Sunday, 30 August 2015

Snatching Walks

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Wednesday 19th August

It is so disappointing, when the business of life, gets in the way of Wednesday walking and that was the case this week. How fortunate am I, to be able to make that statement!

As a result, I was determined to walk locally as often as possible, so 6.30 am on Thursday, saw me securing the house, as Frank had had to leave earlier, to deliver his sister to the airport. The door had just closed, when I realised I had left my camera on the table inside. I decided it was too much of a hassle to go back in and get it and set off down the street.
3 months ago I had spotted a koala in a backyard, as I walked and since then, I carry it all the time. I hadn't gone far, when the thought entered my head that this would be the morning I would see one again.
 I'd made it to the ridge line of Mt Warren Hill, when I heard scuffling sounds on a tree and thought 'goanna'. Imagine my surprise and angst when I looked up to find a KOALA, less than 3 metres from me. I groaned! Second koala in 4 months and no proof. [They are rarely spotted.] I must have surprised him moving from one tree to another and he rushed to the closest gum, which was a short dead trunk. He couldn't climb very high, so we had quite a chat, with only a couple of metres between us.
IF ONLY I had had my camera. Fortunately I recalled that for the 1st time in months, I had put my
el-cheapo mobile in my pocket.
Sooooo, spot the Koala! Frustration continues as I can't get it to download, message or e-mail.

A friend sent me this on reading my tale on Facebook. My koala friend was much smaller. Jenny lives quite close to the ridge. 

Well I would have believed you Helen. We have a resident koala in our yard. I use the term resident loosely. About 12 months ago we spotted it in one of our trees. It comes and goes infrequently.

Saturday saw me heading off early again, WITH my camera. No Koala, but the foggy morning was lovely to be out in.

                            View over Beenleigh
                               Along the top
                                        Foggy wattle
 Looking back to where I had been along the ridge.

Rain had fallen Saturday evening and Sunday dawned very dull, but I found lots to make me glad I was up and about.

On Tuesday, I made the 2 hour drive to Coffee Camp, halfway between Nimbin and Lismore [NSW] to visit my brother. A storm had passed through the previous evening, leaving the air so crystal clear, one could almost see each tree on the volcanic rim of Mt Warning. It was a glorious drive, but along a mostly winding road, so I was unable to pull over and capture the beauty. Below is the view we enjoyed, as we sat and relaxed over our morning cuppa.

[This is the link to my March visit.]

One doesn't always have to 'hike down under' on a Wednesday, to enjoy our world's natural beauty.

I hope you have enjoyed snatching a walk or two with me. I would love to read your comment.

Monday, 17 August 2015

White Rock Conservation Park

Wednesday 12 August

We were down to 2 this week and undecided where we should walk, as it was Peoples Day at The Royal Brisbane Exhibition. [ Agricultural Show]
Which road was going to be least crowded?

I met Margot at her unit, in an inner suburb of Brisbane and we concluded that heading west would be the best bet. White Rock had been added to my list of hiking possibilities earlier in the year, so we decided to head there. It was my turn to drive and as I hadn't had time to check out google maps, I asked Margot if we could take her Tom Tom with us.

Now, I must add here that Margot totally relies on her Tom Tom and still manages to get lost. I, on the other hand have a very good sense of direction, once I've seen the map or previously driven it.

Sailing merrily along the motorway towards Ipswich, I suddenly realised that Tom Tom had us on the 'long' route, so I took the next exit -  Redbank. Well, poor old Tom Tom got in a state and had us turning here, there and everywhere, until we suddenly drove onto the poorest gravel road I have seen in a long time. The signage said, 'Unnamed Road' I burst into laughter at our predicament and the fact that this was happening to me! The further we went, the more I laughed. There were other cars following us, so we decided it must be a through road. Well blow me down Charlie if we didn't turn a corner and found ourselves entering White Rock Park, along with half of Brisbane, out to enjoy this beautiful area on People's Day. Then, to add to the humour of the day, the parking space was small and I could hardly get out of the car. My bum all too quickly landed on a clump of grass that was impeding my way. Very comfortable I might add.

The bush was alive with the sounds of a large variety of birds. I spotted my favourite Blue Fairy Wrens, flitting from branch to branch, but as usual, they were impossible to photograph. Much of the path was on a  wide, dusty, vehicle track, with the surrounding bush full of the sunshine of flowering wattle. Alas, my small camera just never seems to be able to focus clearly on these blossoms.

A short way into the park, the unimpressive Six Mile Creek, boardwalk traverses a loop through Paperbark trees. A steep incline had us standing on the 'pebble' of the day - The Bluff.

Nature knows how to impress.

 Is this nature's own hand or not?

After about 4 kms the trail began to climb and, on reaching the ridge line, we were treated to our 1st view of the spectacular White Rock, one of many sandstone outcrops on this ridge.

             West views

                               North face
                 East face

The trail wound halfway round the rock and suddenly had us climbing up onto its back face.

At this point we decided to be sensible and retrace our steps. Oh, how I hate having to be sensible.

Further along the ridge, we climbed another outcrop with views to the city and back to White Rock.

        Oh I wish…….

At 10 kms the hike wasn't long, but it certainly got our heart rate moving. We were going to take another trail, but we received a severe storm warning and made it back to the car, just as the 1st drops were falling. Thankfully it wasn't fierce, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

'Hiking down under' has again brought us unexpected beauty.

As a senior, would you have climbed to the highest point? Hope you enjoyed the hike. I would love to read your comment.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Return to Lennox Heads

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Wednesday 5th August - 17 kms, Lennox Headands to Ballina Lighthouse return.

An early start saw us drinking a much needed hot coffee by 9am, on Lennox Headlands, on this very chilly but beautiful morning.

Yes, another return hike, but after nearly 3 years of 'hiking down under', we have done very well not to repeat ourselves too often. Some hikes just beg to be repeated. This is one of them. It is only the second time I've hiked it with this group, but 4 times overall. Each time it has been like walking in paradise and today was no exception. So to the people who ask us why we travel so far to hike [2 hour drive], it is for the sheer joy of walking green, grassy headlands and wide, sandy beaches. It is for the sheer joy of watching and listening to the drama of the waves as they meet the shore, under magical blue skies and today, we were time and again to witness whales playing and dolphins surfing the waves. 

Thanks Jocelyn for these 2.

Sadly I was too slow to snap the dolphins surfing.

But I just managed to get this framed shot of a yacht.

My second angle proved more successful and the crab didn't escape.

My final pic was also taken by Jocelyn and totally captures why I will make the drive again some time in the future.

'Hiking down under' on such a glorious day is definitely hard to beat.

I hope the sunshine has lifted your spirits as it did mine. I would love to read your comment.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Return to Mooloolah

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Wednesday 29th July - 17 kms

After many frustrating weeks, looking after the stress fracture in her left foot, Jocelyn was ready to rejoin us this week. We wanted distance, but reasonably gentle walking. We decided to return to Ewan Maddock Dam and the Dulchara National Park at Mooloolah, which we had hiked in April last year.
[You will find the link under Blog Archive, April 2014, if you are so interested]

On this occasion I didn't take many pics, which I regretted once I got home. Laurel is very creative with both word and photograph and has given me permission to add the link to her blog report of the day.

These 2 photographs are a big improvement on shots I took last year.
                               Entering the tunnel

                                View at opposite end

Today, Monday, I took a leisurely stroll around a pretty lagoon that I have recently discovered, not too far from home.
Sipping a coffee before I set off, I was delighted to spy a family of Black Swans swimming into view.

The She Oak Trees attracted the Blue Fairy Wrens, but alas they just never sit still for long.

Back at the car, the raucous call of the white cockatoos disturbed the peacefulness of the afternoon.
These 2, were just quietly going about their business, whatever that was.

I'm in the process of down sizing my photo files. This afternoon my eyes alighted on the following and so I decided to include them.
The hungry White Crane fits in with this afternoon's birds.

The spider I just love, especially when enlarged.

You will have noticed that I have often taken shots when out and about with my lady bird. The mushroom shot was taken on my front lawn and recently I finally managed to snap an actual one.

Last week's temperature was a wintery 19C. Today a summery 27C. 'Hiking down under', no matter what the conditions, always bring delight and awe in nature's beauty.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of our wonderful birdlife. I would love to read your comment.