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Strong Women

No, I don’t mean women weightlifters, though of course those ARE strong women. I mean women who are strong in the sense that they possess an inner core of steel that allows them to do many things a normal woman wouldn’t do. Note I said “wouldn’t”, not “couldn’t”. There is a distinction. Strong women are women like you and I, from all walks of life, who at some point have had to step up to the plate to bat. And bat the Hell out of the ballpark too.

My sisters who are reading this, you may already know, or are beginning to realise, that ALL women are strong within. ALL women can, and will, take up arms and fight for what they believe in, to defend, protect or keep all that they value. It doesn’t mean we are warrior women all the time. The Mama Bear in us comes out at times of emergency, when our adrenaline kicks in. When the emergency is over, most of us return to being cuddly teddy bears.

But, sometimes these states of emergency can remain heightened over a prolonged period of time. In such circumstances, women can and do call upon their warrior qualities and sustain them for as long as needs be. The Amazons were a good example.

More and more women these days are having to call upon their inner strength. Broken marriages, single motherhood, homelessness, bullying at work, relationship issues, money woes – all these and more can trigger off the warrior within the woman. We don’t give up, we don’t give in like our forebears before us; women today stand up and fight instead.

I typed in “Warrior Women” on Google Images, and, apart from images of female wrestlers and the usual male-oriented busty bossomed maids in arms, there are thousands of other examples. Many of these are illustrations in the Japanese Manga style, some are photos of characters from films or television, some are archetypes, others are Goddesses from lore. All are beautiful. They may be fantasy, but they embody the essence of strength, courage and nobility that is inherent in all women.

Here are some of my favourite Warrior Women.

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Here also is a poem I found on Pinterest, which sums it up rather nicely:

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More Serendipity

I’ll be honest with you. I’m the least spiritual person I know. Now I realise that Spirituality and Religiousness are two different things, but I didn’t when I was younger. Many, many years ago, I thought I’d found Religion…but in actual fact what I’d found was the camaraderie that comes from belonging to a group. In my case it was the Youth Choir of our local church. I was more or less roped into it because I could play the piano.

It was fun, especially once the group discovered that I had a talent for scoring the more modern hymns and songs for multiple voices and parts. Suddenly the Youth Choir became a mellifluous, full-fledged SATB and then some choral sensation.

But whilst I enjoyed the musical aspect of that, the Spiritual or Religious side never struck me. And after a couple of years (I was still a teenager then), the group split up to get married or go into further education.

Between then and today, I’ve mildly dabbled in Tarot reading. Only because I was interested in esoteric origins of the Rider-Waite cards. I doubt I was any good at actually reading the cards.

Lately, however, I have been picking up on all sorts of signs and signals thrown out by the Universe. It may be that the Universe has always been throwing signs and signals my way, but I just wasn’t picking up on them, or if I was, perhaps I had not a clue what to make of them. The Key to deciphering the Message was missing.

2014 has been a year of Epiphanies for me. Perhaps it was my husband’s online infidelity with a mutual “friend” on Facebook that sparked it off in me. (They both make electronic music on their computers and although she is in America and hubby is in Australia, they managed to “collaborate” on much more than just Music, as I discovered. Even the fact that she’s old enough to be his mother didn’t stop them). Perhaps I needed that rude awakening to shake me out of my stupor, to sit up and start making sense of what the Universe was trying to tell me.

Those who know me know that I like to speak in metaphors and analogies. I guess that’s one way of distancing myself from the situation, to be able to stand back and view it from different angles. I have written about my husband’s affair and the aftermath of my finding out about it, in various ways right here on my blog. You only need to know where to look.

But anyway, back to my topic for today…

While discussing the height of someone’s heels on Facebook the other day, a friend brought up the subject of bound feet. Now, my own Paternal Grandmother had had bound feet – she could only hobble, and they exuded a sickly sweet odor whenever she removed her “lotus” shoes. My Maternal Grandmother, on the other hand, had fought the custom and defiantly removed her bindings at every opportunity she had…until eventually her family gave up on her. They said she would be cursed to live the life of a poor farmer’s wife, standing in the paddy fields all day with her big, ugly flat feet. Instead, Grandma became a teacher, and then the Principal of a Chinese School in Malaysia, bore 8 children and was the main breadwinner of the family.

There is an excellent book on the culture of foot binding, called “Splendid Slippers” by Beverley Jackson, if you are interested.

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So, onwards to Serendipitious Event No.1. The very next day after that discussion about foot binding on Facebook, I was in my local thrift shop when what should I come across but a reproduction pair of “Lotus shoes” in a glass case. Now, years ago I’d had a similar set of such shoes in red, which I’d brought home as a souvenir from a trip to Malacca in Malaysia. That had not survived 2 years of storage in damp Ireland, the shoes were mouldy by the time they arrived in Australia, and the glass case was broken.

But here was a pair of shoes in blue, in perfect condition. The only flaw was a split in the balsa wood base of the glass case.

If my finding this the very next day after talking about the exact same subject was not a sign from the Universe, then I must be blind.

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Serendipitious Event No.2. On Facebook, again, I’d been trying to convince people that Money is a an invention that we don’t need. Remove the whole concept of Money and its implications…and Civilization would simply carry on exactly the same. The only flaw in this plan lies with human nature itself – people are greedy, lazy and egoistic. Those qualities will prevent humans from embracing a moneyless society. There will always be someone who wants more, or who needs to hoard “for a rainy day”, who thinks he or she should grab as many items as they can and make a profit by selling them, or who decides to just be lazy and let everyone else do all the work. And there are those who believe they should be in charge and hold the purse strings, so to speak.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I’d read Stephenie Meyer’s book The Host, about a world where aliens had taken over most of humanity by latching on to their brains and sending the human’s sentience to permanent sleep. Only a few rebel humans were left that continued to defy the aliens’ plan for total domination. Mind you, these aliens were not bad, they were simply intelligent beings from a more advanced world, that believed in everyone being united in thought and deed, where everyone helped each other and worked towards the common good. They certainly did not suffer from greed, laziness or egoistical tendencies.

The aliens had a moneyless system which worked beautifully. If you were hungry, take what you need. Just remember to make a note of it so the restaurant/cafe/truck stop etc can order more in. If you need fuel for your car, again take what you need.
The station will simply make a tally for refueling purposes. Ditto medicines, consumables, clothes.

I love the whole concept and just wish the producers would have thought to factor that into the film “The Host” when they made it. Alas, the idea never made the crossover from book to film.

A couple of days ago I was searching for “The Host” in one of my local thrift shops…but they didn’t have it. Something made me go back to that shop today. And what do you know, there it was on the shelf.

Another sign from the Universe? You bet!

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AFTERWARDS

Afterwards
When swords are downed
And dust has settled
On the ground

Afterwards
When words are done
And actions all have
Come and gone

Afterwards
When Metal rings
No more upon the
Heart that sings

Afterwards
When Air is still
And blood and stone
Bend to your will

Afterwards
When Water flows
To cover bodies
Of your foes

Afterwards
When Earth is giving
Soft beneath the
Flesh that’s living

Afterwards
When Wood is cut
And fire heals
The broken heart

Afterwards.

By:
AlyZen Moonshadow

image (Oil painting “Rose Red” or “The Rose Knight” by Dan Dos Santos)

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Blue Stag

When I was living in Ireland, I once had a most surreal experience. Where I lived was out in the sticks, the house I was renting was surrounded by the forest. My only neighbour for more than a mile was the farmhouse diagonally opposite me, and it too was surrounded by the forest. Hardly any cars went past our road, unless they had business in the town 3 miles away.

That day I’d driven my car out of my driveway onto the road, but as I’d forgotten something in the house, I reparked my car parallel to my gate. After going back into the house to get that something (I forget what it was now), I got back into my car and had just put the key into the ignition when I heard an almighty rustling sound, followed by a clatter of hooves.

There, right in front of me, not 10 feet away, stood an enormous stag. He must have broken cover from the forest surrounding my house. He stood in the middle of the road, steam coming off his nostrils, and pawed the asphalt with his solid hooves.

For a full minute we stared into each other’s eyes. I from behind the windscreen of my car, he majestically from where he stood in the middle of the road.

I was close enough to note the soft brown colour of his dark velvety eyes as we locked stares. He was truly a majestic, noble creature. For one beautiful moment we were connected. For me the day suddenly looked brighter, even though the Irish sun was as usual hiding behind some clouds.

And then the stag suddenly sniffed the air, gave a grunt, turned and before I knew it he’d jumped my neighbour’s wooden fence and cantered off into the forest beyond.

That was the day I had an appointment to see someone who practised shamanism. When I got there, after we were seated, my Shaman friend asked if I had experienced any strange or inexplicable events that morning. I told him about my encounter with the stag. And he nodded wisely and suggested perhaps that stag was my Animal Totem.

To this day I still recall the jolt in my heart when that stag broke cover and landed right in front of my car. I am convinced that my Shaman friend was right. The Stag is my Animal Totem, my protective spirit.

And so when I saw this mass-produced canvas art at my local KMart, I felt compelled to buy it and hang it in my bedroom. Where it can once more watch over me. Blue is the colour of my Aura, I’ve been told, so this Blue Stag resonates even more with me.

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Villa Epecuén

The 2010 remake of the film “And soon the darkness” centres around 2 American girls on a bicycle trip around Argentina in South America. One of them gets abducted, to be sold as a sex slave across the border in Paraguay. The other girl’s frantic search for her friend ends up at an eerie abandoned town by a lake, called “Villa del Lago”.

In reality there isn’t such a place as Villa del Lago. The setting for that in the film is actually an abandoned town called Villa Epecuén in the Buenos Aires province of Argentina. The town’s history is rather bizarre.

But first, in case you have never heard of the film or the town itself, and have not a clue what I’m talking about, here are some images from Google:

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And this is what happened to Villa Epecuén: it was a tourist spa, known for its saltwater lake’s curative properties, rather like the Dead Sea in Israel. Then one day in 1985 a dam broke and the entire town and surrounding area were inundated. Everyone was evacuated. In 1985 the water level was 1.2m high, but the area kept flooding and the water level rose to 10m by 1993. The waters did not recede until 2009, nearly 25 years later. When it did, the old buildings and trees arose in an eerie silvery haze. Only one man, 81 year old Pablo Novak, ever returned to live in Villa Epecuén.

image Pablo Novak in Villa Epecuén.

There is a video on Villa Epecuén, featuring an interview with Pablo Novak in the village. The video, which is in Spanish, also shows historical images of Villa Epecuén in its heyday, the bursting of the dam, and “before” and “after” photos.

http://youtu.be/PGe3ATcTWIg

Another video, “The Last Man of Epecuén”, contains English subtitles and follows Pablo Novak as he cycles around Villa Epecuén followed by his faithful dogs.

http://youtu.be/eRJE5qrxrI8

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Detritus

I am pulling and pulling
This great weight on my back
Like an ox in the fields
Struggling to get free
Of the muck that besmirches me
This cloying, clinging mud

Why is it such an arduous task
This simple pulling
Out of a sticky situation
Why does my chest feel
Like there’s an iron band around it
Holding me back?

I turn my head and look back
And now I see
That what I thought I was pulling
Was not what I am pulling
No, now I know the reason
Why it’s been so hard

It isn’t because I’m weak
It isn’t because of the mud
It is hard simply because
The weight that I’ve been pulling
Is not just the detritus
Of past emotions and actions

It is all that once was
And, clinging to it
Intertwined in a death grip
As real as any living thing
Comes the spectre of The Other
A mocking, grinning skull

Pulling one is hard enough
Carrying the extra baggage is worse
And now I’ve learned that
Since the remains are so entangled
Impossible to part completely
I am being hampered, I am hobbled

So instead I break my own chains
Step out of the metal vice
That held my fluttering heart
And I walk forward
Into the unknown
Alone, but free from my shackles.

And now I am finally moving ahead
And I steal a look back
And I see the detritus behind me
It is unable to free itself
It lies on the ground thrashing
Its arms still around The Other.

By: AlyZen Moonshadow

image(Image source: Google)

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I know, I know, such a cliché…remember the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”? Well, it’s all about serendipity, choices, philosophy.

Today’s post is in appreciation of my humble bicycle. Yes, you read that right. My bicycle.

Here’s what happened. This morning I was going to dye my hair red, but when I took the box out of the bathroom cabinet, I realised the dye colour was mahogany brown. I’d wanted a rich red. Okay. I also needed to get a few bits and pieces. So I got on my bicycle and cycled over to my local shopping mall, all of 3 roads away. I parked my bike at the bile rack, secured it using my coiled cable bike lock, along with my helmet, and then I went into the supermarket. This was around 12 noon.

At around 1230 I came out. The bike was gone. For a second I thought maybe I’d made a mistake and had parked my bike around the other entrance to the mall. Then I saw broken pieces of black plastic on the ground. Then I saw the green coils of my bike’s lock. Then I saw my helmet and water bottle lying on the floor. That’s when the realisation sank in. I’d been robbed of my beloved bicycle!

The nice Security officer who took my details told me the barber whose shop was next to the bike rack had reported seeing 4 Aboriginal/Kiwi boys taking the bike. He said they’d probably used a hammer or pliers to crack open the plastic housing where the cable clicked into the lock, hence the broken pieces of plastic lying on the ground. I lodged a Police report and gave the report number to the Security guard.

And then I had to walk home with my groceries. As I walked, I wondered what were the chances of ever recovering my bicycle. I wondered if our household insurance covered the theft of my bike. I needed a bicycle to get around on…how long would the Insurance company take to pay up?

As I turned the corner to my street, I saw an Aboriginal family ahead with a supermarket trolley. There were 2 men, 2 women and 3 children. I noticed that one of the children, a girl aged about 8 or 9, was on a bicycle. Could it be? She didn’t look very steady on it. Was it MY bike?

It was!!!

I dropped my shopping at the gates to my house and ran towards the Aboriginal family. As I ran, I hit the redial button on my mobile phone to call the Police (having only done that not 15 minutes ago). When the duty sargeant answered, I told her to just listen.

At that precise moment, the family turned towards me when they heard me talking on my mobile phone to the Police. And the girl fell off my bike. I took advantage of the situation and went all Mama Bear on the family. As the adults were helping the girl up off the ground, I yelled at them “That’s my bike! I’ve reported it to the Police as stolen. Leave it right there and just go! Go now! Or I WILL press charges against you for theft!”

One of the men, who had shorn sides but a little ponytail under a red baseball cap, said “We didn’t steal nothing”. One of the women said “We just found it lying in the alley”. I yelled at them “I don’t care whether you stole it or found it, that’s my bike and if you don’t leave right now, the Police will be coming and you’ll get arrested for handling stolen property! If you just “found” it, you should take it to the Police Station, not claim it for your own use!” I picked my poor bike up off the ground.

The other man, a big fat guy in a dark blue sweatshirt and pants, mumbled some swear words at me. I stood my ground, held my mobile phone up to show them the Police were still listening to our exchange right now.

For a minute it looked like a Mexican Standoff. Then, thankfully, the family decided it would be wiser to just move on swiftly. As soon as they’d gone around the corner, I spoke to the nice policewoman on the line. I gave her the Police report number from a few minutes ago, described the suspect family, and asked her to kindly update the mall’s Security department that my bike had been recovered.

My heart didn’t stop pounding til an hour later.

Now I’ve put a protective spell on my bike and my son’s bike (he needs it for school). Oh, and just to be doubly safe, I also bought a heavy duty iron lock and cable from my local bike shop. No one messes with my bicycle! No one messes with me!

That scene of me flying up my street, mobile phone in one hand, chasing after that thieving family…worthy of a Cops & Robbers television drama!! The adrenaline! The excitement! The close avoidance of violence! Thank God for mobile phones and fast redials! One little woman against 4 adults and 3 children! I am one Fearless Mama!!

imageHome again, safe and sound!

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Geobender.com

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I came across this amazing Cube whilst surfing the internet. And thought I’d share it with you. You might be thinking “Hey, it looks like THAT Cube from the Hellraiser movies!” It certainly contains a lot of surprises, but no, it is the brainchild of Andreas Hoenigschmid.

The website is http://www.geobender.com
When you’re at the website, select “HyperQBS” from the dropdown list on the right. It gives you an explanation of what the Cube is. You can also purchase Cubes from the site itself. There are several videos within the site, showing how the cubes work. Highly recommended, if you like to be awed.

Watch “Single Cube” on YouTube http://youtu.be/ulS7pJ5l7eI

If you think 1 Cube is good, wait til you watch 4 Cubes in action!

Watch “Cube Transformations” on YouTube
http://youtu.be/EKgNeKmQSqY

Photo of Andreas Hoenigschmid with some of his Cubes:

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I want one! No, I want them all!

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Photograph or Painting?

Whilst trawling through the Internet, as one does with increasing frequency these days, I came across this arresting image.

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Like WOW. Mind blown.

The caption read : Orange sand dunes of Sossuvlei, Namibia. And at the bottom left of the image was the National Geographic logo and the photographer’s name Frans Lanting. So I simply Googled those keywords and almost immediately came across the National Geographic’s article about it.

Yes, it really is a photograph. Even though it may look like a surreal illustration for some science fiction/ fantasy book.

I just thought I’d share the awesome image with you all, and also the National Geographic’s interview with the photographer, Frans Lanting, where he describes how he came to create this masterpiece. (This image, by the way, isn’t new, it’s been around since 2011. It’s just that my radar has finally caught up with it. Darn…time to upgrade said radar ;))

From the National Geographic article:

Behind the Lens
Photograph or Painting?
While on assignment in Namibia for National Geographic magazine, Frans Lanting captured this surreal landscape image in a location called Dead Vlei. Due to the nature of the lighting in the frame, the photograph appears almost like a painting. We asked Lanting to take a few moments away from his current assignment in Africa to answer readers’ questions about the photograph. Due to limited internet connectivity in the field, he was only able to provide brief responses to questions, so we asked Elizabeth Krist—Lanting’s photo editor for this story—to offer additional detail where appropriate.
(If you are interested in acquiring this image as a fine art print, please e-mail gallery@lanting.com.)

From Shay Mordo: Absolutely amazing composition! Did it require prior planning or it was just being in the right place at the right time?

Lanting: Here’s a short summary about the making of the photo. It was made at dawn when the warm light of the morning sun was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above. Because of the contrast between the shady foreground and the sunlit background I used a two-stop graduated filter which reduced the contrast. The perfect moment came when the sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sand dune just before it reached the desert floor. I used a long telephoto lens and stopped it all the way down to compress the perspective.

Camel thorn tree in the shade, Namib-Naukluft Park
Photograph by Frans Lanting
Krist: Our photographers do extensive planning, often selecting specific locations before they even set foot in the field, and in this case Frans was fortunate to have his wife, Chris Eckstrom, helping with research and logistics. A key factor in all our stories is giving the photographer enough time to scout situations so they know where the light will hit, when people might arrive, what the problems will be, etc., and can return at the best times.

From Ana Paula: What is it that appears white in the orange background?

Lanting: The sand dune is dotted with white grasses.

From Cathy Cory: What editing did you do to this image and what software did you use? I’m an art student working toward my B.F.A. and this image does look to be heavily edited. Some explanation would be helpful. Thank you.

Lanting: The colors in the final printed image were true to the scene as I saw it—the only technical adjustment I made was the use of the graduated filter, which only reduces contrast but does not affect the colors of the scene.

Krist: We never touch anything that will affect composition or the action that happens in a frame, but we do crop images to fit the layout, and our pre-press staff are masters at helping to adjust color or exposure so that the photograph will print well.

Visitors descend upon Dead Vlei, Namib-Naukluft Park
Photograph by Frans Lanting
Can you describe what it is that makes this photo look like a painting to so many people?

Krist: I think it’s the intensity of the sunlight falling only on the dune in the distance, while the foreground is still in early morning shadow, so the trees are almost in silhouette. The dune, called Big Daddy, is almost 1,200 feet tall, and is an intense reddish-orange color, so it creates a mysterious backdrop.

Are there techniques people can use to capture similar images?

Krist: One reason people respond so strongly to this image is just how surreal and otherworldly it looks. My advice to both students and professionals is to always, always, always use the drama of light (and composition, too, of course) to go beyond simply recording the scene in front of you. If you’re standing with a group of photographers, why would you want to shoot the same picture everyone else is shooting? You have to master the equipment, but you also want to find your own distinctive approach. A lot of that is sheer effort—trying different angles and distances (lying on the ground, climbing a hill), or investing the time to wait for just the right moment or weather and coming back the next day for a second chance. But there’s always that elusive imaginative element, too.

Cracked desert ground, Namib-Naukluft Park
Photograph by Frans Lanting
Did you have any expectation that this particular photo would be so popular?

Krist: I can’t speak for Frans at the moment he shot the image, but it was fascinating to see the reactions here at the magazine. People were polarized. Most of the editors loved it, but it left a few people cold. This scene, with the dead trees, stood out for us immediately while we were editing, but Frans shot a lot of variations, and we did have to do a lot of close comparisons before we finally settled on this one frame.

Why did you choose to shoot the five different frames that appear on this page, and what were you trying to tease out of the landscape in each frame?

Krist: Frans shot almost 16,000 frames for this story, and when I went back to look, I found that he had shot 321 images of the dead trees in Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. (That’s actually relatively few frames for such an iconic scene, but Frans had a shorter time than usual in the field for this assignment, and he was trying to cover a lot of ground.) He was simply trying to give us the greatest visual variety from that unusual location in the brief time he had there.

Camel thorn trees in the shade, Namib-Naukluft Park
Photograph by Frans Lanting
Could you talk about the quality of light at different times of the day in the locale and what’s better for achieving the perfect photo?

Krist: The early morning light and the light at dusk usually yield the most romantic and beautiful feeling for most locations. But it all depends on the kind of effect you’re going for, and if you want the harsh light of midday, that can also give a certain kind of drama. There is no such thing as the one perfect photo!

Here are some other images of the Sossuvlei sand dunes, courtesy of Google images:

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These photos look strangely familiar…and then I remember a film where Sossuvlei and Dead Vlei featured in a film. It’s the opening scene of the 2000 movie “The Cell” starring Jennifer Lopez. Yes!!

Here’s a video clip of that scene:
http://anyclip.com/movies/the-cell/the-desert/

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Rockingham Penguin Island

I’m proud to be able to boast that our little city of Rockingham, Western Australia, is home to a race of adorable tiny little creatures. These are the Little Penguins, so-called for their small stature.

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The Little Penguin, or Fairy Penguin (I love that name!), is the world’s smallest species of penguins. They stand little more than a foot high. End to end, one would fit nicely from the crook of your elbow to your fingertips, that’s how tiny they are. They can be found along the coastlines of southern Australia. In New Zealand they are called Blue Penguins. Rockingham, Western Australia is about the furthest north these little critters go, and we are all the better for that. Penguin Island hosts the largest colony of Little Penguins in Western Australia.

image View showing Penguin Island in the forefront, and the Rockingham mainland in the background.

imageShowing Penguin Island and behind it, Seal Island. The large island with a causeway is Garden Island, Western Australia’s largest Naval base.

Penguin Island is called that because…well, obviously because it’s where the colony of penguins live. But not just penguins call the island home – on Penguin Island itself, and on its neighbouring islands are large colonies of pelicans, seagulls and seals. You can take a tour in a glassbottomed boat further out to sea and see playful dolphins, and even swim with them. On Penguin Island there are several nature walks (watch out for raucous seagulls guarding their nests, eggs and young!), a picnic area (bring your own food and drink), caves you can explore, even the occasional basking sealion on the beach!

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For both the ferry to Penguin Island and dolphin tours around the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park area, Rockingham Wild Encounters is the sole operator.

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There is a tidal bar or sandbar from Rockingham across to Penguin Island, and people were allowed to walk across until recently…the sandbar unfortunately does not go out in a straight line, like a bridge, but curves and zig-zags underwater, and is extremely difficult to see underfoot when the tide is rising or in strong winds. Step off the sandbar and you would plunge into the sea, or worse, be swept by strong currents onto jagged rocks.

I recall reading about an unfortunate family from India who had just had a picnic on Penguin Island on 28th December 2010. They, along with around 10 other tourists, had either missed the ferry or wanted to experience walking on the sandbar. The tide started coming in, so they quickened their pace to get back to the Rockingham shore. Unfortunately, the 2 Indian wives were swept off the sand bar into the sea, and their husbands jumped in to save them. The women and other tourists were subsequently rescued, but the men drowned. These days, there is a huge sign on the beach strongly discouraging anyone from using the sand bar.

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So, please, if you are planning to visit Penguin Island, do it safely. Take the ferry. The cost of it covers you to and from the island, and you can also combine it with the cost of the Penguin Island Discovery Centre Show aka feeding time for the Little Penguins. You can see them up close and learn about their habits, watch them swim, play and eat. They really are the sweetest little things.

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Penguin Island is closed to the public during the penguins’ winter nesting period, from June til mid-September each year. But the wildlife cruises are still operational all year round. During the breeding season, there are up to 1000 pairs of Little Penguins on or around Penguin Island. The penguins that you see on show are either orphaned or rejected and rescued and are now permanent residents of the Centre, or those found injured and nursed back to health.

Where I live, each morning at sunrise, large flocks of wild birds fly over my house: seagulls, pelicans, cockatoos of all colours – white, pink and white, green, black. The cacophony is unbelievable and enough to wake the dead! And the same happens at sunset each day. I absolutely love it.

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(All photos courtesy of Google images).

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