17 Apr 2013

Our favourite nature walks

If you walk to the end of our driveway, turn right and keep walking you reach horse country.  The practise trotting track is there, along with breeding stables and paddocks of resting horses.  If you turn right you soon reach cropping land - acres and acres of some of the finest wheat, barley, oats, sunflower, canola, and peas our country can produce, as far as the eye can see.

If you turn right out of the driveway you head toward the main street of town.  Continue on over that and past the miniature horses, and you reach the local wetlands reserve. Turn left down main street and then first right, and you find  the Avoca River walk.  These four walks, along with one out at our local lakes and another around the recreation reserve make up our six most regular nature walks.  They're the ones where we know every bend.  The trees here are our friends.  We observe the changes of the seasons, the growth of new plants, the habits of the birds.

I always find it amusing that the road that runs along our favourite of these, the riverside walk is called Baden Powell Drive.  Charlotte Mason and the founder of the scout movement, Robert Baden Powell were friends, and I think she would smile with pleasure at the irony.  It is hard to believe now that this lazy little stream is the same one that in full roar flooded our small community only two short years ago and changed our lives for ever.  When you look at it meandering along in the autumnal sunshine it doesn't seem possible.

We try to have a picnic on the banks of our favourite river once every couple of weeks.  We pack a picnic basket with sandwiches and drinks, pick up a yummy snack from the bakery we pass on the way and set off.  Mostly the dog comes too.

We don't have a favourite picnic spot.  Sometimes we like one sheltered among the trees.  At other times we laze in the sunshine.  We just find somewhere nice, spread the picnic rug and relax.

Well, I do.  Most of the time, this is my view.

Jemimah and Flossie, on the other hand are rarely still. Which is how it should be. Today they discovered lots of discarded cicada exoskeletons and scribbly gum moth scribbles.  Ahem.  Sometimes I am so descriptive.  We had a bit of a chat about both of these, which roused me from my slumber somewhat.  Don't worry, though, I soon managed to drop back to sleep.

Finding some regular walks is my secret to getting our regularly in nature.  Having a dog to walk helps too.  Most fine afternoons we just pick a destination and off we go.  We may not spend the CM-recommended five or six hours out of doors, but most good days we do spend a hour.  On days like today when we pack a picnic, we spend an afternoon.  Some Saturdays we spend a whole day.

I think that when she is grown, my daughter will count these lazy days on the river bank as some of the happiest of her childhood. They are the best panacea for a bad mood that I know.  It is remarkable how much better we feel afterwards.

Sometimes I think we should broaden our horizons and find somewhere more interesting to visit.  Within half an hour of home are lots of terrific spots to explore.  But then I get a grip.  I know that if I had to get into the car and drive somewhere, I would always find some excuse for not going - too busy, might be needed at work, need to do the ironing. By sticking to these local walks, I know that I can hurry home as soon as I'm needed. I am still in telephone range.  I can even pop into the butcher on the way home.  Incorporating these nature walks has been the secret for me, and while these walks are familiar, we still come up with something new to see; something new to learn.  On top of that we're spending time in the outdoors and getting some exercise at the same time.  It's a win-win really, isn't it?

Despite the fact that it makes for monotonous blog posts.  Hmmmm.

Do you have favourite nature walks around your home? Do tell me about them!


  1. Re Baden Powell Drive: there's an Ambleside Court in the next town from us--I always thought it would be cool to have that for an address.

  2. I love the scenes of your rural life, so full of living things. We live in a suburb in a lower middle class subdivision where there is not much too see. A lot of grackles, pigeons, sparrows, boring green lawns, and tacky lawn decorations. We do go on walks, and occasionally see something new, often we will dig up a weed flower in someone's lawn and bring it home and put it in our own garden. We are slowly trying to convert our own home and yard into our own little nature sanctuary. We have a larger back yard than most, and we plant a lot of native bushes, fruit trees, vines, and creepers, trying to create a habitat. It's beginning to pay off. So our favorite nature walk is just the step into our back yard.

  3. What I want to know is: how did you keep the ants away from your yummy cake long enough to take a pic? ☺

    It sounds lovely & I know I should enjoy those walks.

    We have several. Me, I like best to meander through the mangroves with the translucent water seeping gurgglily under the humped roots of the mangroves & the little brown honeyeaters screaming My Territory! My territory from the tree tops. Usually the silence is so deep it's like dropping into eternity. The crack of bird wings resounds like gunshot.

    The other walk we like, which is easier & not reliant on the tides is left down the hill, past the bean farm, the fruit farm, the avacado farm, up the hill & down & round the back of the avacado farm along the Canaipa passage circling back home again. It is a pretty walk & at night under the stars spectacular!

  4. We have some lovely spots that we can visit too and it's lovely to be able to escape for a while and enjoy nature.

  5. We walk with another family (and sometimes others) every Friday at a wildlife refuge about 20 minutes from our house. I cannot recommend walking an area consistently enough! I am often inspired to share thoughts about nature study and science because of our walks:


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