IT’S COMING……

Spring is on the horizon and the tiny buds (and new leaves) on the Japanese Maple in front of my apartment balcony are always the first to herald it’s arrival.

It’s a gorgeous day outdoors (despite the forecast for rain this afternoon) and I yearn for a good long walk, but the old hip says “no”.

FROG’S HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE (lower half of this image). Photo made from the 5th floor of my apartment building.
PART OF FROG’S HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE (the lower left). GRAVEL WALKING TRACK down to the river (lower centre). FROG’S HOLLOW loy-lying field (lower right side of the image). GOLF COURSE and RESIDENTIAL AREA ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER (in the top half of this image).
MELBOURNE CITY approximately 10-11 KMS away from my home.

We are coming to the end of the 4th week in our 6-week lockdown in Melbourne and I for one will be glad when the 6 weeks are up.  Hopefully, our state’s Premier will issue some lighter restrictions OR maybe going back to Stage 3 restrictions and a release from keeping within a 5km limit to home (to stop community spread) and a nightly curfew (8.00pm – 5.00 am) in an effort to curb younger folk partying.

We’ve had only 113 new COVID cases overnight (but sadly, still 23 deaths – 22 in aged care).   This is down from 725(?) 7-8 weeks ago.    Most of the deaths always seem to be in the aged care sector which saddens me greatly, especially as family and friend’s visits are restricted too.  They range in age from 70s, 80s, 90s and 100).   There has also been a 20-year-old male and a 30 yr old male – the young are not immune.   To those of you who live in large countries with higher populations, these figures might not seem like much, but any premature death saddens me.

Our nightly curfew and strict lockdown is working but at what cost?   I’ve seen ambulances and police outside my building twice in the last week and can’t help but wonder if there are any COVID cases in my 6 storey apartment building.   I’m being doubly cautious after my own scare over the weekend (described in this post here).

I don’t usually wish my life away, but I can’t wait for Something to Happen.

Anything.

Just a change in my days indoors.   It’s been something like 18 months since I’ve mainly been housebound with this severe hip OA (and other pain conditions).   I’ve done about 4-5 walks down to the local pond and one visit to the Maribyrnong Wetlands – via taxi.   All aggravating the pain, but worth the effort (at the time) to capture a few photos and some fresh air.

Actually, mid last year, I had to call a taxi to take me to the nearest street post box to post some urgent mail) as it was too painful to walk up my road’s steep hill and the 2 blocks to the post box outside the Aldi store.

I then asked the taxi driver to take me down to the small pond near the river where there are a pair of Khaki Campbell ducks. I walked around the pond just once and then caught a bus home (from the bus stop right next to the pond).

Khakis were originally bred in England and are a combination of Mallards, Rouens and Runner ducks. They generally come in three colour varieties – khaki, dark and white. The drake (the boy) is usually mostly khaki coloured with a darker olive green head lacking the white ring of its Mallard ancestors. The duck (the girl) has the usual underwhelming colour scheme and is khaki (brown) all over.

They are prolific egg-layers and this pair must have escaped from someone’s back yard I think.  They originated in the U.K. in the late 1800s so they must have been imported to Australia.

I suspect the small patch of white water Lillies on this pond are coming into bloom at the moment too.

The next 2 days are going to be clear and sunny so we’ll see what the pain levels are going to be like when I wake up in the morning before I predict my ability to walk outdoors in that glorious pre-Spring weather.

….and GLORIOUS IT IS AT THE MOMENT!

There are lots of other birds in my immediate vicinity and I long to join them, camera(s) in hand, on their daily excursions.

At the moment, all I can hear is birdsong from outside my lounge window.   I suspect the thick foliage in the Eucalyptus tree next to the right end of my balcony is going to host some bird nests this year.

What fun that would be……if I could see them in the dense foliage that is. 2-3 times I’ve seen birds right in the middle, but I have to look hard (and for some time) to pick their dark bodies out in the gloom.

Here’s a sample of the Maribyrnong Wetlands area & pond below.

Enjoy……..

And the pond near my home……

WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) – Maribyrnong River

and a bit further along the river heading for Newell’s Paddock Nature Reserve.

Little Pied Cormorant

To be honest, I don’t miss people, shops, movies, library or even just the supermarket & Asian fresh food market near my home.   I certainly don’t miss the dentist in the city centre.   I do miss my city-based hairdresser at the moment though – my hair looks like an unruly floor mop.

I MISS THE BIRDS (and the opportunity for a nature walk and some photography).

More images from my archives to come.   Hope you’re not all getting bored with the absence of new photos.   Hope the newer followers are enjoying my photo archives.   Long-time followers will have seen all these images before of course.

Another image shot at my local pond – only about 10 minutes walk.