Lockdown walk No. 9 Saltwater Creek Boardwalk by Colleen Keating


Leave no footprints

Take only pictures

Constructed by the Central Coast Council to help prevent the destruction as well as protect the sensitive foreshore habitat of the Saltmarsh, the boardwalk is a perfect attraction to spot out water birds, reptiles and fish, as well as vegetation.  Families of magpies gather feeding in the grasses. Herons ducks and the elegrant egret were some of our highlights.





The boardwalk features an education loop and conservation/informative signboards that provide insight into why this is such an important ecological area.


Swamp Oak, Saltmarsh species including glassworts, Sporobolus, and sea purslane are some of the dominant vegetation that can be seen around the boardwalk, as well as many native plants.


It is an accessible boardwalk suitable for prams, strollers, wheelchairs and bicycles. 

Whether you live in the Central Coast or you are visiting/ passing through, be sure to add this recreational natural attraction to your itinerary. 

Saltwater Marsh Boardwalk is located at the eastern end of Lucinda Ave (opposite McLean Street). Carpark can be found at the Saltwater Creek Reserve.

(with acknowledgement and  thanks to Gypsy Rose and her blog WeekendNotes for her great photos and succintct story.)


Olive Muriel Pink: her radical & idealistic Life by Colleen Keating

PRESS RELEASE:  Olive Muriel Pink: her radical and idealistic life 

Some good news. My new book has arrived. Olive Muriel Pink: her radical & Idealistic life. An Australian women’s story that after you have read it you will want your friends to do the same.  Thank you to Ginninderra Press & the many that have supported me on this long but wonderful journey.

” It is a triumph for reconciliation and will surely enter the
the annals of Australian literature.’
Emeritus Professor Lyndall Ryan AM FAHA

Colleen Keating brings Olive Muriel Pink’s significant, neglected history
to life with distinctive, beautiful imagery. – Pip Griffin, poet.

Available to buy www.ginninderrapress.com.au

Lockdown walk No. 8: Enjoying the birds by Colleen Keating




Enjoying the birds

I believe all the birds have their individual spirits, their own individul energy their own power.  It  is there for the sharing with us if we are open to it as gift.

I speak to the birds and now I find Michael and I are both talking away to them. . Today I pointed out a kookaburra to a  lady  out walking  and she started chatting  to it. . It made me smile. We are not the only ones talking to the birds.

I even find the willy wag tales chatting back to us . . . .

Take the time to listen . Let then speak to you .

“Speak to the earth and it will  speak to you ”   Elaine Mitchell

We have discovered a track that hugs the lake avoiding  the main pathway which is a jogging track, a bike track  and on the weekends like Pitt Street . It is through a swampoak forest and easy while the days are dry.  With the slightest breeze the She Oaks sing and the whip birds whistle to each other and the constant chirping of the busy wrens  are there and if we stop and concentrate we can catch them darting about . . . the fairy blue wren and the little brown  female  wren.



Willy-wag tales are often with us. They seem to  leave and catch up again or are they a different families? They feel very familair as if they take up their conversation where they left of a bit earlier.

Then looking out to the lake are the Black Swans returned.  I remember one winter in 2013 the first time I saw  the black swans here on our side of Tuggerah Lake it seemed a very rare event and I  observed for the next few days wrote a poem called  a black swan event which is publihed in A Call to Listen  publishe 2014 by Ginninderra Press.

The White-faced heron .  I go back to visit their places they like  –the rock pools on the rockshelf, and in the small creeks near Tuggerah Lake , and along the littoral shore of the Lake. Love my reflection of the two herons in Saltmarsh Creek up on the restored reserved bird santuary.


The busy family of spoonbills wading along in the sea grass  sifting for crustaceans and teal blue crested  ducks like hand maidens waiting for the left overs

and the many shining white elegant  egrets, princesses  of the lake while they stand perusing thier lake world. Here they are in sunset light and morning freshness.  I love the  awkward  disjointed flying  machine when become when they take off




There are the humble doves eating along the ground,  There are lots of magpies but I could write a whole blog about them. The mudlarks are all around.  The rainbow lorikeets feed and play  in the Banksia trees . There are the masked winged plovers and the black -tailed godwit which my Grandson Cammie identified for me but that will come in a special feature  on the saltmarsh Reserse.   There are the sea gulls  and the beloved pelicans.



the day was slowing
time came to rest

the still silent lake held the clouds
grey-blue haze enfolded everything

earth and sky were one
calm presided

reachied out as far as the eye’s gaze
everything was suffused in blue

luminous as the watagan hills
a pile on pile of tones

mirrored in the lake
you could feel them all around you

like a generous hug
nothing protruded

trees rocks sand bars and islands
had forgotten themselves in the blue daze

suddenly a harsh flutter
the lake surface split

a huge cormorant flew from inside
struck up into the air

its ragged black wings
it long snake-neck

its awkward shape
like an eruption from the underworld

against the finely woven lake
its strange form fluttered

gleamed in absolute black
lifted off pierced the air

like a plumed arrow its shadow
crinkling the once still lake

by Colleen Keating



Lockdown walk No. 7 Bedazzled by patterns of nature by Colleen Keating


So is the miracle of rock formations  and their beauty from sand and silt and pebbles laid down, forming rock and then sculptured by the sea and wind sometimes violently like the betrayer and sometimes caressing like a lover.
As we walk from The Entrance Beach around past the baths we enjoy the rocky shelf and headland sculptured by the wind and water and tides. It is waved and striated and patinated and honeycombed and is a joy to the eye.

coastal walk

my eyes trace lines
that curve and swirl
track contours and circled altars
waiting their tide reunion
where only soft padded periwinkles
and sharp edged oyster shells venture
landscapes of sculptures composed
by the dreamtime of water wind and sand
a patterned mosaic
dioramas unfolding
like silken threads from a mulberry tree

each line each ripple
a stretch mark wrinkle scar
has its story

with the tide the ocean
rolls and thunders
sometimes her fingers
like talons scratch and claw
yet eternally patient
her hands caress
love and mould
soothe and soften the violent edges
touch the secret caverns
and with each tide seduce a little more

poem Page 46 A Call to Listen

Lockdown walk No. 6: Colours of early spring by Colleen Keating


Lockdown walk No. 6 Colours of early Spring

a wattle way
harbinger of spring

we take the track
to a chatter of lorikeets

they dangle like monkeys
from golden banksia

spring is coming
steeling through the twigs

silently seeping
through the sap

budding vernal green
once seen it is everywhere


lilac waraburra is showy
it vines over the scrub

purple trails up the trees
no wonder it is often called
happy wanderer

white star flowers sometimes
called ‘tread-softly maybe because
of its spiky leaves

and the pink wax flower
just budding open
sprinkled through the bush
fuchsias delicate little trumpets
stand out

bright red comes
with the dusky coral pea
hard to see at first
and then it turned up hiding quietly
in the brambles in the scrub

maybe wild jasmine
and wonga wonga the native climber
gives us our touch of purple in its delicte white trumpets

And the wattles three we found today

Galahs were busy too
one on a branch as decoy
and this gorgeous one
in a hollow of the old  tree

Finally at the lookout Crackneck
we watched an eagle play

on the air currents
and then down the less worn track
back to the car

Lockdown Walk No.5 Full moon beach walk by Colleen Keating



Rising moon beach walk 

the sun was dropping west
we stood on the beach
with wide expanse
Pacific Ocean vista
a luminous space
held us hypnotically
in the darkening eastern sky


It was beauty
that peeped over the arch
and slowly like an unfolding flower
it was the moon that rose
out of the sea
caught in a red glow
spreading a warm fiery path
‘stairway to heaven’ they call it
in Broome


Michael and I felt so elated
alone on the winter beach
except for one solitary pelican
and the vista just kept giving

the moon bestirred the world
steady  silent  self-assured
swelling our hearts with its light
stronger and stronger
against the dark of night

it was gift
wrapped in light
colour and beauty. No words just us
bursting with joy

this was a moment to reset my world
my days are measured by the moon
its wax and wane my calendar.


winter beach
a full strawberry moon
sweetens each rock pool