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. 

 

Summer walk: The Poetry of Tuggerah Lake

The Poetry of Tuggerah Lake

 

 

Our walk begins on the beach,
low tide and the sea gulls
strutting on the edge,
a flotilla of pelicans glide
with the incoming tide.
A cormorant dives over and over
no chance of predicting where he’d surface.

Coffee from the barrister
at The Lake House is worth the anticipation
(no milk at the apartment so we were hanging out.) 

Two fisherman gut their catch at the sink- bench
and pelicans line up for their share of the feed.

Corellas paired up and sing  preening each other
some on the grass, some in the trees
near an awkward looking ibis pretending
to look elegant on a branch
where cormorants play notes
on musical staves

and on the lake
black swans silky as ballerinas
flaunt with their reflections
on the shiny mirrored lake.

Lap wings were out
squawking to claim their territory.
The council has fenced off
the sand dune to protect
nests of the Little Terns
who migrate from China for the summer
and we watch their acrobatics
around the dunes and seaweed.

 

The sandstone rocks glint
with their striations and swivels and colour
showing us more than any history
or geology text book could

Our signature spoonbill
we expect to see, is again there
as we cross the bridge near the lake,
with his caravan of ducks and hangers-on
waiting for him to disturb the mudflat.

The morning lake catches
the clouds, the sky and ever changing light
and on our way back as the tide turns
the sea spray against the rocks
sings alleluia to another day.