A place that kept my spirit vibrant during the long Lockdown

A place that kept my spirit vibrant during the long Lockdown

At the end of my street is Newport Lakes

A 33 hectare urban forest created in the 1970’s from an old bluestone quarry

What a wonderful vision of the then Local Government Council to create this haven in what was then a very industrial suburb devoid of open space.

Only about 12 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne

The fate of the quarry was sealed when the digging hit an underground spring and the lake was formed.

Over the the four months of the Melbourne lockdown I have walked the trails of this urban forest.

Seen the changes as winter turned to spring and now as summer approaches.

The trees in blossom

The resident black swans with their cignets

The flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos that came for winter and went back bush in the Spring. Unlike us terrestrial animals free to fly to and fro as they please.

The bird life by the lake is vibrant wattle birds, butcher birds all too quick for amateur wildlife photographer like me

But this little blue wren wasn’t shy and struck the perfect pose.

The hard bluestone walls that surround the lake loom large and bare the cracks from the many explosions that were used to extract the bluestone.

Those cracks now form handholds for climbers to practice their skills.

And in the rock faces there is the subtle marks of human presence

Mosaics of the birds in the park

And as the days got longer and warmer and summer is only an month or so away

The Blue Tongue Lizards come out to bask in the sun.

Walking in Newport Lakes and cycling on the Williamstown bay trail (posts here, here and here.) have made me appreciate my local space very much. How lucky I am to have access to these elements of nature in a big city.

After for months of lockdown in the City of Melbourne the restrictions that have kept Melbournians separate from the rural areas of the State will be lifted in a few days.

The Mighty Breva will roam again across the local countryside, on the coastal roads and over the windy mountain passes.

But before I sign off my local explorations

A pelican in flight a couple of evenings back down at the Koroit Creek estuary.

Travelling in the Time of Coronavirus-Quarantined in England

Travelling in the Time of Coronavirus-Quarantined in England

Sitting in the warm sun on the deck of my Sister’s caravan in SE England

Listening to the Rolling Stones

It’s England

Exile on Main Street the album

The song Soul Survivor

Seemed right for the end of the first of week of a three week lockdown in the UK.



Its not quite the weather I was prepared for in Morroco

But I was able to buy a micfo fleece jacket before the major  shops shut


There was also the warm clothes I’d bought for Londons late winter.


Coming back from Spain I had planned to isolate for a couple of weeks to be prudent.


The UK govt decided I should join the population and make it three.


My sister had stocked the caravan with food for my arrival.


I should emphasise I had no Covid-19 symptoms when I returned from Spain and a week on still dont so all is good


The UK social distancing allow one session of exercise a day.


Im so lucky to have the Rye and the Rye Nature Reserve on my door step.


The walks through the marsh and the Shingle beach are restorative to ones soul

But being early spring in the SE of Britain

It’s not always warm and sunny

Especially when a nor’easter blows down from the Arctic

Like for most of us Social Distancing and Isolation is challenging.

Even for a piecemeal adventurer who has travelled a bit solo.

So to the 3 F’s, Family, Friends and Followers.

Thanks for keeping in touch in these strange times.

A Bush Christmas

A Bush Christmas

A Bush Christmas is synonymous with Australia

But now much of our bush, Australia’s Bush is on fire

Not all

but too much

too much rare and precious flora, rare and giant trees and flowers

Much of Australia’s unique fauna, quolls, koala, snakes, goannas

to name a few

burnt alive in the fires

So its a sad Bush Christmas for those of us that love nature

her bounty and her beauty

The fires are not so large and intense in Victoria so I’ve taken some walks in the bush

The Ada Tree (above) is special, over 300 years old and a towering 75 metres high.

One of the last remaining giants of the forest

A Giant Mountain Ash found only in the southern parts of Australia

So few of these great trees remain

And in the damp gullies ancient Beech Trees remnants of Gondwana land and dominated the forests in wetter times.

The forest has its special sights sounds and smell.

See the tree ferns, hear the whip birds call

The birds have no voice in Parliament, no capital, but a beauty in their song

What a sad place it will be if we kill that song.

Happy Christmas and reflect and enjoy the wonderful things nature have given us

This Christmas think about how we can give nature a present

Scenes from a bicycle ride, Williamstown

Scenes from a bicycle ride, Williamstown

After a couple of days of hot summer weather

Cool rain

Still breezes

Williamstown harbour

And on the bicycle for a ride by the bay

In the cool of the evening

Last sprinkles of rain

My loop of the Williamstown peninsula 

Fishing club harbour

Taking in the end of the week as the end of the year approaches. 

Looking back over Williamstown

I feel like I’m in the twilight period of 2017

The sun setting on a year of wonderful adventures and discoveries 

Marina in Williamstown

Excited about the coming of 2018

New adventures

New directions

Seasons Greetings to all

Seasons Greetings to all

There are times to focus on peace and happiness

Jesus my have been the son of God or just a good bloke

It all depends on your perspective.

But he did try and spread a message of peace.

We often focus on the differences in humanity

Differences in religion and beliefs

Differences in race and skin colour

Differences in culture.

In nature there are also difference

As the solstice passes

At one end of the world there is endless night

At the other endless day

As it was nudging a sweltering 38 degrees in Melbourne recently.

My friends reported – 5 and snowing in Stoke on Trent.

So this is an opportunity to forget the differences.

Forget the distances between us.

And though at one end of the world it is dark and the other end light.

Accept

It is one world.

And though there are many religions and races and cultures

There is one humanity.

I wish you all peace and happiness.

Back home

Back home

I’m back home

But can’t settle

Miss the rumbling wheels beneath me

Melbourne still a touch too cold

So headed north

The warm arms of the north were beckoning me

To reach the humid warmth of the sub tropics

In northern NSW

Gibraltar ranges

The rolling curves of the mountains

Ebor falls

The water flowing through moist valleys

Emerald beach

And smooth flow of the sandy beach, the water warm and welcoming.

Lago di Como (Lario) 

Lago di Como (Lario) 

The brochure called it the lake of dreams.

View over Lake Como from the Somana galleries above Mandello De Lario

But it’s a lake of life and vitality.

From the tourist towns like Bellagio

Bellagio from Lake Como

The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter

Village steps

And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.

View of Mandello de Lario

Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village

So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance.

Village lights and moon over Lake Como


The piecemealadventurer Mandello de Lario where dreams do come true.

A Renewal

A Renewal

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Queen Mary Fall, Border Ranges, Qld Australia

Cyclone

Storm

Rain

Flood

Then from the destruction and devastation

Renewal

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View from Carrs Lookout

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Border Ranges

The water in the rivers and waterfalls flow

The land brown and bare only weeks previous now an emerald green

The birdlife active

In the trees

and on the ground

The power of nature’s regeneration

 

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Melbourne can be a little different

Melbourne can be a little different

As the rest of Australia Swelters

In Melbourne has a top to day of 19c

As the Lunar New Year Celebrations draw to the end

There was Chinese dancing at Victoria Market

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With traditional music and movement

Then in a change of pace the music for the chicken dance came from the speaker.

Not very Chinese I think

As kids got up to dance to a familiar tune.

 

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Doing the Chicken Dance

But, of course, this is the Year of the Rooster

So why not use a European Drinking song which has chicken in the title!

Only in Multicultural Melbourne

Where cultures and traditions blend happily.

 

Tassie (Tasmania)

Tassie (Tasmania)

 

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Looking past Wineglass Bay to Schouten Passage in the Freycinet Peninsula

 

I’ve looked at Tassie from both sides now

from in and out

and still somehow

Its Tassie’s illusion I recall

I really don’t know Tassie at all

(will apologies to Joni Mitchell)

 

I’m going to Tassie again

I place I can always go back to

find something new and beautiful

In Australian smallest State

An island State, part of an island nation.

 

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Looking out to sea over the remains of the old jetty in Bridport NE Tasmania

Looking out across the blue clear waters that surround Tassie.

Looking in from coastal anchorages at

 

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Storm over Maria Island from Chinamans Bay,

 

At storms rolling past

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At the play of the light on the rocky shoreline

 

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Sleepy Cove, Freycinet Peninsula

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Looking in to tight harbour entrances

 

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Hells Gates the entrance to Macquarie Harbour in perfect conditions

 

Sitting safe in historic ports

 

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Futura in Constitution Dock, Hobart

 

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Looking down on the Stanley Fishing Harbour from the Nut

Travelling through beautiful wilderness

 

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Gordon River Wilderness

 

 

 

 

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Looking towards Frenchmans Cap in the South West Wilderness

 

And a quirkiness that is only Tassie

 

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Ship’s dog watching passers by

 

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Blue Man in Salamanca Place Hobart

Next month I’m going back to Tassie again

Taking the mighty Breva down for her second trip

I hope the sun never sets on my Tasmania adventures.

 

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Sunset over Coles Bay TasmaniaSouth East Tasmania