Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
Today a necessitiy to do some shopping for chook food and dog meat and bones. A few items for me. I loaded my two dogs into the car and noted battery was a bit flat as I have like many others been driving less due the increase in petrol prices (along with everything else almost). I am thankful it did turn over, ( I do own a battery charger just in case ) and after doing the shopping and having a lovely lunch at one of my favourite cafes in Huonville, DS Cafe where normally the dogs and I sit in the laneway. Today was gray and very cold I chose to sit inside by the fire. It would seem that my dogs waiting in the car, were not too happy at that. Having done all needed in town I needed to fill the car, in Huonvile price of petrol is $2.19 a Litre ($1.49US/1.25GBP/1.45euro/1.95CAD, for those in the USA a litre is almost 1/4 of a gallon making the price $8.80USD a gallon. I drove out of town filled up the car. as it was a 10cents a litre cheaper, but more to get the battery charged too win win. In the smaller town closer to where I live there is a wonderful couple of petrol stations that still serve you, and of course this makes the petrol more expensive. I do fill my car there if I have no need to go to Huonville. As I imagine the difference in price is lost by the 40+km return trip. However as a boost of my car battery was a necessity today and it has been quite a while since I have been for a real drive out of my local area(and I am only talking a 50km drive here lol) I went out to Crabtree, and found some new places I had not been before. A new campground on the side of the river. I also took the dogs for a walk along the beautiful riverside, my photos below share our day.
As I was driving back towards Huonville I was traveling slowly past the apple orchards and saw some movement: I found an area to turn around and came back to check what I had seen. These Cygnets are very early and relatively old as they are beginning to get their feathers. I was so thrilled to have noticed them and even more to have had my camera with me, even though I was a way away Mamma or Pappa Swan was not comfortable having photos of the babies being taken. Sensible swan, and rounded them up and wadled off throught the apple orchard.
Not many would have their trip to the shops end like this. Or have such gorgeous places so close to them to drive and enjoy the beauty. I am so very thankful to live in this beautiful valley on a very special island called Tasmania.
This morning I was awake early for a Saturday morning. I lay in bed watching the sunrise, and listening my two cockerels crowing. My dogs and I are sleeping on my mattress down stairs(Bubsy was not allowed to go up stairs when he had his cruciate ligament operation). He has recovered but it is cooler down stairs and I have hope I will get my bedroom painted, before the cold weather arrives.
So the three of us were on the mattress, Ms Treacle and Busby asleep; I noticed movement on the stairs on my deck and saw a small wallaby. A incredible way to begin a morning.
I was meeting up with someone who was giving me a mother for making Kombucha,it was a transaction to be carried out in the car park of a business in Cygnet. After my morning wake up visitor, I headed to the shower. Then the dogs went for a run. Loaded them up into the car and we headed into Cygnet. As I was driving a grey Goshawk(which is actually white) flew up off the edge of the road, and flew in front of my car. Sadly I did not have my mobile or camera to hand. Yet sometimes the lived experience memory far outweighs the image. I can still see the bird quite a large one flying up. I imagine it’s breakfast was laying in the long grass alongside the road. I could not help but appreciate how incredibly lucky I was.
On arrival into the small village near where I live, I saw several other folk who were ‘loitering’ at 9am on a very quiet Saturday morning in Cygnet. A vehicle pulled in and jars were handed out. We thanked the wonderful woman who was sharing her mother with us. Off we went onto our day. As I had not eaten or had a coffee at home, along with it being a truly stunning Autumn morning, I chose to have breakfast at one of the wonderful cafes in our village.
It was a short walk to the cafe. We arrived and were the first outdoor customers. The Port Hole Cafe uses locally grown vegetables and all deserts are gluten free. Cater for vegans too. They do serve meat meals. Wonderful coffee and is a lovely out door area, with herbs and flowers growing around the perimeter. As I sat waiting for my order, other people began to arrive for breakfast. Many bringing their dogs. Most eating places in town with out door areas are dog friendly. Huon Valley is a wonderful dog friendly community.
You are supposed to have your dogs on lead in all public areas (unless other wise noted) Miss Treacle was sitting under our table in the shade. I was thrilled to meet up with two wonderful women and as the cafe began to fill enjoyed a couple of hours catching up and sharing with the ladies, meeting and greeting for my dogs, and saying hi to many people I knew. The cafe was filling up fast. I discovered it was Regatta Day and the local sailing club were conducting a race from another bay further around (quite a way ) called Kettering. This is where you catch the ferry across to the wonderful Bruny Island. The sailing club was racing from there back to Cygnet. A lot of other activities were happening. I had intended to drive down and take some photographs, alas I was running close to another meet up I had this morning. We all said our see you’s and my dogs and I went for a walk up the road and back to the car. I had to do some grocery shopping, and did this quickly. We headed home.
I had surprised myself two days before I had offered some rose hips to some one on the local crop swap Facebook page. She no longer needed them another person did. Without thinking I invited her to my place to pick as many as she liked. WOAHH no anxiety, no what if, and today no regret. I was so amazed that I did not cancel, or have somatic reactions to knowing a person I had met only a couple of times in the community was coming to my place. MY PLACE. No one has been to my home in so long even in the garden. Especially someone I did not know very well. Yet I felt no anxiousness, of feeling of wanting to cancel of flee. It seemed strange that not one iota was present. When the woman arrived We walked around the outside of my home, (which is not neat and tidy or beautiful to share with others), as a hoarder working to resolve this, a lot of things are waiting to be dealt with and things that I have managed to move out of the house in the last two plus weeks are waiting for a friend who has offered to help me take stuff to the tip. Two things in this paragraph seem so extraordinary to me. Someone came to my home no anxiety, I have moved stuff to get rid of out of the house.! Only someone who is a hoarder, loves a hoarder, or is wondering if they still wish to be with the hoarder or is fed up and wants to help the hoarder get rid of the hoard. How is this possible? As someone who has been diagnosed with CPTSD, my hoarding became another symptom of my mental illness. By having things in such a situation and way for me, (and each person who is a hoarder is dealing with their own issues and recovering is a very individual experience). You can not MAKE a hoarder change, You can not get rid of the Hoarders ‘hoard or rush the individual. As frustrating as that seems, we are fragile. The hoard whilst not necessarily valuable or as in my case in the best of condition or even seemingly rational to other people, even those closest to the person who is hoarding. For me cardboard and newspapers were a huge thing, my carport is full of cardboard boxes. They are for my garden but when they were coming into the house and taking up space and growing, that was a huge problem. I managed to get them outside and for me, now, I know I will be using them for the garden over the next few months Autumn and Winter. My visitor saw all this, she saw the two arm chairs outside and other items making my drive area what it is. I felt ok with that. There are two boxes in my living room at the moment and they are being filled with smaller bits and pieces that need to be moved outside to be taken to the tip
I am so happy so incredibly happy I have been saying for months to my previous GP, that I was feeling like my starter motor would not turn over. This GP disagreed saying I was not motivated. I was flawed by this insensitive comment. I responded to her, I have managed to have a shower, get in my car and drive 70km/ 44miles one way to this appointment. I am motivated. I want to get into my home…I cant’.
I left this GPs office and was fortunate that at this moment the GPs closest to me was taking new patients. It was meant to be.
If you have not read previous posts in regard to my accidental cold turkey coming off Desvenalfaxine (Pristiq), one month ago today. I do not recommend it, I have been incredibly fortunate with my withdrawal process. You really need to do it with support and being taken off it slowly. I am still experiencing odd symptoms of withdrawal.
The importance of having someone I don’t really know come to my home and see how it really is was horrifying to me, the hoard meant no one came to visit, it kept /keeps me safe and no one comes into my home, or garden. Yet today they did, and it was wonderful. Not to feel anxious but to enjoy sharing about her garden and small business (she and her hubby grow organic veggies and salad mix sell it to the cafe I had breakfast at and other places). I shared with her that I was a hoarder and working towards recovery, a very slow process. That was all that was shared about it. we just chatted as she picked the rose hips. In exchange I received three organic eggplants/aubergines. I have not regretted even now as evening approaches her coming here. I have not felt sick in my stomach. I have felt thankful that my starter motor is kicking over. I am glad I did not believe or agree with what my previous GP thought. For me after several years on the medication that saved my life and I am eternally grateful for it. I am through a lot of hard work and emotional distress anguish thanks to my wonderful Psychologist who has ensured that I remain on her books even when I could not afford to pay for her services(she bulked billed for me); has seen me able to have the same psychologist (as a low income earner for three + years). Prior to this I would see one for so many weeks there contract would not be renewed another would come along and I would have to start again with them, this actually I really believe made my mental health worse.
I understand not many are as fortunate as I have been in this situation. I also know it is very early days in my medication free life of a person with a diagnosed mental illness. I am just trying to eat as well as I can; which as a hoarder this is not always easy, and I not always brilliant at it. My kitchen is pretty much at the moment a state of disarray, and whilst I can prepare some things; I have been working on the kitchen. I have a floor space that has basically nothing covering it piled up a couple of inches. It is floor boards I am walking on. Things so many things have been thrown out that had been on the floor and well might be able to be saved/fixed..nope my mind now is I have been walking on this shit for a long time, (fluctuated over the course of time ).
Today started out so beautifully and as the sun sets here in southern Tasmania at 19:32 the days are drawing in, it is a clear sky and it will be a crisp night. I Love Autumn/fall. I will be going to sleep with a sense of peace. Amazing. It is so hard to explain when nearly every thing about your life when exposed to others can be so triggering and to not have that experience at all today or now made the beautiful start go all day and I feel my dreams will be peaceful.
I am thankful that there are people clever enough to work on medications that can help people such as myself get through the roughest patches. I am thankful that I am strong enough now to listen to my own voice about my mental health. I am thankful for the fact the withdrawal symptoms are lessening. I am thankful that I have a new GP who has really taken the time in the three appointments each over 40minutes bulk billed(health care card holder) to get to know me, what I have been dealing with and where and what is happening for me now. She also has spoken with my psychologist (with me permission very happily given ) and is now comfortable with where I am at to follow up in a month. (to begin with and it must be hard to meet someone first time who is coming off antidepressant cold turkey and tells you that is how it will continue. ). She was somehow concerned I may be suicidal (no matter how much I reassured her I was not. I was seeing her weekly.. for three weeks. So I did have her support for the last three weeks coming off the antidepressants. I am so fortunate and so very thankful.
my soul and heart ache for all people who are going through horrendous conflict /war situations, those who are loosing their jobs and now must survive in Russia with prices rising rapidly. Those who are defending their countries/communities in all conflicts around the world. For those who are griveing for all they have lost family friends livelihoods, pets, homes, everything. There are no words none. It does not help you I understand. I really can not do anything to help but donate money and hope it gets to organisations that will ensure all or the majority of it gets to those who need it!.
I know I am rich beyond words. I know I live in an incredibly safe place, and Have more than I need. may you all be safe, Tazzie
How beautiful it is sitting listening to the rain falling on my tin roof, the wind blowing the trees and a fire burning in my wood heater. There is snow on Kunanyi (Mt Wellington),
It feels like a winters day here today, 13dC/55.4dF. My CPSTD has been a bit all over the place as I had someone I do not want to have contact with be in touch. I have not responded to the message left. As this is how it is best for me to be well. Since breaking all ties with my family I have found a contentment I have not had since my partner died. He always loved me unconditionally and believed in me. He saw how my family treated me. He supported me and was there unquestioning and lovingly when I interacted with them, trying to have a relationship with them. He was there to hug and reassure me when it all went to hell, eventually.
This out of the blue message not responded too, still has dropped my mood and seen me comfort eat uncontrollably. Naming that here helps me to acknowledge what I have been doing and lets me name and describe the emotions. I am angry that my needs have been disregarded as was discussed back in January. I am resentful that this intrusion still impacts me, and takes me to a place of disassociation. This is something I realised today, as I shoveled biscuits into my mouth. I have literally switched off and gone into a void. Aware of what I should be doing but not able to face it. This is part of the reason I like blogging, it helps me see in black and white and somehow my brain connects the OH moments and I usually can move forward again.
This happened five days ago, and now I can see how I really have just gone to my ‘reactive management of disassociation’ . Clarity is good to have now. I am engaging my brain and moving forward again, and not backwards. It would be simple to remain in the vague realm of lost time just slowly sinking down. I am not doing that, I will not do that. I am moving forward.
It is hard to stop the reactions that have been a lifetime response to stressors. Though I am delighted that I have insight (eventually ) into what has occurred. My child has been protecting me in the only way she knows and that it to comfort herself with food, and switch off. I am thankful she is there and takes over when I retreat. I love her for that, I need to work on letting her go and me to take over at these times. I am still very much a work in progress.
Insight is a such a valuable thing. It is also frustrating when you have it but you are unwell. I can not control as much as I would like my family/inlaw family messaging. I know they have concern at this strange time in the world. I realise too that my reaction is yet again a demonstration of how little regard is held for my needs even when explained in writting and the reasons why. So again my ability to control aspects of my needs have been hindered.
I have options I realise, I could get a new phone number that they do not have. I would not get any messages that way. Yet I know I can not do that. Because I do care about this particular part of my family. Weird as that might sound.
It is weird how somatic issues come into it too, my sleep changed,I feel nauseous when I think or recall the message. I have been working really diligently to establish a routine, I either go up to bed at 21:30 and read for a while, turning the light out at 22:30. Or I go up at 22:30 and straight to bed light off if I am on line or watching something. I am waking earlier, and have more motivation.
I have also been walking the dogs everyday instead of me driving and them walking. We even did a walk along the foreshore of the river over the Easter period. I have not walked them today it has been way too wet and windy. Busby is frightened by the wind and rain together. Since we got caught in a heavy hail wind storm at Triabunna last year.
Coming out of the vagueness of how I disassociate is like cataracts falling off my eyes, and my brains neurons firing back up and the lights coming back on. It is a good feeling. I am very thankful that I kept walking the dogs through this period.
My GP and Psychologist have both been encouraging me and working with me and my CPTSD, Depression and or Anxiety knows that routine, good sleep, exercise, along with a healthy diet all aid in improving our abilities to deal with triggers/stressors. For me I know it is the only way along with mindfulness work, meditation, and being thankful for all I do have are also huge things that enable me to be in a much less reactive manner.
The other thing I note is I give up on the house and even the garden when I am disassociating. New insights. As I said I am still very much a work in progress and when I realise I have been triggered and reacted I am so very thankful that I am well enough now with insight to hopefully be able to begin to work through the reactivity of this situation. For me it looks so much like loss of control in my own life is one of the big things that keep coming up as triggers.
So that is why I have been lost in isolation. I am physically fine, if afraid to cough when I do go out. I live in the south of Tasmania, so fortunately am not in the area of Tasmania which has had two of its hospitals closed recently due to a fairly large pocket of Covid -19 positive workers which has meant that all the staff in these hospitals have been put into mandatory total lock down for two weeks. The patients from these hospitals have been moved to another hospital. The hospitals are being cleaned by a specialty team of defence personnel and will be operated by defence nurses and doctors cleaners and admin people I imagine for the time required.
We have been told we will be in stay home stay safe mode for another four weeks at least with the exception of essential workers, essential shopping, and GP appointments.
I am still flawed by the number of vehicles I see drive by my home full of families out for a drive. Looking at the scenery. Do they stop for food? To put petrol in their car. A toilet stop? A drink? Do they realise that they potentially could be carriers. Or have this illness and not know it yet? What is so hard to follow the instructions Stay Home and Stay Safe. The other issue I have is what if they have an accident, more pressure on first attendants, and ambulance workers. I really do not get these parents at all!
I am not going to get into that anymore, enough I can hear my fire crackling and I am looking out the window at the trees moving in the wind. It looks to have stopped raining for a bit.
My dogs are both asleep. Miss Treacle is snoring softly and Busby is curled up on his bean bag quiet. Both with full tummies. We are all well warm, dry and once again content with being at home, safe.
I am thankful for the rain, for my dogs, for a roof over my head, a warm fire and a cup of hot tea and food. I am thankful to have warm shoes and clothes. I am thankful to never need to say I am bored. I am thankful that for me being in self isolation is OK. I am thankful to all essential workers, I am thankful to all those people around the world who are doing the right thing as hard as it may be for many of you to self isolate. To keep others safe, as well as your self and your families. I am thankful to be out of my disassociation.
We may feel under the weather. We all live under the weather. I am feeling a little under the weather, I have pulled a small muscle in my back. It is fine just needing some rest. So today I decided to share some photos of my life under the weather.
Above: Sunset over the Huon River
The above photo of the mountain range between the Huon Valley and Hobart. It is known as Sleeping Beauty. If you look at the photograph to the right you can see the mountain range.
You are never far from water when You live on an island.
The above photo is a night shot. A long exposure and the clouds effect is great. If you look just above the copyright you will see a line of bright blue in the water. This is called bioluminesence. Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism.
Above: This was the only cloud in the sky this evening. Is it a single cloud? I am not sure what sort of cloud it is.
Above: Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most of us who live in the Huon Valley Tasmania think it is at the end of the rainbow, in the magical land of OZ.
Above: now that is a lovely view
Above: Moon rise over the river. It was a still night, there was a potential aurora forecast I sat by the river shooting and waiting. I did not get the Aurora I did get this wonderful moon rise. The green glow is light haze from the acquaculture industry.
Above: Kingston Tasmania full moon rising Kingston is between Huon Valley, and Hobart.
Green grass in the afternoon looking towards Huonville. Tasmania
Above: Sunset if I painted this I do not think anyone would believe it was real. Totally unedited.
Above: Giant footsteps in the sky. Lenticular clouds. We do get some wonderful cloud formations here.
Above and below: Storm clouds with refraction ice crystals above Kettering Tasmania.
Photography is a very personal thing. I tend to not have any particular passion for one thing over the other. I just enjoy recording what I see.
So many beautiful videos abound full of movement incredible vistas from all over the world. For me they are stunning but often with music and talking, busy busy. I need less.
For me the art of photography is a lot about mindfulness. Being very present in the moment.
They are unedited. Just simple and taken as I go about my life. So many people are so busy with video cameras instead of stopping and looking being still in the moment. Savouring being present still and for me so often at peace.
I was sitting in a paddock watching the clouds skimming over the hills. They were moving fast. I was watching this cloud when I realised it was unusual in that it looked as if the top had been sliced horizontally off.
I find it quite lovely to sit out on my deck of an evening and night watching the sky and clouds. This was a stormy night and shows lightning behind the clouds, hitting the hills in the far distance. It makes me feel so small when I see and hear thunder and lightning storms. We do not normally get a lot of thunder and lightning storms where I live. Yet the last couple of years we have had more than ever in the time I have lived here.
Watching these particular clouds was fascinating. They really had the look of flying saucers, in 3D with the colours, and the way the shadows and light was hitting them. I immediately was taken to the song The Eve of War the song from War of the World.
The chances of anything coming from Mars Are a million to one, he said (ah, ah) The chances of anything coming from Mars Are a million to one, but still, they come. (Chorus from The Eve of the War)
Please note I am not talking about the horrendous movie from 2005 but the 1938 radio drama where Orson Welles then 23 had a play written by Howard Koch based on H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. It was not great to begin with but with Welles revisions and input of others including the cast, it went on to cause purportedly major panic as people had believed it was real. The radio drama was broadcast with Welles Mercury Theatre on the Air the night before Halloween in 1938. If you are interested in learning more about his see the link below.
My last photograph is a lovely morning reflection on the Huon River. It is not often you have the water so still. The Huon River is a tidal river that meets up with sea water. So with a shifting tide, and usually at least a breeze, wind or birds, disturbing the stillness this was a lovely moment to catch.
For me it is a timely reminder that being aware of my surroundings and taking the time to really look at nature, and all about me is a good way to reflect on how fortunate I am. It keeps me realising that I am blessed, even on my really bad days.
I wanted to share these today reminding me about the things that really help me to live with my CPTSD. To move forward.
Its been a lovely day here in the beautiful Valley I call home. The photographs I have included are not from today, but they sum up all I am talking about.
The dogs and I all slept well and we rose fairly early in comparison of what seems to have become normal. (my medication after almost a year seems to be making me tired).
The dogs had their run.
For new readers I drive my car, and the dogs run up the road and back often with a stop at my neighbour on the hill for me to chat, and our big dogs to play together. Miss Treacle on the other hand my schnauser maltese cross who is 12, gets picked up and cuddled by Peter, and she just adores him.
His wife could not believe it when she saw Treacle in action. If we go up to their home and Peter is not out Miss Treacle will sit at their gate looking for him, and hoping. She cries with excitement when he is home and comes over to give her a cuddle. I swear she pines for him if she does not see him for a few days.
Busby and Toby are bros, and we do believe they are having a bromance. There is much licking and happiness, They run towards each other in ecstasy. When they play it can look really rough, but they are both actually very gentle with each other when they mouth.
Because Toby is a Springer Spaniel he has a soft mouth and is so gentle with Miss Treacle, though if he does get a bit rough with her, she will tell him off in no uncertain terms. He is a young dog, having just turned 2 in December. He has known my guys for most of his life. So he respects them both.
It makes us all smile watching these three get on so well. We have been driving past each other in our cars and Toby has made such a racket that they have had to stop so all three dogs can have a play in the paddock before we each pack up our dogs and head off. It is quite lovely.
The Huon Valley is very dog friendly with most cafes allowing dogs in outside areas, and there are wonderful dog friendly beaches where dogs and owners can swim and run play off lead. Each of the main towns Huonville, Cygnet, Geeveston all have lovely fully fenced off lead dog parks. Thanks to co-operation and fund raising of the Huon Valley Dog group.
Having a mental illness such as I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), my dogs are everything to me. They are my world, and if it was not for them I can be totally honest and say in my darkest days, I would have made a decision that I know would have been the worst decision I could have. Animals can make such a difference to people with mental illness. I have to get up everyday and feed them, let them out, play with them and cuddle them. Exercise them and keep them in good condition. I may go back to bed as I did in my worst days but I had got up..had some food and cared for my dogs.
My dogs know me warts and all. Miss Treacle is like my angel, when I am getting angry she will come and sit on my lap and push her body into me, she will try to nuzzle me and get me to make eye contact with her. She hates me on the telephone, as that is where she has seen me at my worst in anger. If I am getting frustrated with other drivers she leans into me. Yet even with all of this she loves me unconditionally.
Busby is my protector who is frightened of metal on metal noises, scraping chairs, wind, rain, thunder and lightning. We were out walking at Triabunna (a seaside town on the east coast, about an hour away, north of Hobart and a massive storm hit with wind hail thunder and lightning. It was horrendous, and understandably he has been frightened of these ever since. I had to pick up Miss Treacle, and poor Busby just tried to run off, I nearly dropped Miss Treacle, and dropped his lead, but somehow did not. I could not just stand there, with no protection. So we had to try and get to the car, about 100meters away. Needless to say we were all shaken up by this. My big gentle boy(41kgs/90lbs) now tries to climb up on my lap if we have storms and I have to close all the curtains if it is really windy. Which it often is as we live in the roaring forties.
So my dogs are my family, they are my constant companions. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks if I have to leave them at home, or it is too hot to take them with me. I have cancelled appointments and not gone to things because I have been to overwhelmed to leave them.
I enjoy taking photographs of the night sky. I have to apologise that these photographs have been changed from my 35mmdigital RAW format to JPEG and have lost some of the definition in the process. I am very fortunate to live in the far south of Tasmania and when the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights as they are also known. The Aurora has been very quiet for quite some time. So I thought I would share with you some photographs I have taken back on the 1st of May 2019 , 01/05/2019. This was a wonderful night and the Lady Aurora was resplendent in her colours.
What causes an Aurora, be it the Aurora Australis/Southern Lights or the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights? Charged particles are the “ammunition” of an aurora. The short answer to how the aurora happens is that energetic electrically charged particles (mostly electrons) accelerate along the magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere, where they collide with gas atoms, causing the atoms to give off light.Jun 19, 2001www.exploratorium.edu › learning_studio › auroras › happen My understanding is the different gases that are in the atmosphere give off different colors when gas atoms collide with these electrically charged particles.
The lights are seen around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. Auroras that occur in the northern hemisphere are called ‘Aurora Borealis‘ or ‘northern lights’ and auroras that occur in the southern hempishere are called ‘Aurora Australis‘ or ‘southern lights’.
The above photograph is interesting as it shows a formation in the Aurora known as a picket fence. The orange light to the right of the screen is a column.
Here You can see the beams and when I am taking these shots and review them you can see the beams swirling as the move across the sky.
More beams and the beautiful colour, with swirling beams and bright colours.
Many people get quite confused as here in Tasmania due to not being as far south it is very unusual to actually be able to see the Aurora Australis with only your eyes. When you are fortunate to see it with only your eyes it is usually more like grey to greenish movements or columns in the sky. If you are looking south and you see a glow like there is town and you know there is no town it could very well be an Aurora.
There are many aurora forecasting apps out there. The photographs you see are taken on long exposures usually with Digital 35mm cameras. Though some mobile phones can take photographs of the Aurora. You also really need to have a tripod or some sort of support, to keep the camera from moving, no matter how you believe you can hold your camera steady for 30+ seconds you can’t.
Here in Tasmania is not the only location in Australia you may be fortunate to see an Aurora Australis. Last Year there was an Aurora and we were clouded in almost all over Tasmania. Yet people in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria were getting a wonderful display.
People often ask me if they can come with me. I have to explain that sometimes when an aurora is forecast, it might be hours that I am out there and it might not be quite as good as predicted. Or I might just get out there because I woke at 2am to go to the toilet and noticed a brighter look in the sky to my south. I got in my car and just went to a friends paddock and set up. Sure enough the lady was visiting. She only stayed for a brief time. I was home in bed again by 3:30am
I may just go and it might only last for half an hour. Or as the last time I was out I was out from 10pm until sunrise. Sometimes I have driven to one of my spots only to find I have missed the show. I have sat hoping that she may start up again, but no.
It is why we call it Aurora hunting. We are fortunate that we have good night skies. I have seen wonderful photographs taken from the north of the state the midlands, cradle mountain, Bicheno, Swansea,Frecyinate , Port Arthur area. Of course New Zealand also has great views for Aurora Australis as to the Antartic.
Here in Tasmania in summertime when we do have Aurora because of daylight saving time it is very late when it gets dark. After 8;30pm at present, but in December it is almost 10pm before it is dark. In winter the cold is a problem and fog, sea mist, and again clouds. But it is all what makes the hunt so fantastic when You do get great shots.
Again I am so fortunate, to have this natural wonder occurring in my backyard.
I am so thankful to have experienced this wonderful display numerous times, and hope that some time in the near future the sun will again be having flares that will instigate the possibility of more opportunities for me and others to photograph the Lady Aurora.
Gardens are one of the places that can bring so much pleasure and delight not just for the humans. The garden that I have created is always evolving as trees planted by my partner grow and spread. The rainfall or lack of. The garden that surrounds my home is a place for nature. I plant to encourage bird life. I ensure that there is water at different levels and flowers in every season if possible. It seems I am very rarely without birds and their songs in the garden.
These small birds live all over Australia even seen flying between city buildings, from the desert to the sea. They got there name because sailors noted them as they flew about the sea indicating that land was not far. Or as a sign of Spring (Imbolc) returning as I read in another site. They build mud nests under bridges, walls of buildings, verticle rock walls the nest is a snug lined with fur and feathers. Both parents build the nest. They are aerial acrobats swooping and turning as they chase insects that are their food source. A variety of insects are eaten. The insect is guided into the bird’s wide, open mouth with the help of short rictal bristles bordering the bill. These bristles also help protect the bird’s eye. I often sit out and watch them flying about my place. I have lived here a long time and have never had a nest built on the house. I would love one. (many people would think I am crazy).
These striking little birds are hard to miss but they are easy to confuse with another bird. The White-cheeked Honeyeater is about the same size and has similar colouring to the New Holland Honeyeater. If the bird has the white eye it is the New Holland Honeyeater. After the Dutch navigators charted the northern, western and southern coasts of Australia during the 17th Century this newly found continent became known as ‘New Holland’ These little birds are named New Holland from this name.
New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders.They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets
The long, curved beak these honeyeaters have are perfect for reaching deep into a flower to get to the sweet nectar inside.
These birds get their name from the first name given to Australia (New Holland). It was called New Holland because the Dutch were the first Europeans to visit here.
New Holland Honeyeaters have two breeding peaks, in summer and winter, when they build two different nest types. Their winter nest is built at the top of a bush facing the northern sun to keep it warm. In summer they build their nest deep in the bush away from the heat and the sun.
The Striated Pardalote can be found throughout much of Australia, and across this range there are numerous populations and subspecies. Despite being tiny birds, some populations undertake remarkable migratory movements, while others remain in the same area throughout the year. In some populations, some of the birds migrate while others remain behind. Clearly, the movements of the Striated Pardalote are complex. The best-known migratory population breeds in Tasmania and makes regular seasonal movements across Bass Strait, where they mix with various mainland-breeding populations.
Striated Pardalotes feed in the foliage in the tops of trees, although occasionally coming close to the ground in low shrubs. They eat a wide variety of insects and their larvae, which are usually captured by picking them from the surfaces of leaves. Feeding takes place in small groups and birds maintain contact with soft trills.
During breeding season, Striated Pardalotes form pairs or small groups of up to six birds. The nest is constructed close to the ground, usually in a tree hollow or tunnel, excavated in an earthen bank; small openings in human-made objects are frequently used. The birds display regularly at the entrance to the nesting chamber, and vigorously guard the vicinity against other pardalotes. Both sexes incubate and care for the young birds. Other members of the group may also help with the feeding of the young.
These are just three of the visitors to my garden. I am so fortunate and keep planting to attract more birdlife, bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Along with the wallabies, bancicoots, quolls and the tasmania devils who I heard fighting last night on the old dam wall. The possums that chase each other over my metal roof during mating season, and the one that makes Busby bark in the wee small hours of the night waking me in fright. I certainly can not forget the wonder of having an echidna or two that roams across my paddock and garden. How wonderful to have and be creating such a home for us all. To live in harmony.
I will be woken in the morning with no alarm clock but the sweet sounds of so many birds hopefully not demanding me to fill the water bowl…(just checked it and it is full).
I am thankful to have these wonderful birds feel welcome in the garden. Mother earth is so wonderful if you plant the things the birds and animals enjoy, they will come.
You may have seen the following photograph and true story doing the rounds of social media very recently. I do not see it as a frugal shopping education yet some people are sharing it as such.
The Launceston woman said they tried to purchase the most value for money “basic” food items and the most popular cigarette brand.
“They were surprised at the amount of food you can buy for the same monetary value,” the grandmother wrote.
She bought a popular brand of cigarettes, which cost $56.95 for a packet of 40.
She then posted an image and receipt of all the food they managed to buy for almost the same amount, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Ms Kerrison and her grandkids purchased a variety of food items for $56.85 – from a few packs of Woolworths beef sausages to Zafarelli pasta, fruit, milk, cereal, cheese and other snacks.
“Must say, I hope this exercise has made them aware of life’s choices … and not to take up this habit,” the grandmother wrote.
Her post has gone viral with almost 10,000 comments and more than 16,000 shares.
The visual illustration of the cost of smoking left many people stunned, with Facebook users describing her challenge as “quite incredible”.
“Sometimes folk really need to visualise something and you did this beautifully, I hope all the friends and relatives will be inspired to give up when they see this. Again, thank you!” one person wrote on her post.
“Well done for putting this really great demonstration of what a choice can do,” one person wrote.
“20 smokes a day at $25, basically go to Italy twice a year,” another observed.
“Well done! Awesome experiment … what a valuable lesson,” another person added while tagging their friend.
“That’s right, I agree, I gave up smoking 8yrs ago now n there’s no excuse, it can be done, thankyou for sharing this!” said a third person.
Many reiterated that Ms Kerrison’s challenge was a “great way to make a point that involves them (the grandchildren) and they physically see the difference”.
“A lesson they will never forget. Well done,” one said.
I am not a smoker. I do not know how any one on a low income can afford to smoke and buy food. Especially if like me he or she is on Newstart. Yet people do. I would love to know how. I certainly couldn’t and I own my house and have no debt.
You need to know that Australia has the most expensive cigarettes in the world. You also need to know we have very strict laws about where you can and can not smoke. You can not smoke in or around any where that serves food, you can not smoke in your car if you have children in the car. There are specific areas of some venues and restaurants that you can smoke in. It varies from state to state. You should look up the rules if you are traveling to Australia.
I was up very early this morning and watched the sky fill with a soft pink as the sun rose. It was warming up rapidly. I made myself a coffee and remembered I needed to check that the birdbath was full. I looked and noticed it needed a top up. I saw a movement over near my peach tree. AHHAHHAH! caught the culprit!
My peach trees lower branches had been stripped of the leaves, and in the process peaches have been knocked off. Here it was stretched up on its hind legs as high as it could reach! I slowly moved and went back in to grab my camera. Hoping the culprit would be still nibbling away upon my return. Sadly it moved (I had a bright blue t shirt on so Im not surprised I was noticed), I was able to capture this little guy. I do not begrudge he or her a nibble and know the tree is older and stronger, the branches are not as easily broken. There are enough peaches to share. The birds and possums eat the fallen ones.
I was just getting ready to head in to town. I had to pick up a couple of things and I decided that I would take the dogs for a swim. I was inside and my dogs were out when I hear barking. The kind that says Hey we are protecting you from this very dangerous thing! There was something in the shrubbery on my driveway.
It was the echidna, baled up by both Busby and Miss Treacle. I moved them away, and watched as this wee guy left in quite a hurry. I do hope she/he had a trouble free day after we left.
I then noticed that this wee bird flew out of my car port light shade, there was a nest made in it last year. Though if they are nesting it seems very late. It is a sweet bird and I welcome it. I do find it hard when they are so nervous but understandable. Several neighbours in the area have cats that are allowed to roam and we also have an issue with feral cats. I am not happy about the fact the cats come over my way. When I see any or the dogs do, I happily let them chase them away.
A very full morning and it is not even 8:30 yet.
So we head off to do our walk. We got a bit waylaid(sadly I did not take my camera out of the car) our neighbour was throwing balls in their paddock for their two dogs to chase. Needless to say my guys had to join in. So we chatted as the dogs chased balls and played with each other. (Her dogs are a staffie kelpie, who is fixated on his own ball and his brother a boxer) Busby ran and got the ball and played with the boxer Miss Treacle said hello to everyone and then went and sat under the car in the shade. After about an hour I put Busby in the car (he was so hot he had drinks ) and Miss Treacle ran reluctantly ahead. Busby was whining to get out. So I gave in and they took off.
Dogs taken for their walk and a beautiful view from the hill.
Off too the beach! The folk festival has finished there are still lots of people and vehicles about. I discovered that an Aboriginal festival is happening for Monday and Tuesday Ballawinne Festival. Writer Bruce Pascoe book, Dark Emu Bruce was speaking tonight and tomorrow I am sure they will be very interesting event.
Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required. http://www.magabala.com/products/dark-emu
Not that I could afford to go to it, yet it would be a very interesting event. I am sure I will know someone who has been. Well now that explains why there are so many people and vehicle still around.
OK no Seriously we are off to the beach NOW, It was such a glorious hot day 32dC there were people and dogs at the little beach I went to. So Busby and Miss Treacle had a lovely time. Though neither were that excited to go in for a swim.
These two came up and wanted to play Busby loved it Miss Treacle was quite her own dog and chose to watch from the shade.
The following selection of photos shows what a great day it was, and how clean the water is. It is also showing my reluctant boy attempting to fetch a stick. I was quite mortified at his reluctance. I did have to apologise to him when I went in to swim a bit later as there were two areas of like quicksand in the shallows. I sank up to my knees and struggled to get out. So no wonder my big boy had problems.
Miss Treacle does the beach her way today.
Whilst Busby would like to run with this guy in the water, but his day has been full of play runs and sunshine, I was happy that he did not join in, that he just watched in awe.
The dog in the water was so funny to watch he must be some kind of water dog. He just ran up and down in the water for so long while we stood watching. He just raced up and down having the time of his life. His owner was not about but up at a car. The dog did not even stop to come and say hi to my guys. He was just in heaven in his own world.
He was no problem and boy did he make me smile and chuckle.
There were kids playing on the fallen tree. Swinging is not so much fun when the tide is going out. How wonderful to see them without a phone, taking photos or selfies. In fact no one (apart from me had any mobiles or cameras. How rare is that . All were in the moment enjoying the here and now. Using their brains to retain the feelings, the fun and all that will stay with them. That is what living is about.
Even I put my camera down and sat in the water, the waves coming over my thighs. Looking all about me and knowing how fortunate am I and how rich. I went for a swim, so refreshing. I expected that Busby would join me, but no they both just sat in the shade. Not even watching me.
So much fun about floating on inflatable rings with a beer in your hand, sailing, canoeing, fishing, sitting in the sun, swimming, chasing each other or just kicking your paws up and making your own kind of fun!
Miss Treacle at 12 lets the youngsters carry on. Preferring to get to know other folk and tell them how abused and neglected she is. Here she just plonked her wet body (I had sat in the water with her on my lap…shoulders as she did not want to be in the water it was very shallow and cooled her down as she was very hot). on this lovely ladies mat. Leaning right against her. Knowing there is a wee 11 week old puppy there. Treacle loves puppies.
Poor pup was very anxious so I retrieved my girl, and my boy and we headed home. All that time in the sunshine fresh air and playtime. Dinner was early and they have both crashed, and I can hear only heavy breathing and snoring.
I too feel weary and very relaxed. I know I need to do more for myself in the way of exercise and things I enjoy. I was glad there were very few people at the beach. As otherwise I probably would have not stopped. I usually do not venture to this beach while school holidays are on, and there is still another 2 weeks before school resumes. Then the chances are it will be just us at the beach. I do like that at least now I really do know what is best for me. I am listening to my self, and I talk to myself. I talk to my inner child. (another topic for another day) It all helps me to reduce the potential for being caught out by something that might trigger me. So a truely awesome day. What more can you want but wild animals feeling at home in your garden. A beautiful hot clear sky day. Pristine water and beach to swim at and hardy anyone on it. I am so thankful and appreciative of all I have especially my two companions.