There was a brisk cold wind in the winter air yesterday, but the sun was glorious. For the most part, the skies were clear and a vivid blue.
I headed towards Pipemakers Park to check out what the Tuesday morning Gardening group had done towards restoring the old turn-of-the-century garden ruins and bumped into my new acquaintance, Steve, as he was heading for the car park. By the time we’d finished our conversation, picked up after our last encounter some weeks ago, the best of the light was almost gone and I never did make any images of the garden.
After a quick inspection of the flower beds, I headed down to the Pipemakers Park pond/lake as the sun was just about to disappear behind the high cliff top. I was facing straight in to the sun and had to keep the camera pointed downwards in order to see or capture anything in the brilliant glare. Birds kept flying down to splash in the water (for food or a drink?) and then fly up to the stronger water reeds. I caught a few splashes with my camera, but not the birds who made them, so that lot of images went straight into the trash bin.
I headed over and around the perimeter of Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve to go home and noticed Andy the Grass-cutter must have been through in the last couple of days. He’d got down from his tractor to chat only a week or so ago and mentioned he hadn’t seen me around. I assured him I’d been out with my camera several times but had to avoid the Nature Reserve having turned my ankle in a hidden hole in the calf-high grass. He said he would cut the path more often (as he had done through the summer months for me).
It almost felt like summer with the warm rays upon my back and I spied a couple of Spotted Turtle-doves basking in the sun. All the dried water reeds you see in the image below hide another large pond.
They must have sensed my movement as I swung the heavy long telephoto lens up to capture the scene and one flew up to the top of the tree trunk sculpture that can be seen in all 5 of the local ponds (or lakes)…..how big does a pond have to be before it becomes a lake I asked myself?
The sun sparkled on some of the undergrowth nearby, but I was so glad Andy had cut the grass very short in the pathway – so much easier to see the ruts and little rises in the natural surface of the pond surrounds.
The Banksia bush next to the path at this point had lots of flowers on it. There are over 200 Banksia species in Australia and many of the plants won’t open their fruits until they are burnt, hence the role of bush fires lit by the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years before white men settled here.
The sun was getting low by this time, so I headed along the short gravel path for home. One minute it can be the bright glare of the golden hour and next minute, deep shade so dark it’s almost impossible to see where you’re walking, so best to make haste at this time on short winter days.
Just before I walked up to my ‘back gate’ (through the apartment block car park entrance), I turned around to look at Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve and once again, gave a sigh of appreciation at how lucky I was to end up with another home in such a beautiful location.
Then I spotted a large newly sawn tree stump on the edge of the Reserve which must have been cut down late last week.
But more importantly, I saw a very clear wide path into the Nature Reserve, probably made by the council in their task of removing all non-indigenous trees in the area.
But it was 4.20pm, too late and I had far too much heavy camera gear with me to explore where this western rim path went, this late in the day. Today, the forecast is for rain or showers most of the day and half the coming week so I’ll look forward to exploring the new path another sunny day. You can’t tell by the photo below, but that thick grass either side of the mown tractor path is about 8-9′ high and was quite impenetrable for someone like me.