I haven’t had the privilege of getting out on any remote trails recently, but that’s not to say I haven’t been enjoying the wildlife and wilderness in close vicinity to my sister’s farm near Sale. Between collecting firewood, mowing the lawns, herding sheep, feeding chooks, ducks, dogs, cats, looking after two kids and taking care of the house, there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m enjoying taking part in these activities temporarily, but it’s a full time job for my sister and brother-in-law who live and breath this lifestyle day to day.
Finding time for a break in the routine requires planning and efficiency, so on our way into town yesterday I got my sister to drop me 5km from the centre so I could explore the wetlands and bird life on the outskirts of town, meeting her at the shops in time to head back home.
The heritage walk took me on a trail and boardwalk right through the centre of the wetlands amongst the swans and bird life that was plentiful in their natural habitat. I had the entire path to myself, wondering how many people actually take advantage of this well built corridor through nature.
It’s not always easy for an all-or-nothing person like me to take satisfaction from short expeditions, but I’ve come to appreciate even the brief bursts of outdoor exposure I’m getting between other responsibilities. The much needed family and friend time I desired so strongly in Spain has been every bit as rewarding and enjoyable as I’d hoped. I have an incredibly strong community in my many homes spread throughout Australia, and I’ve been lucky enough to spend so much time dedicated to reconnecting with them all.
I also went on a short expedition with my parents recently in Sydney around the Manly Dam Reserve. What I expected to be a short, flat 7km circuit walk around the dam was actually a wilderness trail winding it’s way through thick bush, past gushing waterfalls and wading pools, with some pretty decent climbs that gave our leg muscles a workout. The highlights in our own backyard are the ones I often ignore.
During our short walk around Sale’s Lake Guthridge today, we witnessed the unexpected incident of a dog chasing a peacock across the parklands towards the lake. When I reached the bird the dog was on top of it, and both my sister and I believed it dead. Fortunately the peacock was simply in shock, with it’s head buried underneath it’s wings. It wasn’t moving so we phoned a vet for advice, but soon after I collected it in my arms the bird wriggled free, running towards the lake and burying it’s front end into a hole. I carefully managed to wriggle the bird out, carrying it back towards it’s enclosure where the council unlocked the gate and thanked us for returning the peacock in one piece. Our good deed done for the day. Now back to stoking the fire, feeding the kids, chooks, ducks, dogs, cat and rounding up the sheep!