When we moved from Traralgon in Victoria in 2010, we drove up to Kempsey to stay at Ned’s Bed, a pet motel, while we looked for a house. On the way up the mid-north coast of New South Wales, trogging along the Pacific Highway, we stopped off for a break at Port Macquarie.

It really is a lovely town, right on the Pacific Ocean and beside the huge Hastings River.  We had the best fish and chips at a chippie close to the sea, where everything was cooked to order and was deliciously fresh.

And then I took photos of a couple of the pelicans hanging around on the foreshore. Pelicans are common along this part of the coast, and they almost seemed to pose for photos.  I also took photos of a topsail schooner, the Alma Doebel, which had been built in Bellingen, an inland town on the Bellinger River, with the schooner sailing down the Bellinger to reach the sea.  It’s now a tourist attraction in Port Macquarie, but I don’t know if it ever goes out to sea now.

Pelican at Port Mcquarie, mid-NSW coast
This pelican was sitting high up on a lamp post overlooking the sea.

Pelican at Port Maquarie

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Topsail Schooner, Alma Doebel, Port Macquarie

 

Sea-Eagles’ Nest

I was going through my photos and re-discovered the ones I took of a sea-eagle’s nest.  It was on the Pacific HIghway north of Macksville heading north towards Coffs Harbour, mid-north coast of New South Wales.

The power company in NSW built the platform to encourage the sea-eagles to nest and also kindly fixed up insulators so they were able to fly to and fro and roost in safety.

We’d see one of the eagles sitting on the eggs, most likely the male coming in with food, and then a couple of heads pop up as the eggs hatched and the babies grew. Then the nest would be empty until the next breeding season started.

Sadly one nest had a sea-eagle sitting on eggs but there was a heck of a storm and when we drove that way again, there was no sign of eagles at the nest.

 

Sea-eagle nest

Sea-eagle nest, close-up

Namaste!

Namaste

The image above is quite simple – I created a pale pink canvas in PicMonkey to represent unconditional love. Then I added many layers of bokeh from PicMonkey – lots of images of multi-coloured circles, then added an image I’ve used before of a spider on its web.

This image relates to Spider Woman who, in Native American mythology, sits at the centre of her web, weaving creation and the cosmic threads which unite us all.Spider Woman is filled with knowledge of all that is, and offers us the threads of the Web of Life to weave our lives, to remind us that all life is connected and we need to honour nature and each other.

So having said that, and having used the greeting “Namaste” which means roughly,  “I bow to the God within you”, or “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you” (a knowing that we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness) you are probably wondering where I’m headed.

It’s something I’ve pondered over quite a while and came to a head yesterday. Many times I’ve heard people pronouncing that they’ve had all their lives on earth, they’ve accumulated amazing wisdom, so they won’t be reincarnating again. Or another version reads that we are moving into the Fifth Dimension, the Earth included, and those who are left behind are the unworthy ones. To my mind this is no better than those religions who proclaim themselves the anointed ones and that no-one else will go to heaven.

And then yesterday some friends and I were good-humouredly discussing the concepts of “badass” and “kickass”, which we saw as being ourselves, standing up for the right to be respected, being gutsy, and so on, when someone dropped on us that they did not like “aggression”.  Now aggression was farthest from our minds – being a badass or kickass isn’t about aggression, it’s about being yourself, standing up for yourself, being confident, refusing to put up with inappropriate behaviour, refusing to be put in corners, to express your joy in living,  refusing to live within boundaries, creativity, struggles for confidence and courage to be what we are, standing up against domestic and sexual violence.

The discussion with the person disliking “aggression” degenerated to a point where she said she didn’t like mixing with negative people as their “lower vibrations” drags her down. Now don’t get me wrong. Firstly, if you’re introverted and can’t handle lots of people, honour yourself and guard your need for privacy. Secondly, I don’t mix with people who I don’t resonate with for various reasons. I decided I’m not the Dalai Llama and I don’t have the energy to cope with all the different sorts of people in the world. But I DON’T do this because I feel they have lower vibrations and I have higher vibrations. I just accept that I’m not going to get on with everybody and other individuals have the perfect right to accept they don’t get on with me. As far as I’m concerned we are all more alike than we are unalike, but that pans out in us walking our own walk and talking our own talk as part of our own individual purpose in life. Your purpose might not be meant to interact with my purpose, but you can still regard people with kindness, love and compassion.

It’s the idea of setting myself on a pedestal and looking down on people with so-called “lower vibrations” which doesn’t seem to me to be spiritual at all.  True spirituality and peace of mind don’t rely on putting others down to make ourselves look more spiritually advanced nor does it mean being contemptuous of others. We are all part of the great web of light which makes up the universe. No, I don’t understand or like the actions of some people but I also feel that here on Earth there’s a kaleidoscopic cosmic pattern where each person who incarnates on earth has a purpose.  We may not understand that purpose or agree with it, but so be it.

I came to this conclusion by watching a particular action decades ago, the fall-out in subsequent relationships but a positive outcome for someone decades later which would not have eventuated had the original action not taken place. It’s one of the reasons why I believe there is a great mystery to life on earth, something we may get a glimpse of occasionally, but it’s so complex we only get that glimpse and not a full understanding.

I wondered what to call this post, to be very honest. “Humility” came to mind but didn’t seem quite right. “Respect” I’ve used before. And then “Namaste” came to mind. It fits the bill perfectly – to honour the divine in others, even if you have no idea what their purpose is, and to recognise the divine in yourself as another, humble part of the great web of light which unites us all, regardless of our purpose in incarnating on our wonderful planet.

Climate Change: Power to the People

Corporate revolutionIf you relied on the mass, conventional media for information about action on climate change, you’d draw a blank. Which is why I thought I’d post a link to a recent e-mail I received from Avaaz summarising in photos the mass demonstrations around the world supporting measures to deal with climate change. Do take the time to have a look at the images of tens of thousands of people in action – truly inspirational!

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/climate_march_reportback/?bjNFPeb&v=47061

Crow Capers

I just happened to have my camera in the kitchen yesterday evening when some crows landed in the paddock adjoining our apartment.  The photos aren’t too brilliant as the light was poor, just coming into twilight, but I was pleased at just getting some photos of the hooded crows as they’ve very nervous birds and take off the minute they see any movement.

And if you’re wondering why I’m churning these posts out this morning, it’s because I woke at 5am, couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to do some blogging to make my sleepless night a bit more productive. As soon as this post flies into the ether, I’m off to have some breakfast, then back to bed for some shut-eye (hopefully!) for a few hours.

Crow 1 Crow Crows x 2 Crows

Animal Crackers

Now for something completely different – recent photos of our four dogs, Zoe, Ziggy, Milly & Molly, and our cats  Jezebel, Sweetie and Bella.

This set is of our biggest dog, Zoe, playing around. She’s usually very stately and aware of her status as Top Dog, but when she starts stuffing around, she looks really ungainly and so unlike her usual elegant self:

Zoe at play
Zoe playing with Molly
Zoe at play 3
Zoe playing with Millie

Zoe at play 1

 

 

The next set of photos was taken when Molly had climbed onto my husband’s lap. Molly absolutely adores Bryan and stays as close to him as she can, but this time – while Ziggy hid under the chair – Milly tried to climb on while Zoe bobbed around trying to find an opening so she too could climb on Bryan’s lap. Molly hung on and Zoe and Milly retired defeated!

Bryan & Pooches 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan & pooches 1 Bryan & pooches

 

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Below are our cats: Jezebel who arrived with two kittens, Sweetie and Tinkerbell, but sadly we lost Tinks, she just disappeared one day. Jezebel is also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed as she’s got a vicious right hook if you don’t watch out.  Sweetie really lives up to her name – a soft cat who the dogs absolutely adore. When she walks in she stand there and waits like a Little Princess for the dogs to surround her, check her out and lick her so she ends up completely soggy.  Bella was the last to arrive in our menagerie, a very frightened, timid little kitten with only one eye.  Of them all, Bella has remained the most feral, mainly popping in for food morning and evening, and only occasionally staying in the house.

Bella 3
Bella (I think the term for her colouring is “calico”)
Jezebel on footstool
Jezebel
Sweetie
Sweetie

And just to wind up, here are a couple of photos of our lovely little Jack Russell, Rosie, who lived with us for 16.5 years until she crossed the Rainbow Bridge when we were living in Bowraville.  We buried her in the corner of our garden where a plant cast shade on her grave, and with her we also buried a lovely cobaltian calcite rock which was a deep pink, a sign of enduring love (and yes, I still get weepy when I write about Rosie!).

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Rosie
Rosie in winter coat
Rosie in her winter coat
Cobaltian Calcite - Congo
The cobaltian calcite rock we buried with Rosie.

 

 

Eagle Central

Eagles

I was going through my photographs the other day and came across this one I took of two wedge-tailed eagles when we lived on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. They were high up so I can’t bring them any closer with cropping as the images get too fuzzy. Nevertheless, you can clearly see the wedge-tails of these eagles and the way their feathers fan out at the tips of their wings.

I visited the north-west of Western Australia once and we were driving along a straight, isolated road with only bushland stretching out either side of us, when my friend suddenly slowed his big SUV right down and started crawling along. Startled, I asked him what was wrong and he told me nothing, except up ahead was a wedgie with road kill. Apparently if you hurtle towards this raptor with a kill on the side of the road, it will see you as an enemy trying to pinch its prey. So it will attack you.  The eagle will, of course, come off the loser in such an encounter but it can also cause enormous damage to a vehicle given the bird’s size. Anyway, we crawled past the eagle with its meal and I always remember being so close I could see its face turning to watch us imperiously, ready to attack if need be. A truly amazing and unique experience.

Eagles played a big part in my life back in Australia.  We’d see them often when we lived halfway up Mt French in S-E Queensland. One day our three cats and little Jack Russell pooch came haring into our home with their hair standing on end.  We heard the flap of wings outside, went out to find out what as going on, found all our hens under bushes, and a wedge-tailed eagle had just missed out on lunch.  At the neighbouring farm, a puppy went missing and it most likely was caught by a wedgie.

I missed the eagles in the UK, where we lived from 2002-4, but saw one or two occasionally when we returned to Australia.  As we were driving away towards Perth, after selling our home in Pingelly, on the wheatbelt, we were decidedly nervous about our decision to move to the Eastern States without any fixed address, trusting we’d find the right home. Two eagles flew low right across our bonnet and windscreen and I took that as a very positive sign that we were making the right decision.

In Woodenbong, on the far north of New South Wales, we’d see the occasional eagle but kookaburras were our significant bird there.  When we moved to Traralgon, in Victoria to the east of Melbourne, we never saw eagles. But when we moved to Bowraville, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, we hit Eagle Central.  We saw eagles all over the place, magnificent birds, sailing slowly and majestically in huge circles in the thermals. Once one flew right across our window – an amazing experience to see an eagle in flight at such close quarters.

I remember being in a shopping centre in Coffs Harbour once when an eagle flew low over the parking area and was amazed that no-one was aware of this magnificent bird in our midst. Similarly, I remember having lunch at a lovely little cafe overlooking the Nambucca River at Nambucca Heads when a huge sea eagle flew along the river just above head height. Again, people just didn’t notice this wonderful bird right under their noses.

You don’t see eagles here in North Cyprus and it’s sadly because they get poisoned or shot by hunters during the hunting season.  You do get the Bonelli’s Eagle here but it’s not terribly common.  I do miss my eagles very much. On the other hand, I don’t miss them enough to move back to Australia!