When I am feeling energetic (and, quite often, when I am not) I go walking after work. I wish I could say I am diligent and do this every day, but I would be a liar. I usually manage about three times a week, which is a bit pathetic, but it’s better than nothing. This is what I tell myself anyway.
Some afternoons I go walking along the beach, which is lovely and scenic and blows the cobwebs of the workday away; most days, however, I walk around the local lake, which is on my way home and provides me with a nice, easy, 3.5km route.
Because I am generally quite lazy, it is good to have a circular route to walk – it means I just keep going until I get back to where I started. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t get tempted to turn around and head back either. The lake also has multiple paths; some of them meander through the bush so you can jog a bit and no one can see you ha ha. I don’t run in public unless I can be sure I don’t have witnesses. No one needs to see that.
The lake is populated by LOTS of birdlife. Swans, ducks, moorhen, and herons, as well as my favourite, the pelicans, and some long-necked tortoises, which I am yet to spot.
As it is breeding season for many of the birds, there are cute, fluffy bundles of downy joy dotted around the lake, following their parents around and getting up to mischief. There are plenty of reeds and other plant life to provide happy nesting spots and hideaways for the vulnerable babies.
I am dying to see some cygnets. I love the black swans – they are so majestic and beautiful. There are a couple at the lake that have allowed me to get quite close – sometimes they waddle up to me of their own accord. During breeding season, they can become a little bit aggressive and protective of their offspring, which is totally understandable. It’s best to keep your distance at those times and give them their space. Even if you do want to run headlong into those gorgeous, grey, fluffy cygnets and squeeze them in an adoring cuddle. It’s not really recommended.
There are also lots of cormorants. I adore them. Those funny webbed feet! The fluffy, shaggy feathers on their plump bellies and chest! The almost bat-like wings! The way they dry themselves in the sun, holding up their wings like laundry! The way they hiss at me when I get too close and annoy them with my photo-taking! 🙂
The lone egret is a tricky individual to photograph. He doesn’t like being bothered and you can’t get too close before he flies off. It could also be because I have mistakenly been calling him a heron, and he’s not. I have offended him and now he doesn’t want a bar of me, or my camera. So all my shots of him are blurry (because I am far away and have zoomed my camera in). It’s very inconsiderate of him, to be honest.
Towards sunset, the lake takes on a magical quality. I tend to keep stopping to take photos, which is not really making efficient use of my exercise time, but hey, the sky and water is so pretty at night! It’s hard to take a bad photo, to be honest.
I am always on the lookout for new places to walk ; it’s nice to have a change of scenery and some different landscapes/wildlife to look at. The lake, for now, remains one of my favourites. Easy to get to, easy parking, lots of people around (for safety’s sake) and lots of lovely birdies for me to photograph. I am lucky to have these spaces to utilise and enjoy, and get that much-needed exercise. That egret will just have to get used to me because I’m going to keep coming back 🙂