Tribute to Trees


Today I wanted to post a tribute to trees....
It's something I've been thinking about for some time now and I know there are many fellow tree huggers out there. The only trouble is how much I wanted to post...seriously I've chopped (oops...sorry no pun intended) this post from a 'War and Peace' type post.
So where to start...obviously trees provide us with two of life's essentials, food and oxygen but then there is so much more...as shelter, medicine, and tools. They can provide peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environments which we can all enjoy. They frame landscapes, create beautiful backgrounds and enhance building designs. Trees can provide privacy, emphasize beautiful views, and screen unsightly areas. 
They improve our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings...in fact I'd better stop there because there's a risk I could go on and on....and there's a lot of photos to get through. Maybe you should pop the kettle on for a cuppa while you browse?
If you're a tree lover then you'll know just how special they are and how they can touch your very soul.
I hope you enjoy my little tree tribute.
The first photo on the left is the Crow Pine tree in Canada 
The middle tree was taken during our trip to New Zealand's North Island and the far right was taken on one of my morning walks here in Melbourne.
The exfoliating bark never ceases to amaze me...and also reminds me just how important moisturizing is and that I must step up my beauty regime!

The patterns and colours are stunning....especially when they have just had a shower!



I sometimes feel compelled to touch the tree trunk especially when it's stripped of bark...it looks like it should feel warm like a living limb...and I'm always surprised that it doesn't. 
(I know that this might sound odd...maybe I should move on swiftly?!?!)

 

Then of course there are the big blousey show offs that like a splash from the colour palette...you'd like purple? 
Not a problem.....

 Or would you prefer red?


And that's just a snippet of looking at trees but then there's all the other aspects...like who visits or uses a tree for shelter or survival.


Here are a few fellow tree huggers....precious birds eggs, the koala, a possom snoozing away during the day and a flock of local rainbow lorikeets enjoying breakfast.
 Sometimes an unexpected guest might arrive.... the tawny frogmouth owl that isn't really an owl at all...

 

And of course I couldn't miss out the majestic kookaburra

Or the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo...

Yet another serious tree hugger....literally!

We mustn't forget that trees bare fruit too....here's a photo of my lemon tree last year and I'm happy to say I've noticed lots of flowers appearing again this year :D
I'm thinking it might be an idea to plant an apple tree in the place of the tree that had to be uprooted last week. I miss being able to just pick an apple off my own tree. It's been quite a while. 


And then of course all the various colour that appear with the different seasons...giving pleasure as we pass from one season to the other.

Spring positively bursting into life...with pungent fragrances to stop you right in your tracks in order to appreciate their effort!

Beautiful blossom....

But then fall comes to call....

I don't think I'd ever seen a pine cone this big before and thankfully it didn't fall on my head as I walked beneath the canopy.

From little things...big things grow!
Did you ever plant an acron as a child...I'm hoping to visit mine one day just to see how big it might be. 
I also had the priviledge of taking part in a local council organised Community Planting Day here a few years ago where I helped plant lots of trees and grasses along a nature reserve...but I took a special note of this one particular tree, so that I would remember...that's MY TREE!
I regularly check on its progress....it's now over 6ft tall and looking good...I'm so proud of it!
Everyone should plant at least one tree...it's incredibly satisfying.

The bottom right hand photo show's my hubby standing beneath his favourite oak tree which is in a local park back in the UK. The photo doesn't do it justice and its beautiful perfect shape...as you can see it's been there for quite some time...and must have some stories to tell.
 As the wonderfully warm summer days slowly leave us... trees compensate and console us with colourful displays.


Finally the leaves fall...leaving bare branches but even so they can be spectacular on the landscape...oh and I mustn't forget we then have the most special tree of all...the Christmas Tree! 
I've searched my mess, unorganised, collection of photographs for my best Christmas Tree photo and I can't find it! 
Note to self...I really must take some time to reorganised my photo files...but that could take me years. 
I have quite a few :(

Even when sadly a tree has to be taken down....it can still enhance our lives, by keeping us warm and cosy throughout the winter months. There's something very special about a real fire.
I know I'm going to see so many things I should have included in this post but I think you get the point...trees mean a lot to me and I couldn't live without them. I hope you feel the same way.


Have a great week everyone and don't forget to take a look at the trees around you...there's sure to be something special. 
See you again soon https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif

A Simple Woman's Daybook...


FOR TODAY ~ Monday 20th August 2012

Outside my window...I normally write my daybook when I first wake, but I thought 3.34am was a little too early. It's the time that I can often wake...the time when ideas, plans and designs plus blog posts pop into my head...but unfortunately later when I'm really awake those ideas are a little sketchy. I keep a pen and pad on my bedside cabinet just to make sure I capture them...but so many times I'm in that floaty dreamlike state that I actually forget to write them down! It's not until I try to recapture them later that I realise I really should make the effort! 
But how could I describe what was outside my window at that time of the morning when the blinds are down and everywhere was enveloped in darkness. If I took a peak outside I'd probably see me looking at me...in the reflection. Not a pretty sight at that time of the day believe me! Scary!!!!
So here I am a little later now...the sun is being very shy lately or maybe it's away on holiday? I just know I'd like it to come back...and soon please! Everywhere is quite still with just the odd waving tree branch here and there. The refuse trucks have done their wheels round the circuits grabbing bins as they fly by with flashing lights and screechy breaks...is it any wonder I can't hear any birds?
Oh at least here comes the sun....whoohoo!


I am thinking...How pleased I am that Callum Hann is no longer the MasterChef Bridesmaid...last night he won the Australian MasterChef All Stars title and thus won $20,000 for his chosen charity ~ the Cancer Council. 
I first saw Callum when he appeared in 2010. Then at the age of 19,  he was the youngest contestant and he narrowly missed the winner's title by a few points. It's been wonderful seeing him progress and expand his culinary expertise to reach his goals. No one deserves it more.
He seems such a grounded nice guy too and even when winning the prize money he took time to announce he'd like to donate half of the money to the runner up Chris' chose charity (Lort Smith Animal Hospital).

I am thankful...The internet, for giving the possibility to meet, learn from & share with many so incredible things. I can't imagine life without it now.

In the kitchen...Lemon Drizzle Cake I know its appeared before but there are so many wonderful lemons around right now and this cake is soooooooooo simple to make plus my OH requested it. He hasn't a sweet tooth https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511767.gifso I'm not sure why he keeps asking for this cake!!!
 
I am wearing...Working from the toes up...socks, knee high boots, skinny jeans, white 3/4 length arm sleeved under t-shirt, navy loose t-shirt over the top, multi-coloured pashmina...(shhh...yes its a new one) 
I didn't finish the daybook first thing so its later now ~  I've been to two earlier appointments already! 
Busy day ;D
 
I am creating...a design which is only in it's infancy at the moment. The idea came to me during the early hours...nothing new there! Hopefully if it germinates (there's a clue there) then you may see it later in the week.

I am going...As mentioned above I've got a few appointments this week that if I told you about I'd be here too long and I'd miss them! Enough said ;D

 

I am wondering...why is it that if you have something special it breaks or gets lost!?! 
Something that has no sentimental value whatsoever just sits around or hides in a draw or box forever. 
I'm rather upset this morning because I'm bare necked...yep...in my nakey and I don't like it. My beautiful necklace that my OH went out, chose himself and wrapped specially for my Christmas present, broke last night! It just came off due to a link breaking.
This is the second one that needs repairing as the first chain broke after only a few months....my OH was told it's not an everyday piece of jewellers....but I want to wear it ~ everyday! There's obviously a flaw in the design, but then I love it and don't want it replaced. Oh well it's back for repair when I can fit in a trip to the shop. :$
 

I'm reading...Yay...something different this week...at last I hear you say!
Now when you read the synopsis you may think this one isn't for me...it sounds so depressing but let me tell you somehow it isn't... the writing is lucid, with precise and memorable images. It is a novel built on acute character observation, told with great beauty and that rare thing in fiction: genuine poignancy."
'The Meaning of Grace by Deborah Forester'


'Mum is the reference point. If you ever get confused about anything, there she is, waiting with all her knowledge of you.'
Grace Fisher, mother of three, one day decides her husband is a sore disappointment and moves the family from Melbourne to a coastal village in Victoria. But Ian's slow dissolution on the couch masked a depression that will harrow him into an early grave, leaving the kids with a lifetime of questioning: what happened to their father; how did he get so sad? Between their father's demise and Grace's hardscrabble existence working at a local bakery, each child is left to find meaning on their own. Edie, the eldest child, locks herself into a romantic ideal so lofty that it can't help but fail. The middle child, Juliet, struts and careens through life, filling it only with what she can seduce, steal and manipulate. Sibling rivalry between sisters proves the slowest and fiercest of burns. Love comes easily for Ted, the youngest, but when his wife abandons him to raise two daughters on his own, the perils of fatherhood are laid bare.
When Grace, the distant, imperfect hub of the family, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, the siblings are forced to confront each other as adults, and come to understand their mother.
Written with her hallmark warmth, humour and deftness of observation, Deborah Forster's follow-up novel to the Miles Franklin shortlisted The Book of Emmett is a moving story of the loves and rivalries that burn at the heart of every family, and the meaning that comes from it.

About the Author....


 
Deborah Forster grew up in Footscray, Melbourne. She worked as a staff and freelance journalist for many years and was a This Life columnist on The Age and The Sunday Age. Deborah Foster is married to Alan Kohler and they have three children. The Book of Emmett, her first novel, received the Dobbie Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literature Prize and the Miles Franklin Award.


I am hoping...that my children find their passion and can pursue their dreams.

I am looking forward to...my son has just added...making him crêpes !!!
The real answer for me would be to have the chance to visit lots of interesting places...which should happen quite soon because my OH has booked some time off work!
Watch out for some travel blogs soon ;D
 
Around the house...a playful pooch that doesn't like me sitting here at my laptop when there's toys to be chased. Her gentle constant little gruff is so powerful. It seeps into your very being...until you submit to her demands. ^..^


A favourite quote for today..."Don't count every hour in the day; make every hour in the day count!"


One of my favourite things...Listening to good music all day every day. Don't ask me to list what music I like because it can be from any era and a very wide genre. I'm very often found to be singing at the top of my voice...when the house is empty preferably but then that's not always the case if the right record plays.
I think music is so incredibily powerful.
    
A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
 
A peek into my day...  
 Whilst walking we suddenly became aware of seeds dropping down from above... look who was having a lovely al fresco breakfast!....

 The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is a species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
One of the most colourful of Australia's parrots, the rainbow lorikeet has a dark blue head with a yellowy green collar. It has a red beak. Its belly is violet and it's chest orange. Its back and tail are green and when its wings are stretched, they are orange underneath. There are yellow patches on their thighs.
They are about 32 cm long, including their tail. Males and females look alike.
They have a brush tongue to get nectar from the flowers but they also eat fruit, seeds (as shown here by our model) and sometimes insects. They fly extremely fast and make lots of noise!  
I would have to be feeling very brave to wear that much colour all at once, but obviously the rainbow lorikeet has no problem!


 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have a fabulous week and hopefully the sun will shine wherever you are : D


Are you free to join me in a walk?

I thought if you had a few minutes free you might like to join me on our morning walk?
It was Zac's last morning with us...yep his holiday's over and he's back home, probably enjoying being spoilt...you know how they do that to us? Sulking because they were left behind...how could they go without ME? I'll show them! etc etc...
Madame Mufftypup has had a very quiet afternoon sulking in her bed....but I've told her we'll see him again soon (^,,^) but she's not convinced.
Anyway...let's enjoy the day and our walk. It certainly was a beautiful morning. There was a crispness to it but then autumn is approaching here. We've had 31C degrees today which is crazy. So off we go.....
Here are the kids enjoying a roam off leash...so many things to investigate! 
Doggy heaven...

As you may know if you've visited me before I adore trees so here's a beautiful specimen. I always expect the trunk to feel warm like its alive which I know it is, but you know what I mean...like its a limb of a huge animal with pale skin. I know I frighten the kids sometimes...I know I'm strange : )

I love the white revealed once the bark falls away.

The sun was delicious and I really appreciated it...
These cuties caught my eye to ~ like a fairy village. It's amazing what you notice once you start to blog. Everything shouts out at you for a photograph...(oh no...tell me it's not just me again?)

This bird I believe is a Butcherbird. I think it may be a Grey Butcherbird but it could be a Pied Butcherbird.
The sky was cloudless and then I noticed the moon. How brilliant is that...it forgot to go to bed. Maybe it wanted to enjoy the day too?

Look there's someone else flying by... 
This plane was circling around and around...not sure why?
It wasn't the usual thing to see so I hope it was okay?
Sorry its a little blurred but my zoom isn't that good!
 How amazing is this paper bark...I'm told you can paint and draw on it...hmm...food for thought there.

 I know I mention the rainbow lorikeets regularly on my blog but today I finally managed to get up close and personal...They were sitting and chatting in a garden...so I snapped them whilst I could.

 This seed block is the one they visit ~ not mine unfortunately. I won't give up though.
How rude of them to ignore mine : (


 Now then, here's a little quiz for you...what is this? I haven't a clue but I loved his wings.

After the treelined walk we come to a couple of ovals for a quick game of footy. Muffin has always been a very keen player. It's amazing how fast her little legs will go.

The tallest building in the background is the Eureka building in the CBD... I plan to visit one day but I'm not sure about the glass cube which projects 3 metres out from the building, with you in it - suspended almost 300 metres above the ground! It's the only observation deck in the world that can thrill you with 'The Edge' suspended almost 300 metres above the ground! Eek!
The Skydeck is situated on the 88th floor and is the highest public vantage point (285m) in the Southern Hemisphere. If I do visit then I'll definitely either take you with me or let you see evidence that I was there.


Back to earth....as well as the blackbirds I never expected to see oak trees here. But I'm so glad they are.

And so back home for a well needed cuppa...and the final splash of colour.

Have a wonderful day...keep smiling and enjoy your day : D

Muffin and Zac....walking out together

Yet again a beautiful day here...I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but its true.
So off we went on our morning walk using the new duel lead. Its been so funny since Zac came to stay seeing all their antics and none more so than getting the hang of this. It started out like a push me pull you kind of thing. One would want to stop and sniff whilst the other was keen to keep walking. Or worse still both pulling in different directions. But we seem to be over that now and working as one in harmony.
They're getting on great and here's the proof....

So if your viewing this from some tropical island - you'll know he's fine and not missing you at all when you see this... lol ; D

We were going so fast its nearly a blur....

I hope this little video works....I've got my fingers crossed. But I think it needs some suitable music to accompany it...but its getting very late here, so that may have to be a project for another day.


In a garden en route we came across this improvised bird feeder, with a little visitor....a rainbow lorikeet. I told him where I knew of a five star restaurant with a huge block of bird seed, so I hope he comes to call soon. 
 


But then he was gone......just a flash of colour.

It was definitely a day for the birds, because we then came across a small flock of Galah's. I can never remember the name of these birds but thankfully someone else did.

{Galah - Scientific name: Cacatua roseicapilla}

Facts about the Galah
The Galah can be easily identified by its rose-pink head, neck and underparts, with paler pink crown, and grey back, wings and undertail. Birds from the west of Australia have comparatively paler plumage. Galahs have a bouncing acrobatic flight, but spend much of the day sheltering from heat in the foliage of trees and shrubs. Huge noisy flocks of birds congregate and roost together at night.
Galahs form huge, noisy flocks which feed on seeds, mostly from the ground. Seeds of grasses and cultivated crops are eaten, making these birds agricultural pests in some areas. Birds may travel large distances in search of favourable feeding grounds.

Galahs form permanent pair bonds, although a bird will take a new partner if the other one dies. The nest is a tree hollow or similar location, lined with leaves. Both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young. There is high chick mortality in Galahs, with up to 50 % of chicks dying in the first six months. Galahs have been recorded breeding with other members of the cockatoo family, both in the wild and captivity.

And finally here's a little quiz....which country was this photo taken in? Would you believe it IS Melbourne....see I told you its so like the UK here. The cricket season has just begun with the resonating sound of ....'Ow's that?'


Have a brilliant fun packed weekend - whatever you get up to.....