new beginnings · sewing · son · spring

Coming up for air….Spring Air!

Cute little new balls of downie feathers.
Cute little new balls of downie feathers.

Yes, that’s right, I really am coming up for air, after days and weeks at the sewing machine again.

Remember I said I would be selling my sewing business? Didn’t happen. I lost the urge to part company with my long-standing “friend”, the one that monopolises my time and leaves me with eye-strain and an aching neck during the most demanding times of the year. And you know something, I actually enjoyed the familiar whirring sounds of my industrial sewing machines, the cutting of fabric, the snip of the clippers, seeing the shirts I have constructed finally taking on form. That old familiar sense of achievement kicked in again and I’m feeling okay with the work that I do. For now.

I have had to put my fun, creative craft work temporarily on hold but my hours spent at the sewing machine has given my mind time to wander off along on the creative avenues that I will be pursuing again when the work is complete.

Whilst sitting in my work room, with window wide open, the welcoming sounds of the chirping of baby birds has filled my ears! Through years of practice I have learnt the art of “selective hearing”, allowing the outdoor sounds of nature to have a higher volume than my machines. A few days ago two baby “Noisy Miners” came along for a visit with Mama Miner and yesterday I was thrilled to bits to finally see a baby Magpie, whose tiny chirps I had heard for a few days.

First sighting of a baby Magpie, newly emerged from the nest.
First sighting of a baby Magpie, newly emerged from the nest.

On Monday morning my youngest son flies to New Zealand for nine days….a school excursion, no less! How times have changed, school excursion highlights back in my days at school consisted of a trip to the local council chamber! They’ll be skiing almost daily and having a fabulous time I know, I’ve seen the itinerary, so this weekend will consist of sorting through clothes, shopping for last minute warm clothing requirements and making sure the bag he’s taking doesn’t weigh any more than twenty-two kilos…..

I’m really looking forward to entering the world of people again (as opposed to the world of sewing!) and can’t wait to read what all of my blogging friends have been up to while I’ve been in semi-hibernation again.

For tonight though I am looking forward to a night in front of the television, perhaps watching a DVD, glass of white wine in hand, followed by an early night to bed…… 🙂

Australia · daughter · freedom · photography

Pigs, Cockatoos?…..No, Koalas!!

A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.
A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.

As promised, here is the follow-up to my story and photos of the kangaroos I saw at South West Rocks. But be warned, you may not hear what you expected to about our cute little koalas!

Early in August my daughter and her boyfriend moved out of the house they had rented for the last year and of course, mum and dad’s assistance didn’t go astray in helping them move! It was a long, exhausting weekend, but by Sunday afternoon we could see that we had the biggest part of the task behind us.

Just after lunchtime, Ryan went out onto the balcony and when he came back inside he asked me, “Did you hear that bird screeching just then?” I told him that I had, then he said to me, “I think it was attacking a koala!”

“What?! Why didn’t you yell out to me; I could have taken a photo!”, amid thinking “they have koalas around here?!”

And here's a back view, see its fluffy ears?
And here’s a back view, see its fluffy ears?

Throughout the afternoon we continued to hear the screeching bird, which sounded like a cockatoo. But the weird thing was, we could also hear a pig snorting! Emma wasn’t at all surprised by the pig snort sounds though; apparently at a house nearly, they had a pet pig! (hmm, of course, a pet pig in suburban Gold Coast….why not a dog like everyone else?)

After a while it got the better of me and I told Emma that it was time for us to take a break from the packing and cleaning. Armed with my camera we went on a search for this pig, or cockatoo, or koala….whatever it was, I was determined to get photos!

It didn’t take too long for Emma to spot two koalas up in a tree, just across the road from where they lived. I asked had she ever seen koalas here before, seeing as they had lived here for a whole year I suspected there may have been a good chance they had.

The male koala chasing the female up the tree.
The male koala chasing the female up the tree.

“No, never”, Emma told me. How incredible that their final day living there (when I happened to be there with my camera!) was the day we saw them. This was my lucky day!

Suddenly the pig grunting started again, then the cockatoo screeched! And just at the same time as one koala chased the other up a tree!

Chin up exercises?
Chin up exercises?

What I have since learned is that during the mating season, a male koala will often make a loud grunting sound! Did you know that? No? It was news to me too! And if the female is playing hard to get, or not appreciating the males advances, she will screech like a bird! And here you were all thinking that koalas were quiet little cuddly creatures, weren’t you?

Well, that’s what I thought about them. I didn’t know they even made a sound at all! But they are very cute, rather bulky and fury as can be. These photos are a tad fuzzy as the tree they were playing chaseys in was a distance away from me and with other trees in front of the koalas it was difficult to get a good clear shot of them. I hope you can see them clearly enough though to appreciate just how adorable they are.

They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.
They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.

So there you are, both kangaroos and koalas do live in the wild in Australia! We may not see them every day, but what a treat it is when we do. 🙂

A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. :)
A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. 🙂
Australia · blessings · enchanting · freedom

Ask and it is Given ~ Kangaroos in the Wild.

What a treat to see a kangaroo coming up so close to my car!
What a treat to see a kangaroo coming up so close to my car!

Around the end of January this year you may remember that I did a series of posts on all things Australian. With Australia Day being celebrated on January 26th each year, it is a great time to take a look at Australian icons, and I really enjoyed sharing some of them here on my blog.

Karma asked if I would be showing you photos of any kangaroos or koalas. I told her at the time that I would see what I could come up with, having in mind that I could take a trip to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, about twenty minutes drive from my home, to take a few photos to show you some of our native animals.

Look, a whole little family!
Look, a whole little family!

Well, my trip to the wildlife sanctuary didn’t go to plan at that time, Mother Nature had other ideas for the people of the Tweed and Gold Coast areas. We spent weeks avoiding venturing outdoors, due to the tail end of a tropical cyclone hitting us!

The worst of the cyclone was over by the end of January, but the wet weather conditions continued for weeks. And what I really wanted you to see was kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitat and not in captivity.  I’ve heard that many of the people in other countries believe that Australians see koalas and kangaroos regularly, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t. Seeing our iconic marsupial mammals, which is what koalas and kangaroos are, in the wild is a huge treat for us too!

I didn’t forget Karma’s request, although I really wanted to see some native animals in the wild! As usual, The Universe responded to my request, and during the space of just one month I have had the privilege to see firstly kangaroos, then koalas, both in the wild!

I could see they were about to jump away and thought I wouldn't be seeing them again.
I could see they were about to jump away and thought I wouldn’t be seeing them again.

The kangaroos I found at a place called South West Rocks, where my son and I stayed a night at a motel on our way home from our trip down south in early July. Adam had been to South West Rocks with his father a couple of years ago when my husband took him there for a surf carnival. Adam loved the area and wanted us to spend a night there, telling me I would find heaps of very cool things to take photos of. I don’t think even Adam expected to see the kangaroos!

It was late afternoon when we arrived and by the time we had booked into our motel and headed out for a drive it was beginning to get dark, so the top photo, as you can see, has been taken at night-time. Regardless, I was thrilled to bits to actually see these kangaroos hopping around near my car!

Kangaroos legs are incredibly strong as you can see here by the way they jump.
Kangaroos legs are incredibly strong as you can see here by the way they jump.

The next morning Adam and I booked out of the motel early, to make the most of our time at South West Rocks before we headed home. First of all we drove to the lighthouse, where I took some photos of the lighthouse and the surrounding ocean. It is indeed an area of great beauty and Adam was right, I found plenty of photo opportunities there.

Next we went to Trial Bay Gaol. I won’t tell you about the gaol or the lighthouse now, but all will be revealed in a future blog post. I will tell you though that the gaol is no longer in use as a gaol!

As it was so early in the day we were the only car in the parking lot and all was quiet around the gaol, as I walked around snap, snap, snapping away with my camera. I walked up to the main entrance of the gaol and as I continued to take photos a movement caught my eye.

They jumped right up to me! Aren't they beautiful?
They jumped right up to me! Aren’t they beautiful?

At first I thought I was imagining things, but no, there they were, a mama, papa and little baby kangaroo ~ a whole family! All three looked very alert and I knew that they had heard the click of the camera and had seen me there, so I stayed still. Low and behold, suddenly, all three of them decided to come over and say hello to me!

I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful they were, with their big black-brown eyes, and the softest of fur. Well, I couldn’t touch them, they were behind the gate of the gaol, but I have touched kangaroo fur before and believe me, it’s very soft. I think it was all too much for the little joey tough as it quickly scurried into mama’s pouch once they had come over to me. The funny little thing, it didn’t right itself in the pouch though, so if you look carefully you will see one long, thin, black joey paw, peeking out of her pouch!

You can see here the little joeys long black hind leg sticking out of mama's pouch.
You can see here the little joeys long black hind leg sticking out of mama’s pouch.

The kangaroos stayed with me for a few minutes. I don’t know if they were expecting food, but I had nothing to give them, so after a short while they jumped away, out of sight.

Talk about magical moments. Anyone would have thought I was a visitor from overseas seeing kangaroos for the first time! It wasn’t just the joy of seeing them though and taking their photo. They were living freely in a wild habitat and not an animal sanctuary, and they trusted me enough to come right up close to me. What a privilege that was.

In my next post I will show you the koalas I saw. There is a funny story to the koalas, and I learnt a lot about them too! 🙂

And here's a close up photo of mama and papa.
And here’s a close up photo of mama and papa.