Recently our small band of weekly walkers, have set off early on suburban trails, to avoid the worst of the hot, sweaty conditions we are at present experiencing. On both these walks there was enough surrounding bushland to make us forget we were in suburbia.
Wednesday 2 January - Minnippi Wetlands to Carindale return, following Bulimba Creek.
In 1970 the Brisbane City Council had the foresight to purchase some of the land being sold by the pioneering, Stanton Family  to create this parkland. We were further impressed that the council has insured that the history of the area is retained through signage and footpath mosaics.
The above is some of the of the 17 children of the Stanton family. All were involved in growing sugar cane, corn, wheat, maize and lucerne and milking their large dairy herd.
The sultry conditions gave the Bulimbah Creek an eerie appearance. We almost expected a crocodile to slither from the bank into the dark, brown water.
At present the council is faced with an endless task, to keep the parklands mown.
This shot gives an indication of how much rain has fallen and the vast areas needing to be mown, plus a brooding sky ready to send another deluge. [Not until we drove home.]
Another grand eucalpt begging…………….
……...to be climbed!
There were numerous structured playgrounds for active children and a magical one to fuel imaginative play. It was developed around the theme 'The Dream of Flight' to acknowledge the death of a grandson of Emanuel Stanton. Stan died near Bulimba Creek, when his aircraft crashed whilst scattering the ashes of another local, family member.
Here we took a ride on the 'Icaroplane', part bird, plane and man. There was also a mini amphitheatre for children to put on their own performances.
We were intrigued by both nature's and man's sculptures.
Wednesday 3 February - Tarragindi to Norman Park return following Norman Creek.
This trail commenced at the Tarragindi Recreation Reserve. The leafy bushland was alive with butterflies.
After 20 mins, we were walking below the busy M1 freeway and spotted our 'hobo' - Margot, patiently waiting for our arrival. [We had seen the movie 'Wild' the previous day.]
It was at this point that I worried that I had made a poor choice of trail. Norman Creek was just a drain. The peak hour traffic was not just on the highway, but also on the bike path we were sharing. A good kilometre or more was spent in single file. Fortunately it was not long before the creek became a creek once more and veered away from the direct city routes. On our return leg it was not a problem at all.
Opposite the creek was a row of very old meleucas - paperbark trees. I never seen such thick, layered, trunks and these were alive with native bees, but unfortunately the camera didn't focus on them.
At our bushy turn around point, Margot suddenly realised we were only 50 metres from one of the coffee haunts from her office days. Coffee and cake was back in the car, but as Margot and Laurel suddenly felt poorly, we all agreed that a visit to the Secret Garden Cafe and nursery was essential.
Two hours later, we assured Laurel that we couldn't possibly waste all the preparations she had gone to, so we enjoyed morning tea no 2 on the banks of the Brisbane River at Orleigh park. The magnificent Moreton Bay Figs provided welcome shade.
My podiatrist appointment [on going foot issues] was not until 1pm giving us an hour to walk along the bank of the river. This is a beautiful reach of the river. We were surprised at the height of the tide.
This unique gas stripping tower, [only one in Australia], appeared unexpectedly. It was used to to remove ammonia and tar from the coal gas before usage. In use from 1880 - 1970.
There are innumerable reasons why I love 'walking down under with friends'. As I walked towards Southbank to rejoin them, after my appointment, I captured this shot. It communicates why I love Brisbane.
Sunday afternoon, nearing sunset, I took a walk around our golf course ponds. I am so fortunate to live where I live!
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