The photo challenge topic for yesterday was "Makes Me Smile."

Easy one. Pic of Mike. Pic of chocolate-based finger food. We're done.

(I can do a little better.)

Yesterday Mike scoured the internet to find someplace we hadn't already been but that wasn't so far away that my back might protest or that was better saved for a day with an earlier start. (Eleven a.m. is nearly respectable, though, considering that I'd made omelettes for both of us. Feta with baby spinach, two eggs. I think two eggs and few mix-ins may be the secret to enjoying an omelette if one otherwise isn't particularly skilled in making omelettes. Where one probably is defined as "just me." Two eggs, one T water, 2t milk, and let the runny part swish under the cooked part as necessary. Thank you, BFM, for the tasting station and giveaway recipe cards at your new store.)

"What about this thing called the Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park?"

Every website we hit had the same copy-and-pasted text about appealing to nature lovers and kangaroos at sunset. Otherwise, no info. One site did mention some hiking trails. Otherwise, no maps, nothing.

But no harm checking it out - off we went!

Oh, wait, wait. Yeah... before that, I stopped to say, "Nah, I won't bother bringing the camera. If it's good, I'll bring it next time. We'll probably just drive around a bit then run errands, anyway."

And then I patted my cell phone in my pocket to increase the foreshadowing of the moment (and off we went!).

The LPCP is at the top of the Leschenault Estuary (persnickety people might say "northern end"), about 15 minutes-ish from us. "Ish" because I feel like the attraction starts with the scenic drive along the estuary once you pass Australind.

It was on this scenic drive that we saw many kangaroos, just relaxing between the lovely homes and their resident horses. Then we saw an SUV parked on the side of the road and a guy taking photos. Then I did a double-take.

"MIKE! Joey! Joey in the pouch!"

"Should we go back?"


Kangaroo and Pouched Joey

I made the bad camera decisions and thus don't deserve better photos than what my old iPhone could take, but for your sake, internet, I wish these were clearer and closer.

Roo and Pouched Joey

And then I learned that "hammock style" is an option for little kangies in the pouch. These are his back legs sticking out!

Joey with Legs Sticking Out of Pouch

Many things make me smile, but joeys in pouches are a sure thing. Or just joeys. Or just kangaroos. Or just marsupials. Or just all animals. All animals make me smile... except for simians. (Tamarins are tolerable but monkeys are monsters. Where is E. Gorey to create my own abecedarian book of such thoughts?)

But otherwise, animals = smiles, and joeys in the pouch = gasps and claps as well.

Buffalo Beach

Beautiful beaches also make me smile, especially when they're clean but deserted. (For some reason it wasn't until I saw the Indian Ocean - always called "the sea" by locals, it seems - that I realized we would even be near the ocean. V8 smack. Leschenault Peninsula. Duh. I always think of the estuary when I hear the L-word. I don't even think of the adjacent town that has named these things. Duh. Hey, here's a map.)

It turns out that I especially love beautiful beaches when they're covered in fairy terns - even if my phone can't get a decent photo of them lounging near where the tide is lapping. (Even when the entire visit eventually ends in brief frustration because the winds are high and I don't have myself together enough to keep a scrunchie in the car, in this case leading to a blind, arduous, painful march back to the parking lot over sharp objects hidden by my whipping hair.)

Pot Sticks

And cute finds for our future garden make me smile, like buggy pot sticks.

Failed salted-caramel macarons from an Adrian Zumbo kit do not make me smile, so no photos of those, but throwing them down for Boots and Beena - the strays - does. That's what I did this morning when I saw them sitting on the back lawn, waiting for a repeat of yesterday's flying picnic of the last of Mike's Christmas ham. Because, again, critters always make me smile.




14 January 2014 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)