Tree of Life 

After our wintry summer in the Czech Republic we have returned filled with newfound vigour and hope.

Life does deal us remarkable events. This beautiful tree in Northern Tasmania, near Boat Harbour has come to symbolise new family connections and the strengthening of familial bonds – both near and far.

That’s life

More often than not, an opportunity to be in the garden offers a time for reflection. I reflect on recent changes, our return from Prague and family. I used to say that all problems are solved in the garden. For me, this is still true, especially when experiencing loss. It is during these times of complicated thoughts, that the garden offers solace and peace.  Over the twelve years on the Mount, one companion has helped me dig, watched me weed, walked the paths with me and called out when it was time to go in. So when his time came a week today, it was very sad. Sarge, our fourteen year old cat, was a quirky character and a very personable cat. He was brave and fearless in his territorial duties – even venturing down a wombat hole.

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He now rests in the garden he loved.

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I guess that’s part of life. Nature overcomes all. For now, I continue to think of how fortunate it is to have a garden like this and animals to give it joy.

   
While I repot and re-plan, I reflect on the myriad  of relationships we share with others and with Nature itself. Let us use our gardens to reflect on that which is lacking in our world today – peace. I wish you this in your garden today. 

Capture

After months of sunless days, today we captured the sun. 

  These tiny seasonal delights appeared and were caught – tangible sunshine.

  Though the light fades and returns, the start of Spring is near. 
  White cat captures the moment.
  And these cold-flowering rhododendrons are awash with crimson flowers and afternoon sun.
  The mountain light subdues another remarkable day. We are captured by its  

  

 beauty and tranquility.
  

 Capture each day – for it is wondrous. Enjoy your own special season – have a good weekend. 

A sleepy seal

It was one of those serene and surprising weekends. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit a charming little cottage by the sea. Its owners had kindly allowed us to stay in this place where their own children had spent many happy summers – long ago.

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As we embarked on our little trip, a mere hundred kilometres from the Mount, I did not expect that I would receive two surprises that day.

Daughter Number 2 was to arrive unexpectedly to share this weekend with us. Colin had kept that secret well! It was wonderful to see her especially as she was to spend a precious weekend with us by the sea.

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Seaside walks are a must, even in winter and we had a much needed chat-shop-coffee time. Our walk saw us reach the iconic bathing boxes of the Mornington Peninsula. These colourful sentinels look out over Port Phillip Bay. Blue, yellow and green boxes create a novelty appeal by the sea. Surprise number two. Something caught our eye. Was that an injured animal? A large animal. It was lying lifeless on one of the landings.

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As we gingerly drew closer, a row of plastic tape revealed an important notice.

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A resting seal. Wow! This poor fellow was all tuckered out and had found its way to a most amenable residence. Clever seal! He was gorgeous and oh so sleepy.

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We returned the next day and he was still there, stirring slightly. A wildlife ranger watched patiently over his sleeping state. The ocean, the sand and the bathing box buffering his dreamtime state. Isn’t nature truly beautiful!

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Thanks to everyone who made this weekend a very special one indeed.

New hatchlings!

My sister-in-law’s fantastic brown chook has done it again. This time she has managed to hatch one of our Plymouth Rock eggs.

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The chick with the white stripe on its head we expect is a Plymouth Rock from daddy Long John Silver and one of his girls.

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Mum and dad doing just fine!

Christmas Chicks

Sorry if the title misleads you, but after ten years of having chickens here on the Mount, we have never had success in raising chicks. Even now that we have Long John Silver, our Plymouth Rock Rooster, so aptly named by Colin for his long legs and silver plumage, we have had no success. Maybe it’s the cold, or the fact that our hens don’t get broody for some reason. I don’t know why, really. Long John Silver seems to be doing his best, but the girls are not clucky.

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On the other hand, my mother-in-law, Esther and sister-in-law, Maree have always inspired me to tackle the impossible. They do just this – not once in a while, but every day. From sewing, upholstering, inventing and solving intricate problems, they have taught me to give it a go. My mother-in-law has raised many chicks, chickens, peacocks, parrots, ducks and pheasants and nursed and nurtured them in the cold and in the heat. So when she gave four hens to Maree a couple of months ago, little did we know that new life would hatch so quickly. Just today, her broody chicken, Naomi, patiently sitting on four “borrowed” eggs and hand fed by Maree during the incubation delivered her brood. They are the Christmas Chicks – the miracle of new life; the wonderful parallel to the waiting and watching which we commemorate at His birth.

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The Christmas story is one of simplicity and reverence – for life, for the wonder of discovery, the hope of the new and the love shown to God’s creatures, great and small.

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May we not dismiss the fragility of life, the deep care we show for each other, echoed in the most basic of all stories – that of a simple birth witnessed by those simple creatures long, long ago. Merry Christmas – let’s take a moment to appreciate what we all have.