Rocks as energy

I’m finding life very intense at the moment.  My feeling nature seems to have become more acute and I am becoming more aware of the energetic fields in the natural environment.   Today began with major tree felling going on next door.  At the sound of the first branches falling my legs started to shake.  It was a weird feeling.   I think it’s in the Star Wars movies where they talk about a disturbance in the force.   This morning felt like that.   As the men started to bring down the branches of the really big eucalypt it felt like a disturbance occurred in the energy field of the neighbourhood.

The noise of wood chipper was appalling so I went out.   When I came home later I saw the branches on all the trees that hang over my neighbour’s back fence have been removed but the smaller trees are still standing.   The large tree is now a massive tree trunk sticking up about 12 feet into the air.   It’s already partly covered in ivy.   I guess in time it will become totally covered and look like a tall thin tower of ivy.

The energy still felt kind of fractured and the wood chipper was still going so I decided to see if the rumour that the Southern Right Whales had arrived from Antarctica already was true.  (they spend the winter in the Southern Ocean here).    I drove out to the lookout.   There were quite a lot of people about.   My whale spotting strategy is to scan the ocean in the direction where most people are looking.  Sure enough, far out to sea I caught sight of the distinctive spume of the Right Whale.   As I watched I saw the dark shape of the head appearing from time to time and, once, the tail fin.   The animal was so far out I caught no more than glimpses.   All the same, there was a moment where my sense of myself in time and space suddenly expanded.   Maybe it was the thought of the creature swimming all the way from Antarctica that did it.    For a brief instant I felt like I was part of the vast cycle of life on this planet – hard to describe but it was enough to make me think I’ll be doing a lot of whale watching this winter.

So –  a day of high drama.   During the past week I got back out to the rock cliff I featured last week.   I walked in as close as I could get and concentrated on taking photos of the detail.    Reducing the photos to B&W highlights the dramatic presence of the rock wall.  I think the photos work as a visual metaphor to convey something of the intensity I’ve been feeling lately. Although the final photo is of a vertical rock face it suggests the power and energy of the sea to me.   It goes some way towards corresponding with the kind of feeling I get when I see the whales.


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prompt:  Sally D’s mobile devices challenge – challengers choice

Forest Bathing

This week’s WordPress photo challenge  asks us to ‘share a photo that captures something reflected back to you in a way that made you look at your surroundings differently.’

I took the photo below one autumn a few years ago but it is still one of my favourites.


It was taken in a Japanese garden in a little country town an hour’s drive north of where I live.   The red tree growing in the water challenges my usual way of seeing the world.   The fact that water reflects the sky so accurately adds to effect.   My pre-conceived ideas that trees are green and grow in the earth are turned upside down.

The imminent destruction of the biggest, oldest tree in my neighbourhood (see my last two posts) has led me to think about trees a lot this week.   The tree felling is due to happen on Saturday.   I don’t want to be here and have been trying to work out where I can go that will keep me busy for hours on end.

I could go and see friends but then I’d probably just end up talking about the tree felling and getting myself even more upset.   Yesterday I went and spent some time in a local bush reserve.   Walking beneath the tall eucalyptus trees helped me balance and ground my energy.

In the comment section of a previous post someone said I had been forest bathing.   I’d heard this phase before but it wasn’t until last night that I read about the healing benefits of spending time in the forest.   After my experience in the forest yesterday I am convinced that spending time in the forest absorbing the energy really can lower the heart rate and calm anxieties.

After finding the photos of the red trees I’m thinking I might make the trek across country and go and visit these trees once again.   It’s autumn over here in Oz but this year the weather has been very cold and wet.   There haven’t been many sunny days.   Fingers crossed Saturday brings some sunshine and I make the pilgrimage to see these these extraordinary trees.    I might even make Saturday the day when I buy myself that new camera I’ve been promising myself.



When I was very young I lived with my family on the shores of a vast salt lake.  We moved to the city when I was four  – the country was left behind and never revisited.   My childhood memories are of suburban streets and holidays on the beach.    The inland lake and the flat plains surrounding it became a mythic land I visited only in dreams.

illusionReturning to the lake shore now, all these decades later, my eyes are stretched into a haze of blue.   Is this what I saw as a baby?   Did my infant eyes attempt to focus on the horizon only to drift into illusory realms where nothing is quite as it seems?   Did this vision of infinite possibilities, probabilities and improbabilities influence my approach to life? – the landscape as a Buddhist primer for babies.

prompt –

(elements of this post appeared on my old blog “Art and Life” is a different format)


Just the other day I had a bout of Wanderlust.   As I couldn’t fly off to an exotic locale at that moment I drove across town to Thunder Point.

Up at the point I walked through the scrub for a bit 2017-04-22 12.11.14-02

then took the rocky track down to the cliff tops.  2017-04-22 12.12.59-01

There I picked my way along uneven ground.  My eyes drank in the subtle variations of colour in the rocks and vegetation.

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My ears were filled with the sound of sea gnawing at the base of the cliffs below me-

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On my lips I tasted the salt tang on the air as it blew in from the Southern Ocean.

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My senses were on high alert.   Any mis-step here and I could fall to my death.

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Up ahead I saw the shell scatter of an ancient aboriginal midden.   There is evidence that they have lived along this coast for 35,000 years or more.

2017-04-22 12.27.51-01 (1) I skirted round the edges –

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2017-04-22 12.26.59-01 – then on past the next headland.  The colours of the rocks changed again – I had reached my destination – Shelly Beach –

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A short walk along the shore led me to the next cove where fossilized tree trunks and roots appeared to hold up the cliff.

Higher up on the cliff face the stratified layers of geological time were revealed –


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Later as I walked back to my car I saw intrepid fisherfolk perched on the cliff edge.   They were braver than me to walk so close to the edge.

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Once I got back to my car I only had to drive for a few minutes to get back to my house. Although I’d only been away for a couple of hours I felt like I’d journeyed back into pre-history.

 (When I uploaded the photos to my computer I wished I’d taken the images with a camera rather than my old phone.   Hopefully I will be able to buy one before the next bout of Wanderlust hits. As soon as I get one I’ll be back down to Shelly Beach to take more shots.)

prompt –

Which Way?

I think I’m beginning to get a sense of direction with this blog.   There are two or three more old posts I want to salvage from “Art and Life” but I think most of the content from here on will be new stuff.   I’m intrigued with the idea of creating photo collages and photo poems so I’m thinking I’ll concentrate on that for a while.

prompt –      –     Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails


Up River

Following a road through farmlands of dry yellow grass I catch glimpses of a river but there seems no way to get to it.  Just when I am about to give up I see a rough dirt track veering off towards a line of trees. Steering my little car between the ruts I bounce along to a point where the road disappeared down a steep incline.  Sensing mystery I leave my car and continue on foot.


The track winds down to an area of bushland.   A sign tells me the area was regenerated some years previously by a local fly fisherman’s club.   The trees close in around me and the little creek gurgles its way over the rocks to a meet a wider river.


I walk to the water’s edge and listen to the messages sounding in the water as it tinkles over the stones –


Looking upriver I see that perspective had vanished into a metaphor of itself and become a place to be reached in dreams –

Bunjil’s Country

I am reblogging this post from my old blog “Art and Life” in response to the WordPress Photo Challenge

Black wattle and native grasses whisper together as I arrive at the caves. Australian ravens fly past with heavy wing beats, the only sound in this silent land. The hand of man has barely brushed this place.

I follow a rough track defined by lichen covered lava stones to a place where the surface of the earth suddenly yawns open in the black gaping maws of the lava tube caves. The tangled vegetation and steep rock walls make it impossible for me to venture close.

I have never been to a place like this before and I am suddenly aware that the land beneath my feet is riddled with voids and vast, empty channels. A raw creative energy is encoded in the stratified rock walls. The powerful forces that created the Earth  are writ large.   I can easily imagine surging, spitting, molten lava pouring across the land some 30,000 years ago then cooling to form the caves.

The ground I stand on is both dense and porous and I have a sense of the planet as a living organism.

The Dreamtime stories for this part of Australia say the land is an embodiment of the creator being, Bunjil.  Bunjil is the land and the land is Bunjil yet Bunjil is also a spirit being who went to live in the stars after creating land. At the same time his spirit is here now and sometimes takes the form of an eagle. These ideas are hard to grasp with western thinking yet there is sense of a living presence in this country. It comes to me that I am standing on the body of a creator being yet at the same time I am walking within that creative power.  I am breathing it in with every breath I take.


Two hours drive to the north east one of the few examples of Aboriginal rock art in Victoria can be seen at the rear of a rocky overhang.   The painting is thought to be some 3,000 years old and depicts Bunjil as a man.  His two dingo companions stand beside him.


Here the  ground  is baked hard by the sun and the wide flat rocks under my feet are like the sun bleached bones of the Earth.  Massive boulders are scattered all around the exposed hill side.


To walk around this place is to step back in time – or perhaps, more accurately, it is step out of time – the ancient energies of The Dreamtime are strong here.

Bunjil is present.