Silvery light. Ripples. Seagulls.

Silvery light. Ripples.
Sine waves. Fast moving clouds.
Reflected. Waxing Moon rising. Still lagoon.
Sky blue water. Silvery shallows. Seagulls form inverted V . ~Ally.

Six seagulls.


Edge of the Lagoon.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec

Seagull duck-diving. Surfacing. Perfect ripples.

I was watching one lone seagull. Observing what was happening to the surrounding water every time he/she dived down and then came back up again. The still water would ripple as he/she dived, so I waited till he/she came up again and photographed the seagull + ripples.


Perfect Ripple.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.

The other side of the lagoon.

The ocean.
Seagulls braced against the wind.
Perfect clouds. Rolling surf. Waves crashing over Long Reef.
Thousands of Footprints. Ghosts of just another day at the beach.

Ghosts of Today.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.

Gulls in a row.

Two seagulls directly in front of me.
A third seagull gliding towards them.
Waiting. Breathing. Waiting. Breathing.
Three seagulls directly in front of me. NOW.

Three seagulls. ~Ally
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.
The Long Reef Headland was declared an aquatic reserve in 1980 to protect marine invertebrates found on the rock platforms and subtidal marine plants and animals.
The Lagoon is a wildlife refuge that spread over 77 hectares of important land and water habitat for native animals, including local and migratory birds.

Magic at play.

The blue of the water was absolutely magical. Silvery as the late afternoon light shone down upon it. And then every so often the seagulls swam into synchronized positions. Was it my imagination or was magic at play here?

I feel ever SO grateful to be an artist sometimes. To see and then share the beauty in so many ‘little things’ like this that can then be expressed through my photography.

I find that the more I can simply be there in the moment, wherever I happen to be, the more I will see in the way of subtle tones, patterns and formations. And the more I feel this ‘seeing’ the higher my spirit, and the more open to wonder I become.

Every day gives us a new opportunity to experience so many magical moments. And with a little help from my ‘Creative Muse’ I love to photograph new spaces that also give the ‘Creative Muse’ a renewed ‘breath of fresh air.’

Magical Moments(1)

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: Magical Moments.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Source: Long Reef Reserve.




The Golden Dragonfly. Dream of the Rainbow Winged Dragonfly.

When the moon comes up to the shine of a face:
The birds are fast asleep.
The dragonfly frees herself of ages past:
Her rainbow wings to keep.
~Adapted from Loreena McKennitt.

Time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

This is my third article about the ‘Golden dragonfly’ that I photographed a few mornings a week over a period of four months.

Capturing the Golden Dragonflies.

The only way to capture these Golden dragonflies was to BE. BE with my breath, BE with the sensation of mud squelching through my toes, BE with the gentle breezes of dawn, BE with the morning light, BE with the chill and warmth in the air, BE with the sound of rippling water and the songs of birds. BE with the stillness that allowed me to connect to the Golden dragonfly.


Only from the heart can you touch the sky. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.


A few years back I had many dreams and experiences with owls. Owls just appeared from everywhere: In my dreams, in the surrounding streets, a print in a naturopath’s reception area, and then in my own backyard.

After an exceptionally vivid dream of an owl with rainbow coloured wings, I began to incorporate ‘the owl’ into collage work I was doing at the time and embraced the owl as my totem creature.

The appearance of dragonflies.

Dragonflies started appearing in a similar way at a very significant time for me: After not doing any art work for 5 years, I was accepted by Sculpture by the Sea (An international sculpture event held at Bondi, Sydney) to create and install an environmental sculpture. Much more about that particular installation in another article.

The first dragonfly I was attracted to was while walking around the local lake. A golden flash amongst the reeds, that I help my eye upon as I walked towards it. As I came close, the golden glint from the wings took on more of a milky translucent appearance.

I didn’t have my camera with me that morning but the next day at the lake at dawn, I most certainly did.

Dragonflies also seemed to appear wherever I went: The local creek was alive with Blue tailed dragonflies. The storm water drain area in my own backyard (being reclaimed as a mini ‘rainforest’ area) attracted tiny Red tailed dragonflies and then one day a Golden dragon delighted me with her presence there as well. And then the dream.


Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

My dream of the Rainbow Winged Dragonfly.

I had gone to bed asking for direction in my art work. Just before waking that morning I dreamed that I was awakening.

And as I was rolling back my bedcover I saw underneath it ~ Viewed from the bottom, a dragonfly, caught under the cover and bound by a very fine spider’s web.

I reached down to the slightly crumpled dragonfly ~ Hoping she was still alive and would survive. On my open hand, I watched her free herself of the webs. She became GOLDEN ~ Beautifully glittering and GOLD.

I took the Golden dragonfly over to my window and released her. As she flew away the sunlight cast rainbows on her wings. The most beautiful creature I have ever seen ~ A golden dragonfly, with rainbow coloured wings, morphing to be both dragonfly and butterfly.

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If you find me not within you, you will never find me. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Freedom to experience newness.

I believe that every aspect of a dream reflects something within us. My immediate interpretation was that my spirit recognized that it has been bound and held back, to the point of depletion ~ But knows now that it CAN be freed and released from the dust of time. Free to be a creature of rainbow light. And with that freedom, a deepening appreciation of grace and beauty will enrich my being: The beauty of Universal Light is there to be felt by all ~ But the heart needs to be opened to receive.

I glean that (for me anyway) the dragonfly is strongly associated with awakening. And ever since I’ve been sharing these dragonfly images, so many people tell me they’re also seeing so many more dragonflies all around them too.

I envisage my new journey:

I’m assured that it’s time now to dust off any old remaining cobwebs from the past. To see again, as if for the first time the beauty of light and colour, within and without: That has always been there. And as this conversance settles, gain unlimited freedom.

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For I have been with you, from the beginning of me. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Receiving the ‘Energy of the Golden Dragonfly.’

The dragonfly is generally seen as the ‘Light bearer’ and a symbol of change. So that when we feel her essence touching our Soul ~ Maybe that’s when her power to bring about change will be possible.

Simply looking at these images of dragonflies, I hope may help release your own ability to visualize and then inflame the energy of your own ‘dragonfly.’

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Golden Dragonfly.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Previous articles about the Golden Dragonfly.

1. The Golden Dragonfly.
2. The Golden Dragonfly: What did she say?

The Golden Dragonfly: What did she say?

That touch of Gold:
That brings joy to our being:
That brightens up the dark spaces:
That Golden Dragonfly: That Summer. ~Ally.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. ~Rumi.

First glimpse of the Golden Dragonfly.

In my previous article: The Golden Dragonfly the lake on the local golf course and its marshland surroundings were described. I also recalled my first glimpse of the Golden Dragonfly at the lake, after seeing a tiny flash of gold coming from the reeds: Where all I could do was stand perfectly still and breathe in her golden beauty.

The symbolism of Gold.

I almost rejected the image above as the dragonfly didn’t seem to have enough contrasting colour to bring out her magical sparkle.

However in contemplating the rich symbolism of gold, this image simply couldn’t escape being included.

Gold in its material form can convey affluence and social standing and is usually associated with great wealth and extravagance, elegance and prosperity.

Yet beyond the material, gold relates to the power of the sun, higher ideals and wisdom: Inspiring one to reach a deeper understanding of the Self and the Soul.

I was dead, then alive. Weeping, then laughing. The power of love came into me. I became fierce like a lion, then tender like the evening star. ~Rumi.

Absorbing the energy of Gold.

Absorbing the colour gold, which you can do by wearing gold or bright yellow ~ Visualizing gold or yellow or even looking at a golden image such as these dragonflies, can open your solar plexus centre to accept more abundance, love, compassion, courage, wisdom, creativity and magic into your life.

The energy of the solar plexus is about your personal power and honour, where taking care of yourself encompasses caring for others as well.

When the energy of this area is flowing unrestricted, a clearer sense of self can be felt, with the resulting improvement of self worth and self confidence and the ability to ‘manifest’ not only in a financial sense, but in your overall well-being, relationships and abilities.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ~Rumi.

Collecting stray golf balls?

I visited the lake on the local golf course several times a week, for just on 4 months, attempting to capture different aspects of the beauty of this exquisite creature.

Every day was different so that unless you knew what you were looking for, you would have an extremely difficult time seeing the Golden Dragonflies.

Recalling now how the occasional curious golfer would stop and ask what I was looking for amongst the reeds ~ Collecting stray golf balls? They would be so astonished when I was able to show them ~ The Golden Dragonflies that they had unknowingly been walking past so often.

Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty. ~Rumi.

Postures of the ‘Golden Dragonfly.’

In the same way that a dancer expresses a story or emotions through posture and gesture, I could see that the dragonflies were also expressing something through their ‘body language.’ Looking at the image above, it was as if the Golden Dragonfly was bowing in respect to the energy of water and so I called it: Prayer for the water.’

You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. ~Rumi.

Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.

The Golden Dragonfly reminds us that we live in a world of never ending mystery and magic and that life is never what it may appear to be.

She whispered to me to allow her essence to fill my being, and to know that once having been touched by her light and beauty, I can be more open to my own light and beauty.

In this way I felt that the essence of the Golden Dragonfly was to perceive ALL beauty ~ Becoming aware that I am only able to perceive this beauty because it is within me as well.

Something opens our wings, something makes boredom and hurt disappear. ~Rumi.

The ‘Energy of the Golden Dragonfly.’

It may not be possible for you to go to a place that attracts different varieties of dragonflies ~ Let alone the Golden Dragonflies. However you may be able to visualize a dragonfly and/or feel its energy. Simply looking at these images of dragonflies, can initiate this process.

You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul. ~Rumi.

A new beginning.

The Golden Dragonfly appeared, physically at a very significant time for me: After not doing any major art work for 5 years, I was accepted by Sculpture by the Sea (An international environmental art event, held annually at Bondi, Sydney) to install an environmental sculpture. More about that in another article.

Dragonflies also appeared in my dreams at this time. In my next article I’ll describe one of the dragonfly dreams that I recorded and the insight I gained from it.

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Golden Dragonfly: What did she say?

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Articles about the Golden Dragonfly.

1. The Golden Dragonfly.
2. The Golden Dragonfly: Dream of the Rainbow Winged Dragonfly.

The Golden Dragonfly.

In dawn’s new light:

Dew laden wings dry in the sun:
I leave the memory ~ A flash of gold:
Of astonishing beauty ~ Of Earth and Heaven:
Before I fly into the space ~ Of the ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Ally.

If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like a ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Adapted from Rumi.

The Home of the Golden Dragonfly.

I often walk barefoot over the local golf course early in the morning ~ Before the first players arrive. A majestic ‘manor estate’ of hills and valleys, on an ancient sandstone escarpment ~ All to myself.

At the highest level of the course is a huge ‘lake’ ~ A 25 million litre man-made dam that collects stormwater from the creek, running through the course on its way to Sydney Middle Harbour, as an alternative watering source for tees, greens and fairways.

The lake, surrounded by a host of indigenous reeds, bullrushes and grasses, is now home to native ducks and frogs ~ And a favourite mating ground for many varieties of dragonflies.

First sighting of the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’

A glint of gold ~ Flashing from the reeds in the marsh-like surrounds of the lake, about 10 metres away. Keeping my eye fixed to where I’d seen the golden light, I slowly walked up to it ~ Along the pathway beside the reeds.

What I saw, an impression I’ll always remember ~ One of the largest and most beautifully winged dragonflies I’d ever seen. I didn’t have my camera with me ~ I just stayed motionless ~ Breathing in the beauty.

In the photograph above, I initially thought the lime green ball/sac was an imperfection in the image ~ However it became a fascinating feature, which to date no-one has been able to tell me what it is. Do you know?

Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me. ~Cloud Atlas: Andy and Dana Wachowski.

Photographing the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’

From that Spring morning, I spent the next 4 months visiting the lake about 3 times a week for a few hours at, or as close to dawn as possible ~ Photographing the Golden Dragonflies.

As Spring turned to Summer, there were so many dragonflies around the lake, almost invisible amongst the grasses and reeds ~ And as I’d move through the reeds, they would fly out from no-where (not unlike the bats that fly over the lake at dusk.)

Most would fly completely away ~ But some would fly just a few meters away so that as I moved towards them, extra, extra stealthily ~ I could be that close to them, that my camera was literally only a few inches away from them.

The mud beneath my bare feet was black and squelchy ~ A perfect swamp for mosquitoes and spiders. If I’d allowed my thinking to have its way, it was also the perfect quagmire for more harmful creatures as well ~ Snakes and crocodiles.

Fortunately I had to be so mindful and present to my environment that the fantasised thought of snakes was replaced by the wish to capture the beauty I was in touch with.

Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.

There were actually three dragonflies close together when I took this photograph above, but then one flew away. I was told later that the number 2 relates to the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly ~ Providing just one more example to me that everything is as it needs to be?

Just as light can bend and shift and be adapted in a different ways, so can the archetypal forces associated with dragonfly. Dragonfly yields the message that life is never what it appears to be. ~Shamanic Journey by Ina Woolcott.

Understanding a little more about the shamanic symbolism of the dragonfly and tuning into the ‘Energy of dragonfly’ I sensed was allowing the dragonflies to assist me to photograph them ~ After all why wouldn’t they want their beauty to be shared with everyone?

In my future articles about the Golden Dragonflies, I’ll explain a little more about my understanding of the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.

And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? ~Rumi.

My camera? 

My first digital camera: An inexpensive Traveler DC 140 ~ Without a zoom or macro lens and virtually no depth of field. And the only way to capture the Golden Dragonflies was to BE: BE with my breath, BE with the sensation of mud squelching through my toes, BE with the stillness and gentle breezes of dawn, BE with the morning light, BE with the chill and warmth in the air, BE with the sound of rippling water and the songs of birds.

Postures of the ‘GoldenDragonfly.’

In the photograph above, I see the posture of ‘Humility.’ A quiet reflectiveness. Coming to see that although my existence may be a relatively short one ~ In whatever time I am granted on this Earth, it’s up to me to shine my Light and Beauty, in a way that only I can do.

The most amazing aspect of these images is that to take them, I had absolutely no choice but to be so up close ~ And to be so up close, I had to be so still when I moved towards them. And being so still allows us to take in so much more of the wonder of it ‘all.’

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Golden Dragonfly.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.