Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Friday dawned bright and sunny.  My place of residence doesn’t receive a great deal of light, so it was an opportunity to go out.

I considered returning to Wattle Park and then, perhaps, walking to Aldi from there to buy some groceries.  Then I wondered what groceries I really needed, and that it required a lot of walking.  Then I considered journeying into the CBD to return to the Botanic gardens.  I hadn’t had a lot of success with bird photos there, so looked about on Google for other parks I could get to.  A general search didn’t reveal much, so I then used maps and looked at the green areas close by.

I discovered a green patch with a lake, called Lake Sanctuary, at Blackburn, just three train stops from me.  Clicking on it revealed that it was a place for birdwatching.  That made my mind up.

The forecast had clouds for later in the day so I had a cursory lunch and headed out at 12.15 for the train.  From Blackburn station it was a 15 minute walk to the park.  Lots of kids at the playground near the carpark, so I ventured further in.  I found the track that circled the lake.


There was a bench seat facing the lake so I sat for a while, and saw no birds.  I could hear plenty – rainbow lorikeets, wattlebirds, magpies, all up in the canopy.  I did see a few magpies flying around, and then finally saw a dusky moorhen and a wood duck.  I was about to get up and keep walking, when I spied a white dot on the opposite bank.  I couldn’t really see what it was – a heron?  I got my new camera out and zoomed in.  It was a Nankeen Night Heron!  I was thrilled.


The zoom was fantastic.

I spotted a magpie and rainbow lorikeet in branches above me and attempted to photograph them.



I waited for a couple of women to pass.  They had binoculars so were evidently birdwatchers.  I wondered if they’d seen the night heron.  I walked along further and saw a wood duck on a log, preening and flapping its wings.


The women were paused at a viewpoint further on.  When I approached, they passed by, back to the track.  They didn’t smile, just looked at my camera.  I thought fellow birdwatchers might be friendly (they would’ve seen me taking photos), but not those two.  They walked quite quickly, so I don’t imagine they saw or looked around much.

I crossed to the other side of the lake and walked away swiftly from a whining child who, thankfully, was going in the other direction.  I was walking slowly along one of the tracks…


when I heard what sounded like a grey warbler.  Then I saw movement and discovered it was a fantail.  I hadn’t known until quite recently that fantails were in Australia.  It was a “grey fantail” (they even have different types) and looked like the New Zealand fantail but without the yellow colouring.  Unfortunately, it was too quick for me to capture it.  As soon as I found it with the zoom it flew off.  I continued walking and saw more movement out of the corner of my eye and a little grey bird flew past and then a blue bird.  I gasped and stopped.  There were birds everywhere if I stopped and listened and looked for small movements.  The little blue bird, a superb fairy wren, came out to the path and darted in and out of the grass, seemingly unaware of me.  I tried to get several photos, but again, trying to zoom in on it as well as follow it proved difficult.


It then became aware of me and flew up into a branch and, like many birds, started preening so I couldn’t see its head.


I saw no other birds after that, but did hear them, including brown thornbills.  I sat for a bit but people passed by.  I double-backed, but more people were around so no more birds except the odd wood duck and a Pacific black duck.  I got one more glimpse of the night heron, which had moved a little further along but was still visible for those with a keen eye (or zoom lens).


It had been a very pleasant, and rewarding, walk.  I had spent two hours at the park in total.


One to bear in mind for any visitors.


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I had a wonderful day today.

Firstly, the sun was shining – always a bonus, and it was warm.  Windy in the morning but not cold.

I walked to Box Hill to buy a few needed food items.  When I got back I sat outside in the sunshine with Jasmine.  I took my new camera out in case some birds happened by.  Naturally, as I was prepared, none showed up.  Only when I don’t have a camera do they come and pose.  A day or two before a red wattlebird had come quite close and I could have got some wonderful shots of it.  It wasn’t to be.

I had an early lunch (using some of the ingredients I had bought) and read a book on my bed where some sun was shining through.  I then decided to make use of the sun and walk to Maranoa gardens to see if I could capture any birds there.  I wandered around, sitting occasionally in case some birds wanted to co-operate.  I captured a noisy miner and a young magpie.


The rainbow lorikeets were noisy but, as usual, stayed up high in the canopies or flew swiftly by.  I continued wandering and sat again, trying to capture some red wattlebirds, and then some little brown thornbills.


No real luck there.  I took a few photos of the lovely grevillea and other flowers and then headed to the exit.  Just before I left, I spied a red wattlebird and tried zooming in.  I think I got one decent photo.  Still, it was fun, and I was impressed with the zoom capabilities of the new Canon.



I caught a tram back into Box Hill, deciding that I wanted a new bag for the camera.  However, I couldn’t find any.  Instead, I bought some wine and some curry sauce, and a jar for teabags, and walked back home.  Altogether, I’d walked over 8 km today.

Returned and had a cup of tea and some dark chocolate.  I went online to search for some storage options (I still have unpacked boxes) and a camera bag, while listening to some cruisy music.  No luck on the camera bag – I will have to go into Eastlands mall and have a look around – but did order some plastic drawers which at least look better than boxes.  Free, next-day delivery a bonus.

I cooked chicken satay and rice for dinner and watched “Who do you think you are?” which featured Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil.  Interesting.  Nothing else on TV so I returned to the computer and watched a Polish series called “The Border”.

Fabulous day.

Haven’t written about my Brisbane trip yet.  Will do so soon.


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Brief update

Days 4-6:

H rang me on Sunday evening. Was good to talk to her. She’s finding it rather frustrating looking for full-time work, I think. She’s applied for a few, so here’s hoping. Her casual job isn’t enough. They don’t have internet yet (after they recently moved) so she relies on the local library for getting brief doses of social media, etc.

I knew the Xbox exercise thing would be challenging for the working week. When I get home from work, I don’t particularly want to do a work-out, especially when it’s hot. I have been doing some abdominal crunches and squats, etc, but that’s not enough to lose any pounds. The pedometer indicates that I walk between 5,000 and 7,000 steps while at work and walking at lunchtime. The weather’s iffy today but I will go out there if it’s not raining.

I tried on my new jeans to wear to work today and couldn’t help but see the muffin top over my hips. Not a great look and I couldn’t bear to go to work looking like that. I’ll have to lose some of the flab. I don’t mind wearing them in town but all day at work, no. I didn’t notice the problem while trying them on at the shop. Of course I concentrated on the fit and the length, which seemed perfect, but didn’t look closely enough obviously. Oh well. An incentive to keep at it. I did some belly dancing last night (and it was a hot night, so sweated quite a bit).

As for food, I’m continuing with no alcohol and cutting back on bread. Unfortunately there were some very nice Lindt chocolates at work, that we never see in supermarkets here, so I did indulge rather more than I should have: 7 chocolates on Monday and 3 yesterday. None today, thankfully. No idea what to eat tonight. Last night I had a pork steak which was very tasty.

Started watching the latest DVD of the Australian “Who do you think you are?” Very interesting. Jackie Weaver reminded me of one of my cousins. Interesting that her grandmother lived in Goulburn, where my dad was born. Was good to see the town on screen, however briefly.

The working day went quite quickly on Monday. Yesterday it slowed. Today is not too bad, so far. After about 3.30 I get rather tired. Oh well.

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Days 3-4

Yesterday, I was feeling quite tired and achey (the exercises must be working) so didn’t do any exercise at all apart from a few abdominal crunches and squats for about 10 minutes.  Anything’s better than nothing, but I put it down as a rest day.

I was invited to lunch in Foxton and, as it happens, a person who wanted several of my give-away items lived in Foxton, so dropped off the stuff to her first.  Always a great feeling to get rid of more unused stuff.  Some of it was C’s, and I’d intended to give to charity shops but they weren’t open.  That’s the problem with  having time off over a holiday period.  You can’t do stuff that you’d be able to if you took normal week days off because everywhere is closed.

Anyway, a tasty lunch of onion tart and yum salad with home-made beer bread.  I must make that sometime.  Great company and quite a few laughs around the table.  We tried out some lateral thinking mind puzzles and surprised ourselves by being able to get a few.  Played some petanque and a few more mind puzzles (not doing so well this time).  Wonderful, sunny afternoon.

Can’t recall the rest of the day – much of it spent watching TV I think.

This morning I finally hauled the jeans I bought out of the bag and began taking off umpteen labels when I noticed a white mark on the trouser leg, which wouldn’t come off.  Quite peeved, as it meant a special trip into town to return them.  Grumbling, I got changed and headed into town, ready with arguments if they resisted an exchange.  You never know with some places.  Luckily, they did simply exchange them.  I wasn’t in the mood for more shopping, even grocery, so I drove to the Esplanade for a walk.  I had a pleasant wander through the rose garden and along a bush walk.  I was astounded to see a tomtit.  At first I thought it was a black fantail but it sat on the branch long enough for me to see clearly that it was small and black with white bits on its wings.  Amazing.  Who’d a thought?  A tomtit in the Esplanade gardens…  I then walked past the children’s playground, remembering the old one from years ago, and the old band rotunda, long since gone.  I didn’t bother looking at the aviaries, but headed back to the car.   I’d forgotten, once again, to time my walk.  I’ve been guessing each day when adding it to myfitnesspal.  It’ll be interesting when I go for a walk to and from the car, and at lunch at work, to see how many steps I take.

About to hang out some more washing.  I’ll go through some cupboards, putting aside anything I don’t want/use.  I have the garage to finish as well.

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I went into town yesterday to embark on the dreaded clothes shopping.  (I hate it for various reasons.) Town was quite busy with people shopping in the sales.  Quite mad.  I went to the place I hate: the Plaza, looking first in K-Mart then in other clothes shops, and finally Farmers.  I was disappointed, as usual.  I wanted simple colourful tops, not fancy, flowy, flowery stuff.  I hated most of the colours.  I couldn’t even find simple t-shirts that were not orange, white, pink, or ghastly pale green.  People wonder why I wear black and blue all the time – because there are no other colours they sell that I like.  No purples or reds, unless it’s mixed with orange or yellow or pink.  I have a hard time clothes shopping.  Having got nowhere in the Plaza I headed to the Warehouse where I found some simple v-necked tshirts in dark blue and khaki green.  I also needed some new jeans but there was nothing around.  I don’t like three-quarter pants.  They’re not flattering on anyone, least of all me.

I then went to the supermarket to get the council rubbish bags I’d forgotten when grocery shopping.  They had none at all.  Met B from work and walked with her to a nearby supermarket.  Arranged to do a clothes shopping outing with her.  I need guidance.  I usually just glance briefly, hating the whole experience (and that’s even before I’ve looked in the mirror to try something on).

Other supermarket did have (overpriced) rubbish bags so got them and headed home.  I had a quiet night, watching “The Killing III” for a while.  Nothing much happening on Facebook apart from moans about the weather.  It was fine here and rinaing elsewhere it seemed.  People were out celebrating.  I went to bed early and read a book.  I woke at about midnight and heard some fireworks, then went back to sleep.  I got a message this morning from the girls that they expected me to be up last night to Skype, but I had nothing to do while waiting for midnight (which was only 10 pm there) and was bored.  Besides which, they hadn’t informed me they had intended to skype (and I’ve never used Skype before).

This morning I put up my new home-made calendar.  Last year I had pictures I’d taken of birds, and the year before that general landscapes and blog photos.  This year it’s scenes from our trip to the South Island nearly a year ago already.

I had decided to start 2015 with an exercise regime, (a New Year’s resolution, I suppose) especially after seeing photos of myself at Christmas, and just generally feeling bloated.  I got the XBox Kinect exercise ‘game’ out this morning and did a few exercises, getting my heart rate up.

Then decided to head to town again to buy myself a simple pedometer and have another look for jeans.  Town was a lot quieter with only the bigger shops open.  Warehouse had 50% off some sports items so I got a simple pedometer for $6.  I don’t need all the fancy shit.  I initially asked at a counter and the guy thought a pedometer was for measuring wind.  Oh dear.  People get dumber by the year.  Went back to the Plaza and had a closer look for jeans around the place, as before I’d concentrated on tops.  Couldn’t find anything, and most of it straight-leg which I don’t like, so went to Just Jeans which had a sale on.  They had jeans for shorter people which fitted perfectly.  I won’t have to take them up at all.  Brilliant.  I bought two pairs, and happy with that, returned home, forgetting, this time, to get petrol.

Got the pedometer out and went for a walk down to the domain, around the field and back home.  According to the pedometer that was only about 5,500 steps.  Apparently you should aim for 10,000.  As it took me about 50 minutes, it would take 2 hours to walk 10,000 steps, which is impractical on a day-to-day basis.  However, they say that any amount that has you walking more than you normally would is good, so I’ll settle for that.  I’ll also do some dancing in the evening so a good start to my new exercise plan.  I just have to keep it up for at least a month.  I’ve also decided to go without alcohol for the month, and cut down on bread if I can.  I’m coming to the last of the Xmas ham so it should be easier once that, and the bread, has been used up.

Feeling at a bit of a loss as to what to do.  I don’t feel in the mood for going through the hallway cupboards to declutter.  I’ve been through them all once and there wouldn’t be much more to get rid of.  I gave bro back his tripod which he had completely forgotten about.

I’ve got a couple of things to give away and to sell.  As usual, people haven’t turned up to collect as they said they would.  H’s art bag and canvases have sold so that’s good.

Wondering what to do with myself now.  The house is so quiet.  I don’t feel in the mood for doing any genealogy or art which are things I think I might do when I have time off work.  When it comes to it I feel uninspired.  I did some weeding not long ago so it’s not looking too bad.  Obviously, I need to go back to work to make me appreciate time I don’t have and plan it better.

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The walk revisited

I tell a lie – I wasn’t completely alone on that walk. There was a guy on a ride-on mower, who I avoided. Yesterday, I went again to the park but there was another guy on a mini-tractor thing watching me. I wasn’t alone, couldn’t relax. I sat and ate a bit of my lunch and looked around but felt watched so wandered back.  On the way I met a cyclist and two people walking towards me and then further on a woman and a dog, who splashed into the stream enjoying itself, which brought a smile to my face but not to the woman. One can never be alone. I wanted to commune with the trees but it wasn’t happening.

On the way back I saw an old track by the stream and wondered if that was one we followed with the dogs.  I then took a different route back to work and it had all changed – I couldn’t really recognise any of it apart from the very obvious entries.

Today I settled on just sitting on the grassed area below the road.  There were even more people walking along on the other side of the stream.  I read a book instead of attempting any solitary pleasure, which was a solitary pleasure in itself I suppose.  I still enjoyed the sound of the stream trickling and the birdsong.  It was still marred by the sound of machinery.

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A work-related fitness challenge has had me out walking more than I normally would, mostly in the lunch hour. On one walk around the road I spotted some lovely green grass and trees below and wondered how I might go there at another time.

Today was cloudy with a bit of a cool wind but after having my lunch in the staffroom I decided to go on a walk of discovery instead of reading my current (rather depressing) book.

I headed down to the neighbouring park. Decades ago my parents and I (and bro) would take the dogs to the park for a walk on a Sunday sometimes (we took the dogs somewhere every Sunday). I followed the track through the bushy bit, over a bridge and then discovered the green grass and trees I’d spotted from the road above on my previous walk…

From then on it was a journey of amazed discovery. Clearings of beautiful mature trees … and a stream that was so clear you could actually see the bottom (so rare these days).

This didn’t exist, or at least wasn’t accessible, when I went to that park as a kid. It would have been perfect for Zara – she would’ve loved it, and all the picnics we could’ve had there, the visitors we could’ve shown… I feel ashamed that I hadn’t bothered to walk down to the park in all the time I’ve worked here. It was like a garden of Eden. I love trees and to be surrounded by so many in a park-like setting with no-one else around was pure bliss. I even saw a kingfisher.

On the way back I tried to figure out whether the familiar bit of the track was the end of our doggie excursions or whether the grassy clearings were created from bush we used to walk through. I walked in bafflement and surprise.

I will be planning more lunchtime trips there.


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