Monday, 22 September 2014

Currently



Right now you are 6 years and 4 months old

Right now we’ve just finished Term 3, and it’s hard to believe that when we come back from holidays there are only 10 weeks left of Kindergarten
Right now we’re starting to make real traction with school.  It hasn’t been an easy transition, and there’s been more than a few bumps along the road…but we’re getting there.
Right now we’re getting your hearing retested to see if the difficulties identified a few weeks ago are temporary or not.  This would go a long way to explain why you’ve found it difficult to learn in the classroom.

Right now l feel like we’ve learnt so much about you this year. 

Right now we realise you’ve been blessed with very high emotional intelligence.  You’re a sensitive soul who displays more empathy than most adults.  You love and feel deeply.
Right now I couldn’t be prouder of the person you are becoming.

Right now I love you more than ever.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post was inspired by Ali Edwards' new program called Story Stamp.  Ali is a memory keeper, who has a passion for documenting the everyday.  Her new program Story Stamp offers a monthly set of stamps that assist in storytelling and memory keeping.  The theme this month is prompts, and explores the use of phrases as jumping points for your journaling. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

15 on the 15th - September, 2014

15 photos of my day on the 15th of the month

 
Every month Tracy Larsen shares 15 photos of her day on the 15th. It's a great, easy-to-achieve memory keeping/photography prompt, which encourages you to take a fresh look at everyday life.  I first joined Tracy in August last year and like most projects that elevate the everyday, have found it really rewarding.  You can see  my photos from previous months here.
 
The 15th of September was a Monday, a normal weekday where Dan and l went to work and Bella went to school.  So a day filled with everyday activities, nothing out of the ordinary, but plenty to be grateful for.  And l think that's what l gain from photographing and documenting everyday moments; gratitude.  There really is something about the process of recording, reflecting and sharing moments of your day, that makes you think..."you know....l've got it pretty good".     
 
Early morning sunlight streaming in through our beautiful front door.  I love this door.
The view from our front veranda, looking to the east.
Early morning Spring sunshine, there's nothing like it.
One of our neighbour's cows.
A sneak peak of what's blooming in my new cottage/flower bed.
Loving my new seafoam cardigan or is a bolero? Who knows, but l love the colour.
Before we hit the road, time to make Bella a 'slinky apple'.  Every morning her school day starts with 'fruit break' a 15 minute period where everyone is encouraged to eat fruit before classes begin.
And what's a 'slinky apple' l hear you say?  If you have a kid reluctant to eat apple, get one of these you wont regret it.  Thanks Granny Annie, someone has eaten apple every morning since you gave it to us.  
Time to hit the road.  Don't worry we were safely parked in the drive way when l took this.
After dropping Bella at school, l get to catch up on the latest podcast from Elise Cripe.  That girl is a genius, love her work.

And back to my desk at work.
Fast forward to evening when we're all back home, and it's time to catch up on some homework.
Can anyone guess which Lucy we're writing about?  Almost every sentence Bella has written for the past two weeks has been about a certain magical land.
 
So proud of my little girl, we've come a long way this year.
And finally, some reading before we go to bed. 
 
 
 

Friday, 19 September 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama



The fourth koala to visit us at our new river cottage in the past two weeks.  This one, a big old male, who looks to have lost an eye. Probably not a recent injury, and it doesn't seem to be affecting him any! We've christened him "Winky" Bill.

Don't forget my blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 24 September at 9pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney time). See here for more details.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
Daring rescue comes to late
As most of you know, we're licensed wildlife carers and rehabilitate injured and orphaned native animals at our home.  We belong to a local wildlife rehabilitation organisation, and to assist in rescuing native animals our group runs a 24hour emergency hotline.
Last week a lady rung, worried about a nest of baby Magpies in her backyard.  She had found one of the parents dead on the ground, with its head bitten off.  What happened to the bird, were not sure but we're guessing a fox or cat removed the head. 
The other parent was still alive and trying to tend to the nest, but for some reason was being ousted from the territory by other Magpies.  Meanwhile up to three chicks were sitting high up in their nest, crying out for food.
I heard of the situation from another member, and just felt awful.  I wondered what l would do if that was in my backyard.  I know l couldn't have listened to those baby birds crying out in hunger.  And the nest was at the top of a really tall tree, not something you could reasonably ask anyone to climb. 
Our organisation approached the local electricity company, who unexpectedly suggested they would bring out a truck with extendable ladder, to try and reach the nest.  Unfortunately the ground was still too wet after the recent heavy rain, and the truck couldn't manoeuvre under the tree.  They tried a few other approaches, including a really long pole used for dislodging things of power lines, but would you believe it was about one meter short!
Three days had now past, and all hope was just about gone of getting the chicks.  Until one of our members heard of the situation and let us know that her partner was a professional tree climber!  
He very kindly offered to drive straight down there and see if he could reach the nest.  And this is the part of the story l really wanted to share with you.  This man drove more than an hour round trip, on a Saturday afternoon to help us.  He wasn't paid, he just wanted to do his bit.
I was rung and asked to be there when he arrived and to help with any chicks that might still be alive.   I have to admit, l doubted whether he would be able to do anything.  The nest was 14 meters off the ground, in a top most branches of what looked to be a pretty hard tree to climb.  And did l mention that it was full of bees and the chicks hasn't been heard all day.  Yep.
Unfazed, he set about climbing the tree. It was amazing to see him methodically set himself up and work out a path up the tree.

 


Amazingly, he reached the nest but only to see that he was too late.
There was only one chick left in the nest, and it had recently died. Needless to say we were both really disheartened. 
I set about thanking him, and that's when it struck me. It's awful that the baby birds died, but the fact that he chose to help, to go out of his way to help some very common birds...is something to be upheld.  What an amazing person.  
One of the things l love most about wildlife caring is meeting and spending time with likeminded people.  They truly restore my faith in human beings, knowing there are people out there like this gives me a lot of hope.
Thanks Benny.      

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.
 
Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.

 
 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

River Cottage garden diary - the cottage/flower bed before shots

The move to our new river cottage has been the catalyst for a lot of change.  

Sure we live in a new house, there’s a new commute to work, a new village and community to get to know.  But we’re also doing different things.
For me, it’s gardening.

Now l’m not that surprised that l want to garden.  I’ve always been interested in gardening and feel in some ways that it is a part of me, though if Dan read that he would laugh out loud!  That’s because l’ve done very little gardening as an adult.  In fact the few attempts l’ve had at growing pot plants has been rather pathetic.  Dan’s always been the gardener in our family.
All of my gardening experience is as a child.  I watched my parents garden, and as a very young child when we lived in Melbourne my Dad was involved with a children’s community farm.  When we moved to the North Coast and lived on a large rural property, l had my own garden.  I distinctly remember growing my own potatoes and even collecting my own marigold seeds.  I can still picture the garden and me on my hands and knees in the dirt.
See it’s all in there, all the memories and things you indirectly pick up from those experiences. It’s just that l’ve never tapped back into it as an adult.

Well that was until now.
Our river cottage has a number of garden beds, one of them is very close to the house and looks like it might have been a cottage/flower garden of sorts.
I’d been eyeing off that bed, thinking of what l could do with it until one day l asked Dan “Can l claim a bit of garden and do what l like with it?”  You could imagine that was met with raised eye brows!

I really wanted this to be my project, l want to learn, l want to make mistakes and get my own hands dirty.  Dan’s been pretty respectful of that, but still been able to chip in with a few bits of advice and lend a hand when needed.
So this is the garden bed as it looked on the 27 July.


It has five roses, one looks like a climbing variety.  All in need of a prune.


Quite a few anonymous flowering plants that have seen better days.


That's our bird bath.  It got plonked there when we moved in, and it's actually not a bad spot for it. I like the idea of having a bird bath in the garden.


The soil needs love, and lots of it.  Even l could tell that.   It looks like the people before us brought in some 'red dirt' a volcanic krasnozem soil that's common locally, but not found on our property.  Whilst it's suppose to be very rich and productive, the soil was hard, dry and lumpy.   

 
And the weeds were starting to creep in.
 
The people who lived here before us, unfortunately or fortunately (l'm not quite sure which one yet), took a lot of their plants out of the garden when they moved.   So we are pretty much starting with an almost blank slate, which is exiciting.
 
So the adventure into gardening has started and l'm pretty keen to document our progress here on the blog.  Already looking back at these photos, the difference is amazing.  I love the chance to reflect and look back, it's so motivating.
 
And with Spring knocking on our door, the timing is perfect. 
 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
Welcome to Koala country

I knew when we moved to our new river cottage that it was highly likely we'd see koalas.  We've moved into known koala country, where they're regularly seen and its quite common for them to live in close proximity to people.  I knew we had a number of food trees on our block, and some of them showed signs that koalas had used them in the past.

But the people who owned the house before us said they hadn't seen any koalas there in years.

So for the past two months l've been regularly checking our trees and looking and hoping to see something.

Then two weekends ago, it happened, l spotted our first koala.
 

 
It was quite funny how we found it.  Dan had seen a hawk circling in our backyard and we were looking through my bird id book trying to work out what it was.  I then looked up at the koala food trees and said wistfully...... "I wish we would get a koala".  To my surprise there was the koala pictured above, high up in a tree enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

That koala, who we now think was an adult female, stayed for around 3-4 days.  Every morning we would find her in new tree, and then she was gone.  I've read that's pretty common for koalas.  They're a folivore, meaning they only eat leaves, and they have a very specific diet which consists of only a few species of eucalypts. They also need to eat a lot of leaves every day, and they generally prefer fresh new growth, which means they have to keep on moving to the next tree in order to find enough food to eat.

Then this past Sunday, Dan was cooking dinner on the bbq outside when he heard a male koala calling. We went out with flashlights and found him sitting in the same trees where the girl had been a few days earlier.  Now l'm guessing that most of you haven't heard a male koala bellow before, it's quite the sound.

 
The male only stayed for a night, and then must have gone on his way.  We wondered whether he was trying to locate the female that had been here a few days before.
 
Thinking ourselves pretty lucky to see two different koalas in the past week, last night we were taken by surprise to have yet another visitor!  With the windows open last night, l heard our pet birds calling out in alarm.  They normally do that when something is bothering them in the aviary. With the flashlight l looked down from the kitchen window, and it took me a little while to figure out what l was seeing.  A koala trying to climb up the outside of the aviary wire!
 
We went downstairs to check it out and it had since moved to a nearby tree.  I'm sure this is yet another new koala, and possibly quite a young one.  It hung around the house for the rest of the night, but this morning it was safely nestled up in the tall food trees. 
 
So yep, welcome to koala country - three different sightings in the past two weeks.  Needless to say, l'm more than happy. I love this place.

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.
 
Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.
 

Friday, 5 September 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama