MARIBYRNONG WETLANDS POND

MARIBYRNONG WETLANDS POND WITH THE LARGE ISLAND AND TREES IN THE CENTRE – 31st May 2017

At the risk of getting too repetitious, my trip to the Maribyrnong Wetlands pond on Monday of this week revealed all the usual ducks and scenery, but I’m a great believer in ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

If it’s sunny in mid-winter, any outing is worth all that lovely fresh air and practice with photographing the local bird life.

THERE WERE SEVERAL PACIFIC BLACK DUCKS AND MOST SEEMED TO BE IN THE SHADE/PROTECTION OF THE WATER REEDS, 2 DUCKS SWAM IN MY DIRECTION (IN THE HOPE OF SOME FOOD PERHAPS?)

The bus from right outside my local shops and medical centre takes me straight down the steep river valley to a stop about 20 feet from the large pond next to the river walking path.

ONE (OF TWO) DUSKY MOORHENS SWAM BY SO FAST I NEARLY MISSED THE SHOT.

When I got off the bus on Monday, I was rather taken aback at the strength of the wind and was wishing I had my walking stick, (or even my shopping trolley), to anchor me to the ground (and I am no lightweight).   If it had been raining and I’d had an umbrella, no doubt the wind would have blown it inside out.

THIS IMAGE TAKEN ON THE RIVER SIDE OF THE POND SHOW THE WIND SENDING THE WATER REED LEAVES NEARLY HORIZONTAL.

There weren’t many birds visible on the water surface which was rather strange in many ways, as the local children’s playground is next door and I can well imagine families with young children ‘feeding the ducks’ at any time of the day (or season).

The wind gusts almost seemed gale-force at one stage (and bitterly cold despite the warm sun and blue sky), that I quite literally, photographed the ducks, walked around to the other side of the pond, where I nearly got blown over, back across the rocky causeway and across the road to catch the bus home again 😀

 

There’s some lovely succulents in the long broad garden strip next to the bus stop and being on a raised garden bed means I can photograph them without bending down low.

The bus wasn’t due for another 35 minutes according to the timetable on the lamp post, so I crossed back over the road and caught a bus heading the other way to the local Asian fresh food market to get some vegetables and fruit and then…………………home again 🙂

That must be about the quickest, shortest walk I’ve ever done 😀

Note: I’ve added a couple of images from 2018 & 2017 to show the area (one at the start of this post and one below that I shared not too long ago).   The trees and water reeds you see in the top half of the image below are actually on the island, so you’re only looking at the eastern side of the large pond.

In summer this portion of the pond you see below is nearly dried up and the ducks tend to go around to the road side of the pond to find some water to swim in.

Near one of the other ponds, shown in the map below, about 10 minutes walk from my home, you’re more likely to see the birds near the end of this post.

THE BROKEN LINE DENOTES MY OLD WALKING PATH (BEFORE MY HIP OSTEOARTHRITIS GOT TOO SEVERE TO WALK VERY FAR) AND THE UN-BROKEN LINE DENOTES THE BUS ROUTE I NOW TAKE TO VISIT THE MARIBYRNONG WETLANDS POND. AS YOU CAN SEE BY THE LETTER “H” (FOR HOME), I LIVE ON THE EDGE OF THE GREEN BELT (UP AND DOWN THE RIVER). I’VE LIVED NEXT TO RIVER, PARKLAND OR THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS FOR OVER 30 YEARS – HOW LUCKY AM I.

The large expanse of lake-like water between the main river and the housing estates is often quite empty of bird life, but sometimes I get lucky (with the shots below).

WHITE-FACED HERON AT THE NEAREST POND ABOUT 10 MINUTES WALK FROM MY ‘BACK GATE’

SOLITUDE

I wrote this on a fellow blogger’s site and he suggested more readers might enjoy it…..

His question was…..where did you find solitude……(after relating his own experience)

 

I find solitude every day in the times that all is silent around my apartment – especially noticeable on a Sunday.

 

 

Just the sound of birds chirping and caw-cawing, the occasional whisper of the wind in the tree tops outside, and very faintly, the low drone or hum of a plane occasionally, almost like thunder as it rolls across the sky.

(This occurs because I live halfway up a steep hill and the sounds of traffic and urban living float over the top without having touched my ears, attuned as I am to the sounds of nature which dominate my senses).

The hum of a plane can be so low you wonder if it was there at all.

For a city dweller it’s a kind of feeling that few would notice. I am enfolded in Solitude’s cloak regularly, but not the solitude you would find in the wilderness.

 

 

At this time of year, the constant tiny cheep of young chicks in nearby nests reminds me I’m never really alone or lonely. I live in Solitude and yet I do not.

 

 

Even standing at the local pond on a weekday is a sort of solitude in that no one walks that way at that time.

 

 

There’s only ever-widening ripples as the occasional Duck or Teal steps off the bank onto the water surface and in ever-increasing webbed feet strokes, darts in and out of reeds, tiny inlets and then slows to a halt and finds shade in the blistering heat of our afternoon Summer sun.

 

 

Tiny flowers sway and dip down in a bow, then spring up a little higher, as a bee, having soaked up the pollen, lifts off with its tiny wings and flies in and around each nearby bloom, before landing once again and pausing in its daily flight pattern.

The new Spring leaves on the Eucalyptus wobble and sway in a meditative dance and then suddenly stop when the wind drops, only to pick up their drooping green ‘feathers’ as the wind re-ignites.

 

I watch the tiny, almost invisible midges slowly move up the large glass window in front of my desk and know that today is a slow and restful day for Mother Nature, (having done her best over Spring to bring new life to Winter’s decay).

DEEP SHADE AT THE EDGE OF FROGS HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE 100 Feet FROM MY ‘BACK GATE’
A rare shot made in deep shade, which when cropped and had the shadows lightened in post processing revealed a NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – FROGS HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE

 

If you only hear Sound, then how do you know Silence. If you only know Heat, how do you know what Cold means. If you only know dark, (like a person born blind), how do you know Light.

 

The GOLDEN HOUR casts sunlight on some bare weeds along the Maribyrnong River bank

 

The Joys of Solitude are impossible to understand without having experienced them.

 

Everything in this life is Impermanent and ever-changing and yet, when you truly know Solitude, time seems to stand still.