Featured

A VERY UNUSUAL BIRD

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature…..Claude Monet.”

“Adapt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tawny Frogmouth

I’m still trying to make up my mind as to whether the Tawnys’ are ugly or exotically beautiful but whatever, they are certainly unusual.

These nocturnal birds which are native to mainland Australia and Tasmania are often mistaken for an owl but are in fact more closely related to the Nightjar. They are stocky and compact with rounded wings and short legs and generally weigh between 157 – 555 grams and measure 34 -53 cm. Their bills are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts. They have large yellow eyes similar to owls.

Are they dangerous? I have on occasions approached to within 50 cm or so without them showing any concern or aggression whatsoever, relying instead on their extremely good camouflage. I have come across them in parks and private gardens.

The birds mate for life and it is not unusual to see them roosting in pairs on low lying branches or in the fork of a tree.

If you happen to be in Australia, settling in for the night and hear this strange Oom -Oom – Oom grunting, it’s a safe bet that you have a Tawny Frogmouth or two in close proximity.

For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_frogmouth

Remain observant and be aware at all times.

Jimmy Bee

Featured

A VACATION BY THE SEA

“A simple life is good with me. I don’t need a whole lot. For me, a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I’m happy.”…..Yanni

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/beach

At 6 am in the morning, Burleigh Heads, Qld. is alive with joggers, cyclists, walkers, exercise junkies and of course surfers both amateur and pro. Old men, in not so flash gear and younger ones in colourful T-shirts and board shorts. Females, young of course, flashing the flesh in bright bikinis, shorts and tops. There are the newly arrived with their lilly white skin and those who have been here awhile with their beautiful tans.

On most days you are greeted with the spectacle of board surfers both pro. and practiced amateurs putting on a display riding the breaks.

When I am there, I’m usually up at day break with a hot coffee in hand and watching these guys have fun. What a way to start the day, completely rested and relaxed and looking forward to breakfast which can be had at any number of good restaurants in Burleigh Heads.

The above photograph was taken of the main beach looking north towards Surfers Paradise. This strip of sand runs for as far as one can see and accommodates a number of patrolled beaches and is known as the Gold Coast of Australia. On a hot day in the middle of summer, these beaches are full of people just wanting to bare the body beautiful to the sun, cool down in the surf break or body surf the waves. As well as holiday makers, a lot of Brisbane residents make the day trip as it is just a little over a hundred kilometres.

Of course, it is not all about beaches and surfing, family picnics are popular with locals arriving early in the morning just to reserve a good spot in John Laws park beside the rolling surf and stay for the entire day and sometimes well into the night. For those who like walking, there are plenty of good walks including Burleigh Hill, which is a good heart starter after having a night out. Nights here are pretty much alive as well with a number of good restaurants and bars to keep you entertained and it’s not too far down the road to try your luck at the casino, and for those with a more refined taste, there is a good performing arts centre to catch a live performance. Public transport is good and it is not that difficult to hire a Uber. It’s all….just good.

Christmas is a fabulous time to be at Burleigh Heads, especially when it is full moon. Be warned though, it would be wise to obtain your accommodation early if planning to holiday here at Christmas and don’t forget the bubbly.

https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/corporate

Cheers, stay safe and keep well,

Jimmy Bee

FOOTSTEPS ON SANDSTONE Watsons Bay to Bondi Beach

“Take a discovery walk to-day to find what’s missing in your life. There is peace in the whisper of the wind, hope in the sun smiling from behind the clouds, strength in every step forward. You can do it! “…..Toni Sorenson, The Great Brain Cleanse.

Courtesy of – https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/walk

Watsons Bay, NSW walk
Federation Cliff Walk to Bondi Beach, NSW

As we were staying at Bondi beach and without a vehicle, we hopped onto a bus which took us on a nice leisurely ride to Watson’s Bay. Being a long weekend we expected to find hordes of people as it is a very popular destination for day trippers. The Watson’s Bay Hotel was overflowing and the parkland and foreshore also had a number of families picnicking and enjoying themselves beside the bay. We found however, that only a few were attempting the walk and decided, due to it being such a beautiful day to increase our walk by adding the 4.5 km Watsons Bay Walk to the Federation Cliff Walk making it a total of 11 km.

If you look at the above photograph, you can see the start of the walk at the top between the white building on the left and the jetty. You then have a choice of whether you walk along the promenade beside the boats or along the beach or perhaps remove your shoes and paddle through the water. The photograph doesn’t lie, the water is very inviting.

What we are looking at in the above photograph is the southern headland of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. This landmark is known as The Gap. These majestic sandstone cliffs rise many metres above the sea. Unfortunately, as well as offering a truely panoramic vista across the Tasman sea, it also hides a dark and sinister secret. Many people unable to cope with life have chosen this spot to end it all by jumping to their death from the top of the cliffs.

The opposing headland visible at the top of the photograph is North Head, a very similar cliff-scape to South Head, mainly sandstone escarpments.

There’s nothing quite as raw as the sound of your footsteps on sandstone.

This walk between The Gap and Dover Heights (Federation Cliff Walk) is not long at 5 km, nor is it hard but it is worth the effort if only for the coastal views. If I was to do it again, I think I would take a bus from Dover Heights to Bondi Beach rather than walk, as this last 2 km wasn’t all that stirring except for the portion between Bondi North and Bondi Beach.

The above view was taken from North Bondi looking south and to the start of another alluring walk along the cliff tops to Coogee. Once we arrived at North Bondi, we knew our destination was close at hand. One more stop was made before completing our walk at the Adina Apartments and that was the Hotel Bondi where we enjoyed a refreshing, frothy, cold beer to celebrate our cliff walk.

For further information: 1. Watsons Bay Walk – https://www.sydneycoastwalks.com.au/watsons-bay-walk/

2.Federation Cliff Walk with extension to Bondi Beach: – https://www.bestsydneywalks.com/federation-cliff-walk/

3. Adina Apartments, Bondi Beachhttps://www.adinahotels.com/en/apartments/bondi-beach-sydney/?

4. Hotel Bondihttps://www.hotelbondi.com.au

Take care and enjoy your life,