Canberra Day Twenty Seven

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There’s a Brad Paisley song that has a line something like “yeah I live for, little moments, like that”. That’s how I feel about this little moment.

I’ve found that the flighty parrots of Melbourne like this Red Rumped Parrot, like Eastern Rosellas, King Parrots and more just aren’t that flighty up here in Canberra. I’ve seen more of them here than anywhere. I’ve seen this particular parrot feeding on nature strips and not even bothering when cars or people go by! In Melbourne I’ve only found them NOT in Melbourne or in remote bushy parts of Melbourne.But here they are more settled. Maybe its the difference in population, or lower housing density up north here where we’re staying, or the nearby nature reserves; I don’t know but it’s fascinating that their behaviour can be so different! This one was so relaxed that when I pulled up to the curb a metre away to photograph something else, it didn’t budge at all; usually I’d see a flash of green and that would be all. I took a few “safety shots” through the windscreen from where I was behind the wheel but they made for rubbish shots, then carefully crept forward in the car until I was parallel with it. Still amazed, and very excited, that it still hadn’t moved! I do find that birds will sometimes accept a car over a person as they don’t seem to see a threat in something without eyes. I eased myself upwards in my seat to shoot over the top of the window sill. I’ve still had to crop some window sill out but this is truly THE most amazing photo I’ve EVER taken of a Red Rumped Parrot and it was all accidental; I just happened to have my camera in the car for other purposes. Sometimes life truly does happen while you’re busy making and carrying out other plans. This is also why the photographer in me cries silently inside when I have to go anywhere without my big camera; no amount of megapixels on a camera phone will get you this shot!

So rest day. I slept in, leisurely looked through some photos, then decided to get moving and do some jobs down the street: change our mail redirection, get a sketch book and a folder to show what we’ve done since we came to Canberra and buy some more iron tablets. All mundane but necessary. I checked out the local bike store for clothing but no cigar, then decided to visit the Tulip Top Town out at Bywong. I had a lovely drive around in that area, but decided to wait til next weekend for the tulip place when they’ll have a festival on. Then I went and checked out Sutton and Gundaroo, the latter is especially lovely and old fashioned. Caught a Brown Falcon on camera resting in a dead tree after a fight with a Raven. Took the back way home on a terrible rutted road!! Not the best choice for driving but scenic. Then relaxed away the afternoon with more photos and a nap. Finally my brother-in-law arrived for the weekend after 13 months away in England and more recently tripping around Europe. Not a bad day, not bad at all! And tomorrow, Floriade!!!

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Canberra Day Twenty Six

6th October, 2016

Well this is going to be short and sharp because its after midnight and I do REALLY need to get to bed. But I’ve been through today’s 700+ photos and reduced them to 200 odd which I’m pretty pleased about! Nothing left over to sort out. I’ve got good photos by now of several birds up here, so unless what I take is better then into the bin it goes. I’m battling storage space on my laptop and online and everywhere!! But I do so love taking photos, and the birds and scenery are just so enticing. I’m trying to become more satisfied with just looking, but recording for posterity is just so tempting, even if I never look at the photos again! So I’m spending some time with memories, going back through the archives and deleting whatever has turned out to be pointless or meaningless or unmemorable, or just a bad photo. And when I’m processing current photos I try to keep the same principles in mind.

Today was about hills and dales. I went back and finished the the woodlands walk this morning-afternoon: beautiful birds and the day was perfectly warm and sunny and lightly breezy; perfect! As I was walking around I noticed blue painted arrows on the fire trail path pointing in the opposite direction to what I was going. I ignored them because its a loop, so why would it matter? But I should have done the hilly section when I was fresh instead of at the end when I just wanted to sit down. Why aren’t there more seats sprinkled around walking tracks? The rest of the signage was lacking, as everywhere, until I got back to the main road where it’s not that necessary. As always, instead of following the map in my brochure or Google maps if it comes to that I just blundered on, and ended up doing an extra larger loop as well as the intended loop! How many times?? So I’ve now done a 7.2km walk on Tuesday, a 1.5km walk on Wednesday and a 5km walk today!! And I’m not even manic!! I’m just building my stamina. But I think that’s enough for now. Besides I’ve gotta get back on my bike; its been 10 days or more.

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Tomorrow is Rest Day. I planned on it being Inside Day cos I’ve really had more than enough sun over 3 days and I’m looking a bit red. But the weather is just so good; gotta make the most of it before it starts raining again! What I want is for this 3 month stint of free time to be over (not too soon!) and to be able to say that I’ve improved myself. That I’ve improved my cycling distances and hill climbing, that I’ve proven myself able to walk distances, times, durations, and profiles that I wouldn’t have previously thought possible. I can say that I have improved on all of these things so far, and that’s in almost a month. So let’s see what the next two months can bring. I’ve just got to plug away, like I did today. I don’t know if I’ll ever look at a hill and think, YAY I’m gonna run up that hill! But I know that if I go a little way, take a rest if needed, go a little way then I’ll get there. I learnt something very valuable recently when I was doing a hill climbing, cornering and descending class with my lovely Wheel Women: never look at the next hill from the top of the current hill; it will always look daunting. Wait until you get to the very bottom, and then look up. Try it; it really changes the rise from Mt Vesuvius to a little mole hill. The next most valuable thing I learnt: just take a small section of the hill and do that; don’t worry about doing the whole thing. Once you’ve done one section, worry about the next. Breaking it into chunks helps to achieve the climb, however you’re getting there. I think you can draw the relevant parallels in life. So that’s my plan! Slow and steady, winning the race.