Albany - Home of 'The Waifs'

The Waifs formed in August 1992 in as a folk rock band. The Simpson sisters, Donna and Vikki grew up in Cosy Corner in Albany in a Salmon fishing family.  They formed a duo, Colours, in Albany to perform cover versions of Bob Dylan and Everly Brothers at local pubs. Their father, Jimmy Simpson, bought Donna her first guitar when she was 15. In February 1992, 20-year-old Donna and her 16-year-old sister, Vikki headed off in a Kombi van to tour the state as Colours, busking their way across Australia..

Cosy Corner - home of The Waifs

 They stumbled across Josh Cunningham in a pub in Broome as he was touring Australia playing bass guitar for a band. The Simpsons met 18-year-old Cunningham while they were playing in Broome.  After a ten-minute jam session, Donna invited Cunningham to join Colours,
Upon their return to Albany, Colours changed its name to The Waifs (initially styled as The WAiFS) and continued to use their Kombi van from 1992 to 1996 to travel to gigs across Australia.

 “The longer I am away from Australia the more connected I feel to Australia and I keep writing songs about that,” Vikki says. “I grew up near the salmon camp where my grandfather fished, my father played there as a kid and when I go back there now I do the same things with my children. I physically feel connected to that place when I’m there. It’s almost a spiritual thing. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I learned to play guitar, where my husband proposed to me. I’ve had all these deeply personal moments and significant things happen in this one place.”  (source: The Waifs)

2017 marks The Waifs 25th Anniversary. They are commemorating this event by releasing  a new album called IRONBARK.  The inspiration came from the majestic eucalyptus standing sentinel over them as they recorded 25 songs live & acoustic at Josh’s beautiful house in the bushland of South Coast NSW, Australiaand the resilience and inner strength of the wood as orated in the song of the same title. 

Albany - Home of Tim Winton

Tim Winton was born in Karrinyup, Western Australia and moved at age of 12 to our beautiful Albany.

Image Credit: SKYPRINTS  Tim Winton recommends Middleton Beach for swimming.

Image Credit: SKYPRINTS  Tim Winton recommends Middleton Beach for swimming.

Lockie Leonard is a fictional character in a series of children's novels. The books were written by multi-award winning Australian author Tim Winton..  Lockie Leonard is a teenage surf rat who moves from Australia's East Coast to Perth Lockie has to deal with starting high school in a new town, his father is a police officer who everybody calls Sarge, his mother Joy, is overly understanding, and his brother Phillip still wets the bed The books follow his adventures and the disasters which beset him. From falling in love, being dumped, finding a best friend, being embarrassed by his family and through it all making discoveries about himself.

The Lockie Leonard TV series, adapted from the books, was shot in Albany, Western Australia and originally screened on the Nine Network in 2007, and a second season began airing in 2010. It was popular all around the world and still has many avid fans.

The book has been republished several times by different publishers and in different formats (print, eBook, audio, braille) and languages (English, French, Dutch).

Tim only lived in Albany for three years but it had a profound effect on him as a person and, later, as a writer. He says 'I think it's something to do with its wildness. For a young person who felt claustrophobic being surrounded by strangers, it was reassuring to know that within minutes I could be out in the bush or on a beach with no other footprints in the sand.' 


Breaksea Island

Breaksea Island Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located at Breaksea Island in King George Sound 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Albany .

The first lighthouse was built in 1858 by English convicts using pre-made cast iron sheeting rising it at the centre of an octagonal stone keeper’s cottage; in 1889 two keeper’s cottage were built. This lighthouse was replaced in 1901 by a cylindrical granite tower built on the rear still active and in good condition.

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Before some 30,000 soldiers sailed from Australian shores to fight in World War I, many kept their eyes focused on this tiny, rugged island.  Fay-Catherine Howe, a lighthouse-keeper's daughter, who became well known among the confined Anzacs., lived on this tiny island.

Proficient in the art of Morse Code, 15-year-old Fay relayed messages to the troops from their loved ones as the men waited to set sail. She would then send their replies in Morse code via telegraph and undersea cable, back to Albany, where they were transferred from office to office and printed as telegrams.  This was the soldiers and their families last opportunity to communicate with each other.

In doing so, she became a cherished symbol of home, the last glimpse of it for many.  Although she never met or even spoke to the soldiers, her efforts inspired an untold number of them to write her postcards from the front.

Fay became known as 'The Lighthouse Girl'  She is the inspiration to Dianne Wolfer's book 'Lighthouse Girl' and provides part of the narrative for the Little Girl Giant and she roams the streets of Perth in the amazing Royal De Luxe Theatre’s performance of The Giants. See Dianne’s personal gallery or follow this link for photographs. An Interview with Dianne and the team from Channel 9’s Destination WA on Breaksea Island gives further insights into Fay’s story and shows evocative scenes from the island. ‘The Lighthouse Girl’ by playwright Hellie Turner and Black Swan Theatre opens in Albany/Perth in April 2017.

Breaksea Island is a class ‘A’ nature reserve for the protection of plants and animals. Apart from the lighthouse, the only other buildings on heritage-listed Breaksea Island are a couple of cottages, deserted since restoration attempts in 2009.  The Upgraded facilities on Breaksea Island have helped create interesting local experiences with helicopter scenic flights departing from Albany's Historic Whaling Station.  Breaksea Island was also the venue for Taste of the Great Southern picnic with the finest local beer or wine and canapés provided by Fervor focusing on native Australian ingredients.

Mountain lion returned to forest after life in back of circus pick-up truck

The Rescue of This Mountain Lion, Chained For 20 Years In A Circus, Will Move You To Tears  

An animal performer’s life in a circus is anything but glamorous, and keeping them captive for the sake of entertainment should no longer be tolerated.

When Mufasa, a mountain lion chained for 20 years in a Peruvian circus was first rescued by Animal Defenders International, you could see in his eyes how his spirit was absolutely crushed. Listless and perhaps clueless, and used to having many staring eyes on him, he watches on as his rescue unfolds, and it is about to change his life forever.

It’s cited in that major circuses have violated the minimal standards of care for their animal performers set by the United States Animal Welfare (AWA). It is very likely that these animals are first broken to ensure their obedience, and then trained by whips and other dreadful and painful tools. They would spend most of their lives in chains and cages, and the quality of how they are transported from one place to another as the circus travels are far from ideal. It is also very likely that the same cruel treatment are experienced by animals in circuses around the world.

Mufasa has been finally released into the Peruvian forest through efforts of ADI and the locals alike. He seems to be in disbelief as he experiences freedom for the first time in 20 years, but you could at last see the light returning to his eyes as he roams the greenery to his heart’s content.

This beautiful mountain lion has since passed away on December 2015, but this video shows how human kindness can still triumph over human ruthlessness, and that initiatives for the rescue of circus animals should be whole-heartedly supported.

This article (Watch: The Rescue of This Mountain Lion, Chained For 20 Years In A Circus, Will Move You To Tears) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

Amazing Quotes Will Inspire You to Fight For Animals and Nature

These Amazing Jane Goodall Quotes Will Inspire You to Fight For Animals and Nature

Her endless compassion for animals, humans, and the natural world that unites us all has inspired millions of people across the world to stand up and make a difference. Whether that difference comes in the form of standing up for abused animals, planting a tree to help regrow a forest or simply speaking to others about the importance of respecting all living things, innumerable actions have been spawned by Goodall’s influence. There is no debating the fact that Dr. Jane Goodall has changed the world for the better.  (Source One Green Planet)

Jane remains a constant beacon of hope and reminder that we all have the power to make a difference.

The only question is what difference will you make?

We are doing something at HideAway Haven
Respect for all animals at HideAway Haven
Caring for animals is everyones responsibility at HideAway Haven
At HideAway Haven we do make a difference
Learning the true nature of our wildlife at HideAway Haven
At HideAway Haven we speak for those that cannot speak for themselves

Bull That Escaped Slaughterhouse is Rescued

Jon Stewart rescued a bull that likely would have been returned to the slaughterhouse he escaped from.

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

As some already know, former talk show host Jon Stewart recently began making plans to start an animal sanctuary with his wife, Tracey, as a New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary. Farm Sanctuary is an organization that has several branches throughout the U.S. where their goal is to rescue animals meant for the meat or dairy industry, promote a vegan lifestyle and compassion for animals.

Stewart is still new to this organization, as the sanctuary he and his wife planned to open up in late 2015 went through renovations before they ended up buying a different location in October 2016 to start the sanctuary. In the midst of all this planning, Stewart made news again for doing the unthinkable: he rescued a bull that was running through the streets of Queens, NY and deemed dangerous as officials attempted to capture the terrified bull.

Credit: WABC

Credit: WABC

The bull, now named Frank, had escaped from a slaughterhouse and made a run for it. He was so determined and frightened that when he was shot with tranquilizer guns, he still didn’t go down. Though these stories, which are common in this area, often end with the bull being sent back to the slaughterhouse, Frank’s ended much differently.

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

When the young bull captured Stewart’s attention, he decided to arrange for Frank’s transport to Farm Sanctuary’s branch in upstate New York. He was named Frank Lee, after a famous Alcatraz escapee, and he now spends his days lazing around and having fun with the other bulls and cows at the sanctuary. Stewart said, 

“Frank had never done anything wrong. He was just a being…trying to live.”

Stewart’s own sanctuary is still in the works, as the couple just bought a $4 million property in Colts Neck, NJ instead of starting the farm on their current Middletown property. Their sanctuary will be the New Jersey branch for Farm Sanctuary, which currently has three branches around the country.

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

Credit: Farm Sanctuary

This is probably not the last time we’ll hear about the Stewarts going above and beyond to help animals in need; in fact, it’s probably just the beginning. The natural transition from comedian/talk show host to animal advocate for Jon was natural, as he always advocated for compassion for animals on his show. Tracey, who is vegan, encourages her husband as much as possible as they continue their work in changing the country’s views on animals in the meat and dairy industries.

Footnote:  Jon Stewart is an American comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, media critic, and former television host.  Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey, now have the official go-ahead to open on animal sanctuary on their 45-acre Hockhockson Farm in upscale Colts Neck,  Monmouth County.  The farm would care for rescued farm animals, including cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens

What are your thoughts on this story? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

This article (Jon Stewart Rescues Bull That Escaped Slaughterhouse And Ran Around Queens, NY) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and  

Get Rid Of Weeds Without Hurting The Planet

If you're looking for a quicker way to effectively get rid of weeds, one of these homemade herbicides might be the way to go

Image Source: Garden Answers

Image Source: Garden Answers

It’s been said that weeds are just plants whose virtues have not yet been discovered, but if you’re tired of waiting to find out what those virtues are, you might want to use one of these homemade herbicides instead of the chemical versions.

Pesticides – including weed killers, fungicides, insecticides, and rodenticides – can be highly toxic to birds, both by directly poisoning them and by altering the ecosystem they depend on for survival.  Avoid large-scale spraying of any chemicals in your yard, even those considered organic or nontoxic. Birds’ respiratory systems are far more sensitive than ours, and they can easily be harmed by fumes.

Many common weeds can be either food, medicine, or unwanted visitors to the garden, depending on the varieties and how you view them. But if you’ve eaten all of them you can, and you still need to get rid of weeds in your yard, it’s far better for you, your soil, and your local waterways to choose a more environmentally friendly herbicide than those commonly found in the home and garden centre.

Strong chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides can end up polluting our drinking water, our groundwater, and surface water, so it’s important to consider the longer term effects of using them, and to instead make the choice to use a gentler herbicide, which won’t contribute to the larger issue of water contamination.

The most environmentally friendly way to get rid of weeds is to pull them up, dig out the roots, let them dry in the sun, and then add them to a compost or mulch pile. However, that method can also take quite a bit of time, so if you’re looking for a quicker way to effectively get rid of weeds, one of these homemade herbicides might be the way to go.

[N.B.: Just because these are ‘natural’ or homemade herbicides, that doesn’t imply that they couldn’t harm your soil, your garden, or your person. An herbicide is a “substance that is toxic to plants,” which means that your garden plants are just as susceptible to these treatments, they could have a negative effect in the soil if applied in large quantities, and they may cause human injuries if misused.]

Drench with boiling dihydrogen monoxide: (that’s a fancy way of saying water)

This homemade herbicide is by far the simplest to prepare, and unless you happen to spill boiling water on yourself, is also the least harmful to both people and the environment. Simply bring a big pot of dihydrogen monoxide ( to boil on your stove, and then pour it over the leaves and stems of the weeds you wish to get rid of. Using boiling water is an effective method for killing weeds in places such as sidewalk or driveway cracks, or over a larger area that you’d like to replant after the weeds are gone, as it doesn’t leave any residue or have any harmful long-term effects. As with all of these homemade herbicides, it’s still important to only apply it to the plants you wish to get rid of, as they can easily also kill your flowers or vegetable plants.

Light ’em up with fire:

The application of direct heat to the foliage of weeds will cause the plants to immediately wilt, and repeated applications will kill any leaves that may resprout from the roots. A flame-weeder tool is available from home and garden stores, which allows you to apply flame and heat directly to the weeds without catching the whole neighborhood on fire. In fire-prone areas, weeding with flame needs to be done with some extra precautions, as dried weeds and grasses can easily catch fire and get away from you.

Douse with sodium chloride: (common table salt)

Sodium chloride,  is an effective herbicide, and has some historical notoriety for possibly being used to lay waste to the soils of conquered peoples (salting the fields prevents plants from growing there). Because salt can have a detrimental effect in the soil, it’s important to only apply it directly to the leaves of the weeds, and to not soak the soil, especially in garden beds with other, more desirable, plants. Dissolve 1 part salt in 8 parts hot water (it can be made stronger, up to 1 part salt to 3 parts water), add a small amount of liquid dish soap (to help it adhere to the leaf surfaces), and pour into a spray bottle. To apply, cover or tie back any nearby plants you don’t want to kill, then spray the leaves of the weeds with the solution. Be careful to not soak the soil, and keep this mixture away from cement sidewalks or driveways (it may discolor them). Multiple applications may be necessary.

Pickle ’em with vinegar:

OK, so it’s not exactly pickling, but by applying this common household item, white vinegar, to weed leaves, they’ll die off and make room in your yard for more desirable plants. The white vinegar sold in grocery stores is about 5% acetic acid, which is usually strong enough for most weeds, although a more industrial strength version (up to 20% acetic acid, which can be harmful to skin, eyes, or lungs) is available in many garden supply stores. The vinegar can be applied by spraying full strength onto the leaves of the weeds, being careful to minimize any overspray on garden plants and nearby soil. Repeated applications may be necessary, and the addition of a little liquid dish detergent may improve the effectiveness of this homemade herbicide.

Season them like chips:

Another common homemade herbicide recipe calls for combining table salt or rock salt with white vinegar (1 cup salt to 1 gallon vinegar), and then spraying this mixture on the foliage of weed plants. Adding liquid soap is said to help the efficacy of this weedkiller, as is the addition of certain oils, such as citrus or clove oil.

Harness up the 20 mule team:

Borax, which is sold as a laundry and cleaning product in many grocery stores, might not actually get transported by a 20 mule team anymore, but it could help lend a hand in the yard as an herbicide. Add 10 ounces of powdered borax to 2.5 gallons of water, mix thoroughly, and use a sprayer to coat the leaves of unwanted weeds in your yard. Keep overspray off of any plants you want to keep, avoid saturating the soil with the solution, and avoid contact with bare skin.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below and share this news.

This article (Six Homemade Herbicides: Get Rid Of Weeds Without Hurting The Planet) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and Treehugger.


Saving a Dying Baby Bear

He was told by many people that moving the bear could result in his arrest.

Saving Wildlife is a HideAway Haven Focus #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Corey Hancock

When hiker and photographer Corey Hancock was walking along Santiam River Trail in Oregon, he expected to see tiger lilies in a meadow-like area just off the path as he returned to his car when it started to rain. Though he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to make it to his destination because of the unexpected rain, he continued to remain observant of his surroundings and instead of seeing tiger lilies on his path, he saw something that shocked him: a baby bear.

The baby bear was reportedly a mere one to two feet off of the path, which Hancock had just passed by only thirty minutes earlier. He said that the bear hadn’t been there before, but that he must have stopped there at some point within that time to slowly let himself die.

“His lips were blue. His eyes were open, but unmoving and hazy. The rain was pouring down, drenching his belly. I might have seen a shallow breath,” Hancock said in a Facebook post about the incident.

Saving Wildlife is a HideAway Haven Focus #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Corey Hancock

His first thought was that of any rational person: was the mother close by? Hancock was quickly overcome with fear, so he snapped a quick photo of the bear and retreated downhill to observe from a distance and see if the mama bear returned. With no indication that there was another animal around, and seeing the baby get closer to death as the rain hit his belly, Hancock decided he needed to help.

Hancock sprang into action, running towards the bear, wrapping him up in his flannel shirt, and sprinting the remaining mile and a half to his vehicle. Once they were there, Hancock sped off in search of signal for his phone so he could post an online plea for help and suggestions on what to do. Unfortunately, the baby bear didn’t have time to wait. Hancock had to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation twice on his way to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center, a place that someone on Facebook had suggested.

“Examining him in the Turtle Ridge facility, Mary [the veterinarian] could see right away that the cub was near death. He should have had a lot more fat on his body. He was starving and dehydrated, and would have had to have been in this condition for some time to end up so thin and weak,” Hancock said.

Saving Wildlife is a HideAway Haven Focus #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Corey Hancock

It was clear from this examination that the baby bear, who Hancock named Elkhorn because of the area that he was found in, had been alone for at least several days. He believes that it’s possible that Elkhorn had picked up on his scent and may have moved towards the trail in one last cry for help. Elkhorn was injected with electrolyte fluids to rehydrate him and put on a heating pad to raise his body temperature.

Mary took Elkhorn overnight to continue his treatment, but Hancock was informed in the morning that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would be arriving to pick up Elkhorn after his Facebook post garnered so much attention, both good and bad. Hancock’s feed was flooded with malicious comments about how he should not have moved Elkhorn because they were unaware of the outstanding circumstances.

Saving Wildlife is a HideAway Haven Focus #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Corey Hancock

Several early reports reminded readers to never move a wild animal unless you’ve witnessed the death of the mother, which is great advice in general but didn’t necessarily apply to Hancock and Elkhorn’s situation. It was immediately clear that Elkhorn was within minutes of dying, and he hadn’t simply been alone for a few hours while his mother searched for food. Though many people scolded Hancock for not calling ODFW or the state police to handle the situation, Hancock is confident in the decision he made to rescue this dying baby bear.

Hancock’s hope now for Elkhorn, whose condition he receives regular updates on, is that he is taken in by one of the wildlife sanctuaries that works with ODFW so that he can still live a rich life. Since he is so young, it’s unlikely he can be released back into the wild, but Hancock hopes he isn’t brought into a zoo or another facility that has a small enclosure for this black bear. You can read his post here and spread the word about this baby bear that’s looking for a good home.

What would you have done in this situation? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

Mini-Cow Rescued From Auction Lives With 12 Dogs, And Now Thinks She’s One Of Them

"I think she just knows that there's a lot of different friends in the world.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge


Moonpie is an incredibly special miniature rescue cow who was once destined to become ground beef. Fortunately for her, she was spotted at a livestock auction and was purchased by a friend of Janice Wolf, the founder of the Rocky Ridge Refuge Sanctuary.

“These auctions are huge — millions and millions of animals are auctioned off everyday,” commented Wolf. “I stay away from them because they kind of make me crazy. Many of the animals aren’t being treated that well.”

Because Moonpie is tiny, she was allowed to stay indoors with Janice’s 12 dogs due to poor weather upon arrival. In no matter of time, the canines befriended her and the story goes that she now believes she’s part of the pack. In an interview with The Dodo, Janice said:

“She accepts them as her buddies. Babies like that — they don’t know a whole lot about what it’s supposed to be, so they kind of just accept things.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

The dogs serve as her surrogate moms, said Janice. “They clean her face, the way her mother would have. They love to do that… They were all thrilled to see her.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

One of Moonpie’s favorite friends is a deaf bull terrier named Spackle.

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“The picture with the white bull terrier — that was Moonpie’s first day here,” Wolf said. “Spackle loves babies, and immediately became her protector and buddy. She wouldn’t leave that calf’s side. They instantly bonded.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“My dogs have a lot of experience with various critters I rescue or otherwise end up with! A calf is just another friend to love,” Wolf told Bored Panda.

Moonpie even learned how to “use the bathroom,” according to Wolf. Like the dogs, she holds the urge to defecate or urinate until she is outside.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“She does what the dogs show her, so she learned how to do that,” Wolf said.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

Now that the weather is nice and Moonpie is beginning to venture outdoors more. However, there’s still a lot more growing to do before she can be introduced to the other rescue animals, including a water buffalo, a zebra, capybaras, pigs, dogs, goats, an emu, other cows, and chickens. Fortunately, she has a large family of canines to keep her company.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Why you shouldn't feed bread to ducks or birds

Feeding bread to ducks and other birds is actually a nightmare for everyone.

We’ve all done it: gathered up our stale bread, walked to our nearby park that has a pond, and thrown pieces of bread to ducks that follow us around there. If you haven’t done this, then kudos to you, but for most people this was a childhood pastime that they then grew to teach their kids as well.

Though it may seem like a win-win situation because humans can get rid of their old bread and ducks can indulge in a snack, it turns out that it’s bad for humans, ducks, fish, and the park when bread is thrown into the water.

It should come as no surprise that bread has little to no nutritional value to it for humans and therefore ducks are even less equipped to process such processed foods. While humans are used to these types of carbohydrates making their way into our diets, a duck’s digestive system is not. S0 feeding bread to ducks can not only fill them with unhealthy carbs but also make them ill.

Something that some people might understand but not exactly worry about is the ducks’ reliance on human-sourced food, which usually tends to be the bread but can also be chips, popcorn, crackers, and other snacks that humans might have on them. Needless to say, these other snacks are even worse than bread, but the dependence on human food in general is the over-arching problem. Since the ducks rely on human food, which is often plentiful because of the many visitors to neighborhood parks, they don’t attempt to hunt for their own food, which actually has nutritional value and is sustenance that the ducks need.

In the wild, ducks typically eat small fish and their eggs, snails, worms, grass, algae, frogs, seeds, fruits, nuts, and other types of food found outside. When they stop attempting to scavenge for their own healthy food, the problem of only eating bread becomes even more monumental.

Credit: Wabby Twaxx/Flickr

Credit: Wabby Twaxx/Flickr

Environmentally, the problem of bread in the water is also a total nightmare. Any bread that goes uneaten can rot in the water, making the fish in the pond sick and causing the nasty-smelling algae that often surfaces around the edges of the pond.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Instead, here are some other food suggestions to bring to the park with you if you find that you must feed the ducks: halved seedless grapes, any type of bird seed mix, cut up earthworms, cooked rice, oats, corn, chopped lettuce, and many other healthy choices.

Please be conscientious when feeding ducks and other animals in the future. Just as you wouldn’t want your pets to consume the wrong foods for the entirety of their life, you shouldn’t inflict the same on ducks.

Credit: Crafty Morning

Credit: Crafty Morning

Would you take this advice into consideration next time you think about feeding ducks? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

Mrs Jones Cafe - Denmark

Mrs Jones Café was been judged the WINNER in two categories of the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association’s 2016 Awards for Excellence in Western Australia. The awards were announced on August 29, 2016 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre,

CAFÉ OF THE YEAR - 2016 WA WINNER – Mrs Jones Café, Denmark

CAFÉ RESTAURANT - 2016 WA WINNER – Mrs Jones Café, Denmark


We stopped here for lunch on our way home, hoping to find some vegan food on the menu.  We were surprised to find 3 different options.  Thank you Mrs Jones, the food was awesome and it was so good to have a choice of lunch options.

We chose  Hummus Trio: beetroot, black tahini, chickpea, warm flatbreads and Tofu Tacos with Asian style slaw, avocado, salsa, flat bread. It was really delicious and we experienced the joy of eating delicious whole food .  The other vegan option was Salad Bowl: roast vegetables, mixed quinoa, spiced chickpeas, cucumber, avocado, sunflower sprouts, mixed leaves, tahini dressing.  We will try that next time.

Thurlby Herb Farm - Walpole

Thurlby is a delightful place to visit.  They maintain a philosophy of ethical, environmental and family friendly values. The Thurlby Herb Farm Gift Shop is a colourful and unusual haven of stylish gifts, including Thurlby handmade soaps and natural aromatherapy products. 

Thurlby Herb Farm Cafe

Changing with the seasons, the menu reflects a passion for healthy, delicious food at reasonable prices.

We enjoyed a gourmet vegan burger - Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Burger – Thurlby's famous homemade burger with basil and pine nuts served in  Turkish bread with salad and Thurlby Chutney.  We were pretty excited to find vegan food at this out of the way spot, only 1km from our Wilderness Retreat.  Of course we had to bring home some chutney and do some early Christmas Shopping.

Conspicuous Cliff - Walpole Wilderness

Conspicuous Beach is a beautiful unspoilt surf beach 20 minutes drive from Walpole on the south coast of Western Australia. It's one of only 3 places along the Walpole Coast that's accessible to 2WD vehicles.  Access to Conspicuous Cliff Beach is via a boardwalk, small stairway, and a walk across the shallow waterway emptying into the ocean.  Great excuse to take of the shoes and walk barefooted through the sand and breathe in the ocean air.  This is what holidays on the South Coast are all about.  We had the whole beach to ourselves, surrounded by beauty and breathtaking views,   A beautiful way to spend the last couple of hours of our last day.  If you are travelling to albany via Walpole it is worth taking a small detour to visit Conspicious Cliffs and Beach.

The beach is named for the small, yet indeed quite conspicuous, limestone cliff perched atop a tall, steep hill that towers over the beach.

Then we saw more stairs and just couldn't resist climbing to the very top.  The views were quite spectacular and the wind almost blew us away. 


The Tingle Forest

We love walking through the bush and chose our accommodation in the middle of the ancient Tingle Forrest.  The walks through these Tingle Trees was a unique experience.  We felt so little in amongst those giant trees.  The Red Tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii) of south west Western Australia is one of the tallest trees found in the state.  The common name, “tingle”, is believed to be derived from a Noongar word for these trees.

The Red Tingle is the tallest of the three trees ( Rate's Tingle Eucalyptus brevistylis and Yellow tingle Eucalyptus guilfoylei  are the other two) typically growing to a height of 8 to 55 metres (26 to 180 ft) and has rough, stringy and furrowed grey-brown or red-brown bark. It can have a circumference up to 24 metres (79 ft) round at the base and grow to a height of 75 m (246 ft). The tree can live for up to 400 years.

It has a dense compact crown that forms a heavy canopy. The tree flowers between January and March producing a white blossom. The trees often have shallow root systems and grow a buttressed base.  Forest fires often act to hollow out the base of the trees creating a large cavity.

The distribution of the species has been shrinking due to climate change over the years. They are now found primarily in Walpole-Nornalup National Park and in a few isolated sites outside the park in the Walpole area at the juncture of the South West and Great Southern regions along the south coast of Western Australia where it grows on hillsides and in gullies in loamy soils.

Fernhook Falls - Walpole Wilderness

Fernhook Falls is more a series of cascades than a single waterfall, and is a lovely spot to visit in the rainy season. In a remote patch of native forest, the Deep River tumbles over rocks through a number of lush pools.  The Deep River has its beginnings 52 km north near Lake Muir and flows through forested areas of National Park including the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and meanders another 42 km before discharging into the Nornalup Inlet. Deep River is one of the purest rivers in the south West because 95% of its journey is through forested catchment areas.

The falls are easily reached up a good gravel road, about 6km from the main highway.  We hadn’t seen a single car all day.  At the car park a trail took us through the bush to the biggest cascade, where the river descends under the road bridge.  It wasn't really cascading, rather just a little trickle stream, but still very pretty, relaxing and peaceful.

The water may not drop a great height, but after rain in winter and spring the horizontal expanse of the main falls and surrounding rapids can be a delightful sight. And a delightful sound too; one not often experienced in the WA bush. It was so quiet with only the sounds of trickling water.  There were numerous small cascades which provided us the opportunity for us to go rock-hopping to find different viewpoints.

Continuing downstream, the trail passes other cascades and ends up at Rowel's pool.   There was a great trail/walkway to follow down the river with toilets and an interpretative centre at the carpark.


Wilderness View Lookout - Mount Frankland

We were standing high above the forest floor and enjoyed uninterrupted views of the Walpole Wilderness from the Mount Frankland Wilderness View Lookout.

The granite peak of Mount Frankland (411 metres) dominates the skyline and vegetation ranges from karri, jarrah and tingle forest to vast expanses of treeless heathland.

It was raining heavily so we did not have the opportunity to take it all in, but it was certainly spectacular.

 The walk from the car park to the Wilderness View is only 600m return and is an easy walk. The trail is suitable for wheelchairs

Walpole Wilderness

We recently had a few free days, after a very busy end to last year and a busy start to 2017.  We packed the car and headed to the Walpole Wilderness.

Mount Frankland National Park is a national park in the Walpole Wilderness, in the South West region of Western Australia, 327 km south of Perth.  Dominated by an impressive granite peak, Mount Frankland National Park covers approximately 31000 hectares of karri, jarrah and tingle forest as well as expanses of treeless heathland.

It covers the low granite hills to the north of the town of Walpole and is covered largely by forests of karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) and red tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii), two of the world's largest trees. The three tingle species are unique to the area between the park and the coast and the only eucalypts to be buttressed, a feature which reflects the moist conditions prevailing within the park. On exposed areas where continuous rain washes away soil, a low heathland is the dominant vegetation.

From the top of Mount Frankland you have 360 degree views of the Walpole Wilderness. The forests, wetlands and heathlands below you are home many unique plants and animals.  Mount Frankland National Park is home to a rich array of birds, from eagles that soar high above the peak to colourful fairy wrens and robins that flit through the forest.

We followed “The Summit trail” to the towerman’s lookout on top of Mount Frankland. While the walk was strenuous, the views made it worthwhile – on a clear day you can see the Porongurup and Stirling ranges in the east and the Southern Ocean to the south.  It was pretty cloudy when we were at the top but still worth the climb.  To get there we needed to climb a ladder and over 300 steep steps.  That was a challenge for Maggie as she has a fear of heights, but bravo!! She did it.