Friday, 24 January 2020

The Magic of Rain

Tuesday 21 January

We had had minimum falls of rain from July through to December. Everywhere was parched and tinder dry. Bush fires were rampant in SE Queensland where I live. These were the forerunner of the horror that unfolded in the southern states in late December.

 On the evening of the 11 December, this approaching storm was full of promise. Alas, hardly a drop fell.

A less dramatic looking storm on Christmas Eve, finally brought relief, dumping a wonderful inch of rain.
[Note that you cannot see any water in the golf pond.]

Two weeks later, there was a tinge of green coming through, as the Gaiter Girls set off on a local walk.

 From Christmas Eve through to the 17th January, no further rain fell. During this night however, I  heard rain falling off and on. I must have been sleeping more deeply than I had thought, as this was the view of the golf ponds I woke to. Over 100 mm or 4 inches of rain had fallen. Since then, over several days we have had a further inch / 25mm.  Yes, the magic of rain!

This week the Gaiter Girls retraced some of the December walk. Such a joy to have 'green' back again. [Same field as above.]

Sunrise - 5am, as I prepared to join the Gaiter Girls at Rebecca's home for our Tuesday walk.

Neil is Rebecca's husband and had offered to take us on local trails that we were unfamilar with. 

The estate we were walking through, consisted of acreage blocks of 2 to 5 acres.The developers, some 40 years ago, had wisely included corridors of land to be left untouched.

How wonderfully green was this view to the Albert River!

We were excited to learn from Neil, that this field beyond the creek, has been bought by the council to be developed as parkland, for the use of the community.

Sometimes we had to walk the quiet streets.

Someone's now full, backyard duck pond.

Note the mushrooms growing in a ring. We saw several of these.



From empty one week, to overflowing the next.

The final hill to Rebecca and Neil's home.

Even though we set out at 5.30 am, the heat and humidity was extremely debilitating. We should have known to bring our togs. Still, we managed to recover with chilled fruit, eaten with our feet dangling in the pool.

This city girl, but country born and bred, was in seventh heaven throughout this 11 kilometre walk. A simply marvellous morning in the Yatala 'bush'. Fresh country smells, cows, horses, sheep, ducks and noisy dogs, along with the magical green vistas across the paddocks. It was also a relief to know that the rain had been spreading itself far and wide and temporarily, the bushfire alerts had been downgraded.

Below is a photo collage of 1 week in January, in Australia.

Unstoppable bushfires.
A child in the west experiencing puddles for the 1st time.
Dust storms
Destructive hail in Canberra.

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Friday, 17 January 2020

A Coastal Cycle

Tuesday 31 December, New Year's Eve.

During the Christmas period, I was staying at Tweed heads in my sister in law's unit that overlooks the Tweed River. I had the use of her very comfortable bicycle to peddle to the beach and elsewhere.

On this last day of 2019, I was up at 4.15am to prepare myself for sunrise, followed by an epic [for me] bike ride, south to Hastings Point.

I'm not the best early riser but stepping outside to be greeted by this view, I was quickly in my happy place.

5 am

Five kilometres into the ride, there was one very steep [for me] hill to be climbed. I took time to enjoy the shrubbery and the birds singing, as I pushed the bike to the top. The cycle path signs were poor so when I finally dropped down to the river, I then had to climb / push bike, back up onto the bridge.

RHS leads to the footpath cycleway on the bridge.

Made it and the views were supurb!

6am and a relaxing peddle beside the Tweed River.

Mt Warning, which I intend to climb again on my 70th birthday next year, is hiding behind the clouds.

The river has been left behind and my path now takes me along the foreshore to Kinsgcliffe. 

Looking north.

Looking south.

And shimmering sunlight to the east.


Low tide at Cudgen Creek. The view was very different on my return. There will be pics.

The cycle path now headed south behind the sand dunes. The ebb and flow of the waves heard through the bush, was soothing.

This area has been develpoed over the last 10 years, but the nature strip between the housing and the sea has been very well planned. I was riding in shade much of the time. On my hot return journey, I was very grateful.

Arriving at Salt Village I was thrilled to spot a French Patisserie. Purchases were made and enjoyed at the beach.

How wondeerful are our beaches. A distant view north.

Collecting my bicycle to continue on, I was delayed with the antics of a bush turkey building her nest. These nests are a massive construction. Cycling further on, I actually spotted a turkey resting in a tree. I had thought they were only ground birds,

The bush turkey, busy with her nest.

A variety of sculptures were positioned along the pathway.

I'm pleased to report that I cycled to the top of this headland at Cabarita.

On reaching my destination, I was delighted that the path took me passed a coffee shop. A purchase was made. A short cycle took me to the Hastings Point headland, that at this hour of 8.30 am, was packed to capacity with holiday makers and sightseers.

I found a shady Banyan tree to sit under as the sun was toasty, even at this early hour. Once my coffee was enjoyed, I had a refreshing swim. Relaxing, I was serenaded by this lovely magpie.

9.30 am saw me manning my bike again, refreshed and ready for the 29km return journey. About one kilometre from Cudgen Creek, I spotted this secluded picnic area. The sea and chair beckoned.

Relaxing after my swim. 
I should note here, that I am very aware that it isn't safe to swim in unpatrolled areas. I cooled myself off in the shallow water of the edge.

11 am - a much fuller tide at a much busier Cudgen Creek.

I was determined not to push my bike up the STEEP [for me] hill, on my return journey. I made it 3/4 of the way and as you can see the effort left me very hot and bothered.

1pm and the pathway is again following the bank of theTweed River near my destination. I was spellbound with the intense aqua colour of the water. It invited me in for a final refreshing dip, before peddling slowly, the final kilometre to the unit.

The perfect view for recovering from this fabulous morning's excercise.

By 6 pm I had cycled to my favourite ocean viewing post, ready to enjoy the final sunset for 2019. The waves did not disappoint.

Filmed on slo-mo.

A peaceful farewell, after the chaos of the past weeks of fire danger.

2020 is dawning across the Tweed River.

A fabulous ride of 58 kilometres to end the year and a beautiful dawn to welcome the new. My life is good.
I now have a Granddaughter, Nora Margaret Dobbin who has arrived safely in very snowy conditions. Good rainfalls are occurring over vast areas, where it has been so desperately been neeeded. I trust, that as this year unfolds, people will be able to recover from the hearbreak of late 2019.

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