I have a “lap around the block” that I like to do about four times a week. It’s about a 45 minutes walk – longer in the heat. The family call it “my usual walk.” Such as, “when will dinner be?” or “are you ready to eat?” “After my usual walk.”
My usual walk makes for a great divider between work and home, so on work days I do it of an afternoon or evening. On holidays and weekends, I do it whenever the mood strikes or the weather allows. Not that the wet stops me. There’s an added beauty of walking through the Bush in the wet. (It’s not bush walking, given there’s a wide concrete path, but the path skirts through the edge of some bushland. And most is on suburb streets.)
On my usual walk I daydream and let my mind wander; it’s good for both de-stressing and reducing my flabdomen.
Even while I let my mind wander, lots of things catch my eye. Animals. Flowering plants. Birds. Lizards. Eels. Trees.
One of my favourite gardens always has different flowers in bloom. Even in the heat.
Look: parasols for plants. A novel way to protect a flowering plant in 38° heat.
I rarely walk with headphones on – I like to listen to the birds as I walk through a bit of the local bush.
This bridge crosses a little creek. I’ve seen eels in there – but not since a big flood washed them away. There used to be a family of ducks, but not for several years. They probably were killed by cats or foxes.
There’s often little kids with their parents investigating around the creek, or throwing sticks in and watching them float away. It’s also dog heaven, running across the ford.
I know the river dragon thinks it is his creek. When he jumps out from his camouflaged position on a rock, scatters across my path and plops into the creek, I squeal. Always.
One day I heard some scratching in the leaf litter next to the path. And there, right on the path was an echidna. I look for him all the time. But have only had one other sighting. (I did see a family of three deeper in the bush.) I am sure the little fellow is OK – his thorns would protect him from predators.
There’s always parrots or cockatoos or kookaburras. My favourite are the crimson rosellas.
I love the little finches that scatter and hop about through the low shrubs. Less common is the lyrebird that I have seen a couple of times. Being a ground dweller, I do worry he will be victim to cats and foxes.
Recently I heard an Eastern Whipbird. I actually saw him while he was making the unique call. At the end, he flicked his head back. (Worth listening to.)
I was excited to see what I thought was a new bird. Turns out it is the juvenile Eastern Koel. Not rare at all. (Apologies for the poor photos. I am walking with a phone and not camping out with a camera with a zoom lens after all.)
Of course, the dreaded brush turkey has made it to Sydney. They make a huge pile for their eggs. The male tends to nest to keep the eggs warm. I say dreaded as once they invade your garden, you’ll never get rid of them. And their size protects them against all predators. Here’s one roosting near his nest. A photo of the nest doesn’t show how truely huge the nest is – about three metres across. So I haven’t bothered with a photo. It’s just a pile of leaves anyway.
I also love looking at the trees. The changing texture as the gums drop their bark. While the trees are ever green, they are sort of deciduous – dropping their bark every year, revealing a smooth tree trunk. I’m not sure if I prefer the red trunks or the white of the ghost gums!
Either way, I do like how the bark sits around the base of a trunk like the tree has stepped out of its pants and left them on the ground.
Then there’s my favourite tree. It is hanging on despite most of the soil around its roots having been washed away. It looks as if a few little rocks are all that are left under one root. Bits of the tree have fallen off. Yet it lives on.
Coming back into the suburban street, one garden ornament often catches me out. I forget it is there and every so often, I notice it. I think I miss it as I am often looking elsewhere – at the nearby brush turkey, at kids on bikes, at an occasional car – or struggling up the hill. When I do notice it, I always smile.
I’m always pleased when the flowering gum I pass is in bloom.
Likewise I love when the hedge of gardenias are in bloom. The scent always reminds me of summer.
Pink bottlebrushes sing to me in a way the red ones don’t.
In other seasons, there’ll be a carpet of cherry blossoms confetti.
I don’t do the walk as much as I’d like when it gets dark early. It is a bit creepy walking down the track that crosses the creek. A young girl was abducted there one afternoon – so it doesn’t have to be dark, I suppose. Luckily she escaped when someone else walked by.
Mr Sans and I like walking with a torch in the dark along the path as it has no street lights. Despite evidence of an excessive number of possums living in our suburb – think jackboots on our roof – I haven’t spotted any when we wave the torch up the trees.
I also haven’t seen any wallabies – though Mr Sans says he has. Reason enough to keep walking this route. I may see one someday.
If I time my walk right, I can come up the last hill, just as the sun is setting and get these views:
You have such a variety of flora and fauna in your local area! Amazing for the suburbs of a populous city like Sydney. That video of the echidna is really unusual…all the ones I’ve ever seen have been so timid and have buried themselves in the ground as soon as a human appeared. Your one seems very comfortable around people. So unusual to film them eating like that!
Beautiful sunsets and what a great way to keep some separation between work and home.
I walked upon the echidna very quietly. When he heard me, he buried himself. My son has seen one in our street! I think they are pretty safe – except from humans.
That was my first thought, too – could all echidnas be so bold? I like its side-waddling walk. I looked up a photo of a brush turkey mound. I wouldn’t want to have to remove them from my garden! It really is great that you get to see so much in your own neighbourhood. Mine is desolate and ice-covered this month. But cute birds come to the feeder.
I think desolate and ice-covered would have a stark beauty. One day I will have to experience it.
It’s almost impossible to move the brush turkey mound if they nest in your garden. They will just come back. Though you can try to deter it.
Hope this link works:
Wow! You have captured your “usual walk” beautifully (spoken as someone who has accompanied you on some of these). As always, you are so observant of everything about you. I LOVE your flowering gum photo and the pink bottlebrush.
Why thank you.
Being high register, is both a blessing and a curse. Luckily I can also cut off and ignore my surroundings, especially if it means I have to clean or do repairs on my house.
PS you know the wallabies are behind MY house
PPS I love how you’ve depicted the not so interesting stretch of the walk with a stupendous sunset. I can never see them from my neck of the woods.
Have I seen them? Or only pics of them? I don’t think I’ve seen them in actuality.
Perhaps you’ve only heard my legendary tales of them thumping away at night. And seen the videos of the foxes.