A PERFECT AUTUMN DAY

Yesterday was a perfect Autumn Day on my side of the Maribyrnong River.

Blue sky and sunshine all throughout the day.  The weather forecast had mentioned fog in the early morning, but of course I arise too late to catch that.

Only the occasional light fluffy cloud wafted around on the cool breeze, which makes for a delightful day to spend outdoors.

Mid morning, I’d been sitting at the computer reading a Master Plan made in 2015 by my local Council and was dismayed to see that a walking path through the Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve and a ‘lookout platform‘ over the small lake had a LOW priority (amidst the 50 items on their agenda).

When I finally finished reading my emails and got dressed I headed outdoors to check whether the deluge of rain and wild weather we’d had in Melbourne a few days ago had filled the lake in Pipemakers Park.  It had been dried up with only a small puddle left on the eastern edge a couple of weeks ago.

I headed down the wide gravel walking path to the river and could see the Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve lake was as full as usual from my raised position looking over the Reserve chain-wire fence.  I noticed that the path I had extended, (from Andy the grass cutter’s wide tractor made path), had well and truly filled in with thick undergrowth over the Summer months.

My path was now totally invisible in the foreground of the image below.

Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve was lushly covered and a rich green from recent rainfall.  Actually the Reserve from this side always looks green, just more of a vivid green depending on the light and time of day.  Late in the day it looks more of a golden-green as the Sun sinks behind the hill-top.

Soon, perhaps even now (?), the weather would have cooled enough to send the snakes back to their beds, and I might attempt to walk  a short distance into this Reserve in the near future.  You may remember that I’d seen signs warning of snakes in the area in the warmer weather and had left this thickly wooded reserve well alone for some months.

When I was nearly to the river I turned left to walk the eastern perimeter path of the Reserve which runs in line with the river cycling/walking path.  The normally low-mown grass was about 6-8 inches high.   Andy, (the grass-cutter), quite clearly hadn’t been around for a couple of weeks and the rain had already started to green-up Summer’s remains.

This eastern perimeter of the Reserve had the remnants of high dead grass and trees in general, but looked surprisingly green underfoot.  Doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to send a green cloak across the ground after a decent rainfall.

As I walked further ‘up-river’ the grass got higher and I very nearly twisted an ankle in an grass-covered hole.   I do so hope Andy will ride his tractor over this perimeter path again soon.   Can’t have accident-prone me adding to my high number of falls in old(er) age.  (note: the reason I have more falls than most humans is that I tend to walk everywhere, instead of driving a car like most Aussies – well that’s my theory anyway 🙂 Secondly, I have a bad habit of walking backwards or sideways with the camera against my eye and don’t watch where I’m going 🙂 Thirdly, I take after my Father’s side of the family and………you get the drift). 

I crossed over to Pipemakers Park and walked down to, what was, the dried up lake.

I looked over to the sculptured tree trunk in the middle.  All 5 ponds/lakes in this area have a bare-limbed tree trunk sculpture in their midst, which is rather attractive as a landscape element in the middle of the 6-8 foot high water reeds.

I was pleased to see the pond was nearly full of water again, but as always, tall grass and reeds hid most of the water surface.   I didn’t see any water birds, but could certainly hear the sounds of the Australian bush orchestra playing a full rehearsal.

Frogs croaking made the perfect back-drop to the main Bird Symphony.

This is the first time in the 6 months I’ve lived here that I’ve heard frog sounds in this particular part of the park.

Then up the winding path through the landscaped area to Pipemakers Park and the ruins of the Colonial garden, to see if the vine over the concrete arbor had changed colour.

It had.


 Then a brief walk around the Colonial garden ruins.

Someone had obviously started clearing out the dead grass beds and raked some of the pathways.  Many olive trees were full of green or black fruit.

The dozens of beautiful mosaics dotting the paths and garden ruins needed a good sweep to make them photo-worthy though.  I made some photos of the mosaics last year, but they weren’t that clear on the day.

I wondered if there was a Volunteering day that had brought locals in to do some maintenance and restoration of these early 19th century worker’s gardens.

I’d love to see the herb and rose garden restored and I’d certainly be willing to help in some way.  I notice the raised Rose Garden beds are high enough so I wouldn’t have to bend over much.

Note to self……must do a Google search or drop in to the nearby information office to ask about this.  I keep running this mental note through my foggy brain, but keep forgetting (as I get distracted and side-lined easily in my daily routine).  My short-term memory is like a sieve anyway.  I suppose there’s nothing to stop me going over and doing some weeding or sweeping regardless of who is doing maintenance.  If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s gardening maintenance.  I can’t do heavy digging or gardening, but many hands make light work – my dextrous hands could be just the bonus this old garden needs.

I left the area to walk over the short grass back down-river where I interrupted some Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus) feeding on grass seed.  I only had my Sony a6000 with it’s 55-210mm lens with me (as it was a bad back-pain day and I couldn’t carry a DSLR & ‘birding’ long lens), but my shots were good enough to crop down a little to make the birds larger in the frame.

The 3 colourful birds are the males and lit up by a shaft of light, is the plainer olive-green female.

The Parrots scattered as I slowly advanced towards them.

I had my usual black attire and rubber-soled walking shoes, so I usually get mistaken for a tree if I walk slowly enough.  Seems Red-rumped Parrots can see through my disguise though.

Next minute they flew up to the tree branches and my shot of them among the deep shade was sharp enough to crop down and lighten the shadows revealing the yellow underside of one bird below.

Then on I walked back past the ‘hidden’ lake and on past Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve…… down-river.

Some shots of that downriver area later, as today has dawned another perfect Autumn Day and I’m heading outdoors again.

Don’t know where.

Just somewhere in Nature.

I hope the Bloggers I follow will understand my lack of comments and/or Likes on their Blogs these days, but an exacerbation of back pain this year means an exacerbation of shoulder, elbow and wrist pain making typing my own blog about the most I can do (in general).  I follow mainly photography blogs now, that are filled with images (as opposed to some writing blogs I’ve enjoyed in the past).

Luckily Photography just needs the touch of a shutter button and eyes wide open 🙂

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7 Comments on “A PERFECT AUTUMN DAY

    • You’re welcome, Peggy.

      (I always read your blog because it takes me on the travels I can no longer afford or physically do. But you may have noticed I don’t always comment these days. I still read it though. Some days I can type and others…..not much at all. I have a Canadian friend who is the same. She was down to one-finger typing recently. The old days of blogging every day or walking 3 afternoons a week are gone now. My 3rd visit to the physio next Tuesday should help a bit though. He really helped my neck pain last time. Can’t do anything about the lower back pain though. I think I made the pain worse by all that photo deleting last weekend. Too much of the same repetitious arm & shoulder movement on my left side).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You certainly covered a lot of scenery and vegetation on this walk, and made excellent use of a beautiful Autumn day! I love to see the flora and fauna there; never tire of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to walk with a cool breeze at the moment, Terry. Its sheer bliss after the heat of summer. It’s almost a windless day today which is unusual. But now that summer is over and daylight savings time is finished I really notice how early the light seems to disappear on this side of the hill.

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