place to set up and watch some stars.  Luckily the front gate was open, so we parked in a safe place and set up our blanket and pillows.  We were hoping to see the milky way, but the moon was blazing (it was fire orange).

In Western Australia there is very little ambient light when you get into the countryside…When we lived on the farm in Eneabba, we were able to soak up the night sky from the comfort of our front porch…nearly every night the milky way was sprawled across the sky above us.  Now, we made the observation that we literally had to drive an hour to get this view.  Just another reason why we miss the farm…

We stayed and photographed the sky for about an hour, the night was chilled and the sand soft between our toes.  Mike lay on the blanket watching satellite swing past, while I spent the better part of an hour photographing the silhouettes of trees against the light of the moon.

It’s incredible how much you can record from the sky… what looked like a cluster of three stars, was in fact hundreds.  The camera captured light I couldn’t observe with my own eyes. In the dark we could hear sometimes hear animals moving around us.  As we prepared to leave Mike noticed a few owl in the head lights of the car.  They were white and small.

It’s in moments like these that I reminisce about my father showing me the constellations from our driveway.  Orion’s belt was the first I ever learned of, and I always take note when I look up at the night.  Last night I recalled the time he packed all 5 kids into the car and drove to a grassy field outside of our city to view Kohoutek Comet… (I was too young to appreciate the significance of this moment at the time).

We’ve decided we’ll come back next month when they have a proper viewing of the milky way through their telescope.  I can only imagine what it will look like in closer detail…  Stunning I’m sure.

This adventure was all a by-product of a film we saw earlier in the day.  Yesterday in the afternoon Mike and I went to watch Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan. If you’re interested in getting a snapshot of our observable universe, please take a look at this post below.

It put’s our lives into perspective (just as the film does). (it’s not scary)

I can’t paint, but Anya Brock can.

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Paintings: Anya Brock (I’m in love with the colours and her aesthetic).  Her work can be found all over Perth.  The large paintings are in the city, and the small exhibition was found in Fremantle over Valentines weekend.Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.41.40 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.01.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.02.03 PM

The last time I tried to paint, I created the biggest piece of crap.  Mike joked about hanging it up in the living room when we had guest stay with us on the farm, and I eventually threw it out; to prevent that from ever happening.

Last week Mike took me to Heirisson Island and surprised me…with kangaroos!  This is an island very near our home in East Perth, and I am so excited that we can get our kangaroo fix whenever we want.  It was such a nice surprise.  I made some clicking sounds and this young girl came over for an nice chin scratch and a cuddle.  Often Mike and I remember Lena.  We miss her.  Seeing this young western grey kangaroo brought back so many good memories for us.  I’ve caught myself a few times over the past 1.5 years imagining what she would have been like as an adult.

Speaking of me imagining things…

Earlier this week I really embarrassed myself.  I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again (something tells me it might…).  This has nothing to do with painting.

Mikes phone died while he was at work.  I went about 13 hours without a word from him, and by the end of my day, I was a total mess.  I assumed the worst…  He was gone.  Something terrible had happened…

Thankfully he came home safe and sound only to find me in tears.  He joked with me for the next 24 hours about how amazing it was to be brought back from the dead.  He did remind me that there was a time when people didn’t have cell phones and people would have to wait hours to hear from one another.

This isn’t the first time though, I did the exact same thing when my beloved father was 1 hour and 45 minutes late getting to the train station to pick me up about 4 years ago.  He didn’t have a cell phone at the time and so I just had to wait.  I stood in the freezing snowy weather, becoming more and more devastated as each minute passed.  Eventually the familiar car drove up, by that point I broke into tears.  My dad was confused, he hugged me.  I had to explain that I just assume that people get into accidents when they don’t turn up.

Dad only forgot, and was half way home when he remembered… you can always count on that!  I’ve learned with him to allow for delays.

Have you ever thought the worst has happened when you haven’t been able to get in touch with someone?

Danny Marin – Searching (Original)