A quick post, just to show you what happened this morning when I decided to take the dogs to a different park for their walk…
A trip around the lake to look at the ducks, who had just been fed with scraps of bread by another walker…
A walk to the hill past lots of Willy Wagtails, Noisy Miners, Rainbow lorikeets and some unidentified swallow, and a never-before-seen (by me) sculpture…
Then back to the car and home, at which point I checked the dogs’ feet for burrs and grass seeds, and this is what I found…
I stopped counting at 80! Oh well, it was a lovely walk…
Sunday last week was a happily busy one: the Guide Dogs’ (GDV) Open Day in the morning gave us the chance to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the labrador puppies and show support for a fantastic program; the Darebin kite festival in the afternoon provided some spectacular opportunities for photography (though not, I admit, with my camera phone).
To get to the Guide Dogs’, we parked in a side street north of the Yarra river, then walked across the bridge to cross at the lights just beyond the Yarra Boulevard turnoff. Even walking across the bridge was fun, with the traffic whizzing past but with the robust barrier between pedestrians and traffic still letting you feel secure.
The staff at GDV were hoping for a turnout of around 15,000, and the sunny weather certainly saw lots of people out early. Dr Harry Cooper, of Harry’s Practice fame already had a massive queue by 10.30 in the morning.
The puppies in the puppy playground were only 9 weeks old, and Meg and I had to fight our way through lots of babies, strollers and protective parents to get anywhere near. We didn’t get to pat any, but they were still good to look at.
Dogs of various stages were in the kennels – some awaiting assessment, and some ready to go onto their final stage of training before being assigned to their new owners. There was even a cat in the kennels, whose job it is to de-sensitise the dogs from the distractions of cats, and make them better working dogs.
The kite festival – photos to be uploaded on Tuesday – was full of colour and music. It was lovely to see the little children, faces turned up towards the sky, looking in awe at the kites flying overhead. It was hot and the wind was erratic, but overall it was a fantastic day for it.
Another picture from All Nations Park, this time of a Little Pied Cormorant sitting atop the wall that forms one margin of the stage, and overlooks the lake.
The sky provided an interesting backdrop, as you can see, and my phone camera did a pretty good job considering I was shooting into the sun. As is often the case with photographs, if I’d been two seconds later the image wouldn’t have existed, as the cormorant regurgitated a pile of something unrecognisable at the base of the wall and flew off to the other side of the lake, just after I had taken this.
Meg and I walked to All Nations Park in Northcote this morning, taking advantage of the pseudo long-weekend afforded by Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow, and came across this tree. I almost felt like we should excavate to see if the rest of the tree man was buried below ground!
It was a beautiful morning for a walk – sunny and fine, and with enough cloud to make the sky really interesting. We took the dogs with us – it is the longest walk Cher has had since hurting her knee in August, and she is a bit sore now, but they really enjoyed it.
We even came across a duck nesting at the edge of the lake. At least, we assumed she was nesting, although we could only see her head protruding from the rushes. She didn’t move from her spot, and was none too happy about having the dogs nearby, so it seems a safe bet. Meg and I plan to go back every day or so for the next couple of weeks in the hope of seeing the ducklings.
The afternoon was spent playing the ukulele and Christmas shopping online. Fifteen down – only about forty to go!
Our local park is a reclaimed tip, having been filled and landscaped around the same time we moved into the area.
It is a lovely park, with lots of open grass for games, and lots of shade for families on hot days. There used to be a pond, too, stocked with yabbies. Unfortunately, the pond base cracked and there were problems with maintaining water levels before the drought, so once the drought and water restrictions kicked in, it really became a frivolity.
We used to have fun with the yabbies,though, luring them out of the water with a piece of meat on a thread, and then setting them up to race back to the water. Meg was only four at the time and, as much as I enjoy yabbie meat, I couldn’t bear to kill them when we had been playing with them, so after the yabbie races we would throw our bait into the water for them to eat. It seemed like a fair trade.
On Friday of last week, while walking the dogs, I came across this man sleeping in the park and enjoying the beautiful day. He was set up with a very comfortable-looking mat and pillow, and appeared to be completely at peace. I didn’t want to disturb him by going too close to photograph him, and so had to make do with this surreptitious image.