Friday, 28 February 2020

Return to the Wetlands

23 January

Mid January, my early morning walk took me back to the Eagleby Wetlands. With the on going drought years, they were a very sad sight. They were dry and weed ridden. The trail beside the Albert river was very pleasant.

I was thrilled to spot, what I believe to be, a White Bellied Sea Eagle. Alas, a flock of Noisy Minor birds chased it swiftly away.

A cute Red Fairy Wren.

28 January

The Hungry Hikers arrived at Coombabah Lake Conservation Park by 7am, having negotiated the commuter traffic quite smoothly. There were no picnic tables, but ever resourceful, we still managed to enjoy a relaxed cuppa, before setting off hiking.

    About 5 days prior to our hike, this part of the coast had a deluge of rain fall in a very short period of time, creating chaos on the roads and in some low lying homes. Thankfully the trail wasn't as damp as it might have been.

    The park is a haven for literally hundreds of kangaroos and wallabies.







     Recovery from a bushfire.

Coombabah Creek     



Boardwalk along an inlet.     


     Paper Bark Melaleuca's enjoying the flooded swamp.

Spot the one lone duck, before it too, flies away.     


This section of the trail came to a very deep, watery end.      

Rather than retrace our steps, I managed some bush bashing and found a path that was negotiable. The Hungry Hikers have just been given the all clear to follow.    


  It was at this point that the mosquitos descended in their hordes. Note the arm waving. Our pace increased rapidly.    

So wonderful to see 'green' returning and replacing the brown vistas of the past 6 months.

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Saturday, 22 February 2020

Richmond Park

Thursday 26 July - 39C

[Final of 4 London posts.]

This was our final day in London and 3pm would see us making our way to Heathrow Airport for the long journey back to Australia. This was a morning not to be wasted, eventhough the temperature was again set to soar to 39C.

Richmond Park, 3.69 sq miles, 2,458 acres, three times the size of Central Park, New York, sits on the doorstep of London. Created by Charles 1st in the 17th century as a deer park, it is now of national and international importance for wildlife conservation. Its ancient trees support a range of rare species, including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers.

8.30 am saw us entering the park via The Richmond Gate. Immediately suburbia was left behind and treescapes and open grasslands greeted us.

Our 14 kilometre circuit.

Once out of the car, our hike was delayed for a short while, as Freda fell in love with this beautiful, and everso friendly dog.

The temperature was already rising rapidly and, like the deer, we kept to shady paths as much as possible.

A distant St Paul's Cathedral.

These are the gardens of Pembroke Lodge, the 1847 home of Prime Minister Lord John Russell. It is now a beautiful setting for weddings, with a cafe for frequenters to the park.

Yes, we walked through this delightful cafe entrance.

On exiting the gardens of Pembrooke Lodge, we delayed for some 20 minutes or more, to watch these beautiful fallow deer. They just couldn't make up their mind as to whether or not they wanted to cross the road to their friends. They kept traffic at a standstill.

Mid morning and these deer were really affected by the heat.

We followed a path to Isabella Plantation through this thick bracken. We were later told that bambi's may well have been hidden, beneath the fronds.

Isabella Plantation - 40 acres of woodland garden.

Continuing on, we were able to spy Wembley Stadium in the distance.

White Lodge, formerly a royal residence, it is now home to the Royal Ballet.

The Penn Ponds date from 1746 and were created to drain boggy land. Later they were used to farm carp.

Freda chatting with some very informative and friendly volunteers.

White Lodge.

Very hot and sweaty, we completed our circuit.

Just outside the gates, we had a hazy panorama of The Thames Valley.

A long, cold, soaking bath helped me to recover from the heat. At 3pm we walked 100 metres to the local tube station and were immediately a lather of sweat. We travelled to Heathrow in casual clothes and once through customs and security, we changed clothes and freshened up with wipes. Not the best way to start a long journey.

Boarding was delayed and once aboard, we sat for another 2 hours on the tarmac. The long awaited cool change was being preceded by very stormy conditions, directly in our flight path.

We definitely prefer to be safe than sorry so were not complaining. Everything else on our wonderful holiday had gone smoothly. We came home with so many special memories and 100's of photographs to help recall these moments.

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