Local Treasures – Wildlife Escapes in an Urban Environment

Water dragon

The most effective way to save the threatened and decimated natural world is to cause people to fall in love with it again, with its beauty and its reality. – Peter Scott

I remember what parks looked like when I was a child. Most were uninspiring patches of grass and prickles with one or two trees, a token swing set, a splintered wooden see-saw and a scarily tall slippery slide. I recall frying my rear end and upper legs on baking hot summer days as I zoomed down enormous shimmering  metal slides, often ending up   bruised and concussed  on a rock hard bed of concrete. While they seemed exhilarating at the time and we certainly learned to be physically tough, I do think the elaborate green spaces I see in cities today with their mini-forests, gardens, ponds and lakes are a vast improvement. They provide sanctuaries for wildlife  and much needed nature therapy for stressed residents. Continue reading

A Hike Back Through Time: Simple Pleasures

Christmas and the approach of a new year stimulate a lot of memories and also a great deal of reflection and pondering for many people. The Internet brings us numerous benefits. We can interact with many people from all over the world and marvel over exotic landscapes. However, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the adventures of others that make our own  lives back at home seem rather dreary or mundane. I was feeling a little deflated myself recently after hearing yet another adventurer urge people to give up everything and travel the world. I have family and other responsibilities that keep me here and they take priority for the moment. We are often bombarded with commands such as, “Do it now. Life is short. You only live once!” I’ve never been overseas and have only traveled in two states of my own country, but it’s still been an interesting life, and there is much to be enjoyed in my own region.

Recently, I spent many hours sorting through a box of old family photos and they were a good reminder that overseas travel and in fact, interstate travel, were not common occurrences like they seem to be now. People often had to work long hours, with few of the modern conveniences we enjoy today and yet many found simple ways to enjoy their precious leisure time that gave them contentment. Many lived in one location their whole lives. Although I would not swap my relative life of ease with theirs, I do feel a little nostalgic about the focus on simple outdoor pleasures. I thought I’d share some of these old pictures with you as a reminder of the distant past when electronic media wasn’t the focus of entertainment; when people looked you in the eyes when having a conversation. I invite you to take a hike back in time with me through these images of some Australians in the first half of the twentieth century. Continue reading

Mist and Magic – Moogerah Peaks National Park

Lake Moogerah - blue

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock, The Use of Life

A change of pace for this post. After writing about a hot, dry hike and burnt bushland last week I thought it was time for some lake relief. About 100km SW of Brisbane, Lake Moogerah is part of the Moogerah Peaks National Park and one of my favourite escapes. I usually make day trips but on one very memorable occasion I camped with my daughter in autumn and  we were treated to a mysterious mist. Continue reading