Thursday, 30 May 2013

March 13 - early morning walk.

                                                                       Click on the photos to enlarge their size.

 Work got in the way of walking this week, so I've decided to share what turned out to be  a very special suburban walk, that I took earlier this year.
My wonderful neighbour Laurel, teaches at Rivermount College at Yatala. Often, when I haven't received a call for work by the time she departs for school, I take a ride with her and walk home. The walk usually takes about 1 hour 10 mins of walking at a steady pace.
It's good exercise and here the suburban landscape is not unpleasant.

On this particular day, I took a good hour and a half to make the journey home, as there was just so much beauty catching my eye, after another week of continuous rain. I  had to find several trees to shelter under, as the showers continued.


A short walk from the school saw me crossing the peaceful Albert River, via the public footbridge. Stepping off it , I was among tall, grand gums, looking even grander in their colourful peeling bark.



                                                    

Next to catch my eye was water, gently swirling out of the drain beneath the road into someones dam, where a small, unknown bird, was contemplating his lush surroundings.



The joy of being out and about on this overcast morning grew, when I spotted the rainbow lorikeet breakfasting on the nectar of the Golden Penda flowers and bees and other insects foraging on other plants.





Soon after, I was delighting in the unspoilt beauty of a field yet to feel the power of man and machine.

 



                   

Walking on, I was soon captivated by the beauty of this hibiscus and golden seed pods.



And when I didn't think I could be impressed any more, I spotted these magnificent water lilies.




Moving on, I discovered that a grassy path I'd always wanted to walk, had recently been mown. My thought was, 'that if a tractor could mow, then it would be fine for me to walk'. It wasn't the case, but my shoes were easily washed on my return and I did enjoy walking along the bank of this heavy flowing creek and jumping a drain or two.


As my journey was nearing its end, there was this reminder of the flood heights in January. The creek is down to the right.


                              So glad I didn't forget to take my camera today!!!

Happiness is.........
                             Watching this week's full moon rise.


Thanks for visiting. Please feel free to leave a comment.





Friday, 24 May 2013

Sunny Sunday, Tranquil Tuesday, Wet Wednesday.

                                                                  Click on the photos to increase their size.

Sunday dawned to a beautiful crisp autumn day - a chill to the air, hinting at the cooler mornings to come.


I was delighted when my husband suggested that we take our neighbours to the beach for coffee and a walk. A 45 minutes drive later, we were sitting sipping our MacDonalds coffee, beneath the ageless Norfolk Pines that guard the foreshore parkland of Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast. The chill to the breeze, soon had us heading to the sunshine of the open beach. A shimmering aqua sea mesmerised us for the duration of our walk.
This was my 1st visit this year where the ocean wasn't angry.


We were quite impressed with this newly erected sculptured on the foreshore.

This wonderful morning, made me keen to return with my Tuesday walking buddies. Alas, the clear skies did not continue, but we were still able to enjoy our coastal walk of 15 k's.
The cloud cover was most unusual, creating a distant, but low horizon. The calm ocean and muted light created a tranquil atmosphere, which was equally enjoyable as Sunday's sunshine.

              View from our starting point, to Point Danger, where we were headed.


A hopeful fisherman making footprints in the soft, fine, white sand.

Pandamus tree growing in the sand.

As we turned the point at Coolangatta, we looked back to the high rise jungle of the world famous Surfers Paradise. 

The time of day is about midday, but it was difficult to tell with the low cloud and colour changes, as the sun tried to peep through.


Finally we reached Snapper Rocks, [world renowned to surfers] below Point Danger. Today the ocean was lazily meeting the shore, unlike an earlier visit.


Leaving the shelter of the bay as we rounded the point, the ocean became a little more energetic.
Our last leg soon had us leaving our footprints in the sand behind, as we delighted in the beauty of the Tweed River. 


                            
From here it was another 20 mins to my sister in law's home, where she kindly provided refreshments and then drove us back to our starting point.

Early Wet Wednesday saw me heading south of the border to my place of birth, Kyogle in New South Wales. After parking my car and joining my cousins at Beaudesert, we took the scenic 'Lion's Road', which winds through a narrow valley, crisscrossing  a beautiful gurgling creek numerous times and climbs and winds its way over the MacDonald Range in the Border Range National park. This road was built by volunteers [my Grandfather and Uncle included] and is still funded by donations. 

From being a rough narrow dirt road, it is now fully sealed and sadly the causeways are now all bridges, which makes for a quicker journey, but not nearly as enjoyable. Usually I cannot resist snapping shots of this wonderful area, but I was not in the driver's seat and it was raining.
On arrival in Kyogle, I was able to snap these European trees, sporting autumn leaves, against a back drop of our stately gums. Here in the tropics, summer just runs into winter, which is often as warm as some northern summers! Today everyone is complaining. We woke to 11 degrees C and the max is expected to be 18C. Winter is here.


The purpose of the visit south, was to lunch with the Cullen Clan - my Father's side of the family, who took up a selection at Afterlee [20 ks west] in 1901. Uncle Stan, 92, is the only member of that generation still alive. We try to meet as often as possible to hear him relate his wealth of stories from those early years. On this occasion our conversation centred on the fact a gold mining company is keenly interested in taking over the farm for open cut mining. I've added a clip of Uncle Stan talking on local TV.


On collecting him, we drove to a lookout over Kyogle that I had always wanted to visit. As you can see the rain was drawing closer.


                                   


Sunny Sunday, Tranquil Tuesday, Wet Wednesday - three very different days weather wise, but each equally memorable!

Happiness is............
                              Having time to sit beside a gurgling creek on the way to visit family.


Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear your comments.







Friday, 17 May 2013

Wet Tuesday

                                                                                  Click on the photos to enlarge.

Because of heavy rain, Tuesday walking this week became 'cheap Tuesday' at the movies, to see "Songs for Marion." It made us laugh and cry, so if you enjoy a feel good flick, I highly recommend it. After a delicious light lunch and and a stroll through the boutique shops of Bulimba, Jenny dropped me back to my car.

On our drive back to her home the sky magically cleared and as I had my camera in the car, I made the decision to revisit Dennis Lake. I spent a wonderful hour enjoying the afternoon reflections in the pond and its busy bird life. I was rather pleased with a few of the shots I managed to snap, but was frustrated that their movements were too quick for me to take the shots I really wanted.









Happiness is.......
                        spotting a pelican gliding onto our golf pond and with camera and tripod always standing ready, having just enough time to catch its reflection before the last rays of the day faded into the west.
                       





Thursday, 9 May 2013

Beyond the Black Stump - 2

 Click on photos to increase their size 

 

Daisy Hill Forest Park

Just 20 mins away from my door step, [but not in peak hour traffic like this morning] is 440 hectares of tall eucalpyt forest, home to koalas, wallabies, goannas and a large variety of birds.
My walking buddy Jenny, took me into the park via a side street near her home. I was amazed, that for the 30 years I have lived in this area and driven on a street so close to this entrance, that I was totally unaware of this oasis of tranquility. 

           

As we approached, a turtle sunning himself on a log, quickly slid back into the water, but the bearded dragon was not at all put out by our arrival.


The next surprise, as we walked along the western edge of Dennis Lake was to spot a  large flock of birds resting on the bank of a long grassy lawn. We quickly discounted them as our very familiar egrets and it wasn't until I did some google research that I discovered them to be Magpie Geese, that are more easily spotted in the Northern Territory.



 
This Waterhen was having a wonderful time diving for food.

On leaving the lake, it was only a short walk until we entered the peaceful world of Daisy Hill Forest Park. We are so grateful that this tract of forest was not divided by a motorway back in the 90's. The hustle and bustle of city life is quickly left behind.
Jenny and I hiked for 3 hours and only completed one of the numerous trails.


                                 


Near completion of the trail we thankfully missed the exit, for our return walk passed Dennis Lake. This resulted in our discovering the swamp of the Paper Bark trees. 






It was a wonderful morning's walking, but disappointing not to have spotted even one wallaby or koala. Hopefully next time! Returning to suburbia was made easier by the leafy suburb we were in and I managed to snap 1 more of our local birds. 

The Noisy Minor Bird    
      

Happiness is ........
                           observing the might of a tiny ant.