I’m putting the finishing touches on my new manuscript, which is due at Penguin on Thursday. This has been the hardest, but also the most satisfying book that I’ve written so far, with a broader focus than my previous novels. From Afghanistan’s last wilderness, to Australia’s great eastern escarpment, an epic tale of love, loss and redemption.Writing it has been an emotional roller coaster, and more than once I’ve found myself in tears.
So, you can imagine how pleased I’ll be to send it off, and turn my attention to things closer to home – like the beauty unfolding all around me. Spring is my favourite time of year, and I’ll finally have a chance to enjoy it! This post is dedicated to Pilyara, the beautiful property where I live, and the animals and plants that I share it with.
Pilyara has many forested areas, with spectacular grey gums, mountain ash, and messmate stringy bark trees towering overhead. Below grows a dense layer of smaller plants including correa, heath, dusty miller, and golden bush pea. Delicate ground orchids abound, and ferns fringe the creek, including tall tree ferns. An astounding range of birds are found here: honey-eaters, bower-birds, parrots, cockatoos, kookaburras, currawongs, whip-birds, willy-wagtails, magpies, herons, swallows, swifts, ducks, eagles and owls, just to name a few. We’ve even spotted a lyrebird once or twice.Native animals include wombats, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, kangaroos, possums, gliders,bush rats, antechinus,bats and platypus in the creek. We also have the odd goanna and snake.
We received a grant from Victoria’s Healthy Waterways program, to finish fencing off the gullies and creek, and the work is almost complete. This will further enhance Pilyara as a habitat for native flora and fauna. Just talking about it makes me want to head off down to the creek! But no, first things first. Only a few more days work on the manuscript, and then the farrier comes to shoe the horses. (My present to myself for finishing!) Pilyara is only a few minutes ride from the Bunyip state forest, with its stunning scenery and heritage horse trails. Here are some photos taken today. Roll on Thursday!
I’m giving away a two-pack of my books. Leave a comment telling me your favourite native bird, or your favourite first line of a novel, to go in the draw. Let me know which two books you’d like. Closing date next Sunday 4th October. (Aust & NZ only)
I adore the kookaburras. The reason being as they are unique and are truly what Australia is about.
Good choice Melissa!
As far as reminding what the Australian bush is about its hard to pick on bird as tjere are so many uniqiw to the Aussie bush. The Lyre Ird, Bower Bird, whip Bird, kookaburra and so many more. Love the Australian bush
The lyrebird would have to be up there Len!
Congrats, Jennifer! I’m looking forward to reading your new release. I have samples of Turtle Reef and Billabong Bend on my Kindle, but I haven’t managed to purchase entire copies as yet, due to budget. So, I’d pick these two 🙂 My favourite native bird would be the splendid Blue Wren, which I see at the Berry Farm in Margaret River.
Yes, I love blue wrens too. Good luck in the draw Carol!
I love kookaburras too. We usually have a pair of them hanging around here. My great-aunt came over from England for a visit, saw the kookaburras and now gives talks in her village hall with all the authority she can muster. I love that she is now the great expert. So sweet!!
Home stretch! Good luck and well done. 😀
Thank you x