Lockdown Walk No. 2 – NorthBeach/Lake walk by Colleen Keating

 

   

North Beach/ Lake Walk

A new lockdown walk.  We are calling it the North Beach/Lake walk. Today we set out across The Entrance Bridge,a thing I don’t normally like to do but there were very few cars today. We turned right and headed  up onto the ridge overlooking North Entrance Beach.  It was a stunning winter day. The ocean wide and deep blue lay out like a silken sheet loosely ruffled. Large rolling waves  continuously smooth and regular came in. Spindrift sprayed lightly. A few board riders demonstrated the perfect style of the waves.
Besides the photographic views to our right as we walked through the re-stabilised dunes, we enjoyed the work that the Bush Care groups have done over the years with the vegetation and bird life. 

The track, very smooth. solid, easy for Michael to walk, and the ground cover of cerise pig face,  yellow and orange gazania, pink bindweed and ground covers of daises.  it was like a rainbow carpet spreading out over the hills and down to the beach edge.

       

Growing up stands of golden banksia  with lorikeets dangling gleefully chirping, Bottle brushes, and the mallees mainly burgeoning wattle . Seagulls, magpies and in the undergrowth lots of fairy wrens . swinging on the native grasses flipping into the shrubs . We walked quietly – the sandy path absorbed the sound of our footstep.Towards the end we came across one of the volunteer workers and chatted briefly.

 

We came out and crossed the road to the lake side .  We walked along Tuggerah Lake to the Fragrant Gardens  where we sat and had our picnic. 

We had come to rest and the lake slept without hardly a ripple.  A winter  afternoon sun

     

 

A blue haze enfolded everything . Reaching far into the distance the hills, the Watagans were suffused in a majestic blue to navy light. The hills looked like pile upon pile of tones of blue.  I felt I could reach out and and pull them to me.  Trees, bullrushes, small bamboos, reeds and the grasses had forgotten themselves in the daze blue. 

 

Just beyond two vegetated islands sat. On the furthest away a platoon of pelicans clustered close  . . one flew in and joined the group, cormorants diving and resurfacing, two ducks glided and then a canoeist glided past  leaving their wakes to whistle the water surface. 

Further out there was a flock of birds on the edge of a sand bank wading . We could not recognise them but had a sense it might have been the family of spoonbills we had caught in the muddy creek running into the lake over the south side. But couldn’t be sure. We were more sure of the chirping in the bamboo along the way and stood and watched the family of wrens . . .the blue fairy wrens and the flitting little brown wrens all busy about their chatter and just being.

(Interestingly earlier we saw a fairy blue wren feeding on  the nectar of a golden Banksia.  it flitted in and flitted away. For the last 100 metres we were joined by two willy wag tails chattering around our feet for awhile. They had a lot to say.  It felt they had been with us the whole way and came at the end to remind they have been watching our journey.

And we came along the lake back to the bridge to cross and our NorthBeach/Lake walk came to an end. How blessed we  are we that we can walk from home along the beach and along the lake all in 12.000  steps. 

 

Lockdown Walk No.1 by Colleen Keating

walking in lockdown

there is no ordinary thing
the wind’s song in the she oaks drip of gold
on a pelican’s wing the whip-bird tease
the silver meddle of fish on the lake
encounters with magpie and wren, turtle and swan
ancient rocks and shift of tide
this is the joy of discovery

with snake-like neck the cormorant dives
the ibis clings awkwardly
to a branch on the Norfolk
the grey heron feeds in the light
under the brood of hills and
stillness of lake.

here is good energy to live by
each scene is startling
and poetry
to meet with hands open wide

knowing when we look
there are surprises –
other things to come
the heron’s pickax-beak wakes the stillness
wobbling the boats tied by the boatshed
the ibis lands down on the overflowing bin
and just when we are caught
in the moment
a reminder nothing is permanent

the cormorant surfaces to float idley
the grey heron cranks up
and flies into the sun
and we are left with the longing
for more of the extraordinary
or what now do we hold in our open hands?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

black swan event

 

 

 

images

 

black swan event

see on a lonely stretch of water
a wind choreographed dance
of black swans
noble stance
elegant moves
they dabble in brackish shallows
close in amongst the reeds

was it a shifty wind
that blew them in
was it the algae and duckweed
that`lured them
rare on this side of the lake

they dip their red beaks
then their long curved necks
like question marks
lift and stretch

sometimes not so elegantly
they up-end
bottoms in the air
black tutus flounced

some lift off fleetingly
with a wonk wonk wonk
running on water across the lake
their wide white-tipped black wings
bellow-beat the water
and with a whistling sound
like ballerinas glide back

how I’d like to get closer
even for a moment
let them know I am their friend
they are aware of me
and with each of my forward steps
they languidly glide further out

Colleen Keating