Recently, what with being more housebound and the stinking hot weather for most of the Summer, and even……now…..early Autumn, I’ve been feeling all blogged out.
Just when I feel like giving up blogging altogether, I see something new and get invigorated, uplifted and inspired all over again.
Last Saturday’s walk down to the local pond was one such day.
I walked down the short steep bit of road from my ‘back gate’ (aka the roller door entrance to the 1st level of car parking under my apartment building is what I call my ‘back gate’).
All it took was the sighting of 2 Australian White Ibises (Threskiornis molucca)….or should I say ‘Ibis’ for plural?
I’ve never seen an Australian White Ibis around my local pond or river before. I must say it was a real thrill. While the birds were some distance away, it was almost the highlight of the whole Summer.
(Actually the highlight was photographing the Royal Spoonbills down at Jawbone Conservation and Nature Reserve – left – on the 10th January, breaking a $1000+ camera lens and my wrist in a fall).
My world is very small in enforced retirement.
I notice the smallest change in every leaf, insect and wind gust on my balcony. Fortunately, I’ve always been drawn to the small details in life and in doing so, can usually appreciate the simple things that most people take for granted.
Last Saturday, it looked quite pleasant outdoors (although) 5 minutes into the walk through the ‘back gate’ and down the rest of my road to where a stony/asphalt path leads to 2 steps and then a gravel path, it turned out to be more than warm.
My 20 minute walk turned into 2 hours. But I never can walk fast with a camera in hand. I’m always stopping to look around.
In general, residential areas and open fields are looking so pale and parched this past Summer, you could be forgiven for thinking Mother Nature had sprayed the landscape with diluted bleach.
Unless, the grass is near a water source, it is so crisp and crunchy underfoot and the earth so hard, you almost feel as though you’re in a foreign county nearer the equator. (ok, I’m exaggerating, but seriously, the grass is bone dry).
Australia does have hot Summers and cold Winters and being such a large continent, a wide variety of weather zones from temperate in the south and most coastal areas, to desert in the centre, to tropical rainforests in the north. But in general, down south here in Melbourne and its surrounds, in the south-eastern state of Victoria, the weather/seasons are called Temperate.
I generally have to stay indoors on hot days and this past summer, I’ve been waiting for the Summer’s blistering heat and gusty winds to ‘settle down’ to Temperate!
Last Saturday I was taken aback at the dryness and lower-than-usual water level in the nearby ponds, river and lake-like expanse of water between the main river and the local housing estates in this river valley.
We’ve had a sprinkling of rain showers, but we need serious RAIN. We need hours/days of heavy soaking rain which reaches deep down beyond the roots of even the largest old trees. Every time there is a quick rain shower, the earth sends up a feeble few stalks of green which dry to a crisp within a day or two at the moment.
I noticed the 2 rocky low ’causeways’, which link where the ponds fill up and overflow into the large water catchment area, are dried up.
The pond in the current Header and Footer in my Nature Blog (which I change from time to time), has minimal water and even the water reeds and Bullrushes are crisping up to pale gold in the heat, as you can see in the Pacific Black Duck images below.
And they’ve got their roots in the water!
Even so, I did catch sight of a few birds last weekend, but it was definitely a thrill to see the 2 Australian White Ibis.
The Crested Pigeon with its beautiful markings, pale pink body and head crest are always easy to spot. They’re usually on the ground.
……..and for those new to my Nature Blog, the images below are what are usually seen in the cooler months. Green, blue and birds galore.
But instead we get the images below on the walk home. Dry grass and lacklustre scenes.