I walk daily to the beautiful lake near our home by the sea.
There are many new homes being constructed in this area at present, thus there is always something new to see along the way. But the real attraction is the birdlife in this area, such as this Heron.
As a Chinese symbol, the Heron represents strength, purity, patience and long life.”
I hope this might mean that both the Heron and I have a long life!!
Sometimes we even see the local kangaroos and their joeys in this area. Meanwhile, the Heron continues stamping the slightly soggy ground on the street’s verges looking for some food.
Today, however, we took a long walk in the opposite direction to the roos and away from the foraging Heron.
A new sports facility has opened up. In the current environment, this means that the ground is open, but as the football competition has been closed for the season, I am not sure if you could call it open, but officially it is.
We continue walking from the main road towards the “basin,” or pond. This is a mini wetland area that has attracted a variety of birdlife.
With a larger wetland environmental area opposite, the birds have plenty of food sources.
On closer inspection we could see cormorants, drying their wings in their familiar crucifix-like gesture, welcoming the morning rays of sunlight as well as a Black swan and the odd Ibis. A Willy Wagtail pair tweeting their way along the path in front of us, danced lightly on the ground. They were gone before I could photograph them.
We saw Moorhens chicks stepping their way through the waterlily pads, a perfect adaptation to the watery environment.
This Mother was calling her wayward adventurous chick, and had to chase after her to give her some food.
The cutest of all were these little ducklings. Covered with down, they dipped their heads under the water, but never really that far from Mother Duck.
New Sports Facility for Australian Rules Football
This football field will be a training ground for the local Australian Rules Football club. If you are not Australian, you might not know of this game. Developed as a way for the cricket players to maintain their fitness in the off-season, ‘Aussie Rules,’ is played on a large oval with four posts at either end. It is basically a kick and catch type of game, with elements of basketball thrown in for good measure and a few penalties along the way to add excitement. The players are tall and lean, and very muscular, and I might add, very highly paid.
The Football Clubhouse looks forlorn and vacant and I think of the term ‘white elephant’ when I look at it. It awaits the demise of Corona as we all do.
A storm was heard in the distance, towards the Northern coast. Highly unusual for this time of year, it did not threaten us, but we did get to see some gorgeous coloured sky and cloud formations.
The simple pleasures of life.
Some days I feel that the lockdown won’t ever be over. I push that thought aside and continue my walk from the ground back towards the estate.
Just before we hit suburbia again, there is an Eco-corridor. The Magpies are up early hunting for their breakfast and I am getting pretty peckish too.
The early bird gets the worm, I hope. Can you see four birds in these pictures? Three were magpies and the fourth, an Indian Myna bird.
That completes Monday’s Walk at the Home by the Sea. Thanks for walking along with me in the virtual sense.
Building a new house last year, meant that I had the opportunity to purchase the latest and greatest cooktop and oven.
I was lucky that the builder had a 90 cm oven as standard equipment and I do love it. I do like to bake a lovely morning tea so the oven get used a lot.
The cooktop in the house design, was gas as a standard addition, and I fondly remembered the teenage days of cooking on an ancient ‘Kooka’ gas stove, in my ‘haunted’ house – highly efficient and reliable. However….
I worked out pretty quickly that gas wasn’t great for someone living in the tropics. The phrase sweating away over a hot stove, was more real than I would care to admit, when I discovered the open flame of the gas cooktop, I was cooking with in my rental accommodation, caused the ambient temperature in the kitchen on a 36 degree celsius, overly humid, day to ignite to levels bordering on purgatory.
Thus, an upgrade to induction cooking seemed like a sensible move than a gas stove.
The trouble is I had to purchase all new cookware as not all saucepans operate with the induction technology, which requires saucepans to be magnetic, to work.
I splurged a little and purchased two new non stick Induction friendly frypans, one a Raco and the second a Tefal Jamie Oliver style pan, as well as three beautiful induction freindly, non-stick saucepans, a lovely set made in France by Ingenio, with a detachable handle that could be used in the oven or cooktop, or served at the table.
So versatile, I thought.
Imagine my schock when I read that there was a problem with non-stick cookware.
A big problem….
Someone in the Estate by the Sea, where I live, had three parrots that lived inside their home. The owner was cleaning his self-cleaning oven, last week, which requires turning it to its maximum heat for an extended time in order to self clean the interior walls, of the oven.
Suddenly all three of his large parrots, including an African Grey parrot, (which can live to 200 years), developed breathing problems and died within 20 minutes of each other, ostensibly from the polytetrafluoroethylen fumes, emitted from the oven in its self-cleaning mode.
To back up his claim I did a little research:
…. the material used in most nonstick cookware, …the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating on the pans turns into toxic Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at high heat, making it dangerous both for the cook and for diners.
It was in 2004 that the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the potential cancer-causing chemical used in the production of Teflon and filed complaints against the maker, DuPont.
At that time, a synthetic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA or C8 for short was used in the production of Teflon, however, it was phased out in the USA, in 2013 as PFAS chemicals, which includes PFOA and PFOS, had been linked to cancer and numerous other health concerns.
Despite DuPont completely eliminating the use of PFOA from use in their products, according to a spokesperson for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), there is a wide range of products supplied in Australia that still include the related chemicals.
This week, I purchased a PFOA free frypan and worryingly note the Ingenio saucepans are now a discontinued product, in the larger retail stores. I shall have to ensure these saucepans are never used on high heat or should I ditch them and get stainless steel, all over again, for the Home by the Sea?
Do you use Non stick cookware, or use water resistant, stain resistant products?
Getting up early to go walking in summer, brings you some delightful surprises. And let’s face it, it is SO much cooler when you live in the sub-tropics. It is also a time when the animals are more active, as they too struggle in the heat and like to rest when the sun is high.
Like this family herd of Kangaroos. You won’t see any around at noon, as they will be resting in the shadows, but go walking early morning and you will see them, enjoying the free grass shoots that emerged with the recent god given rains.
Perhaps you will join me on this walk as we take a glimpse into Australian fauna.
The gorgeous roos were making the most of the recent rains and although you cannot see them in the photo, One mum has a baby, called a joey, which we have often seen at the newly created and yet to be used, sporting fields at theend of a nearby road. The roos seem to be co-existing well with the encroaching development. Let us hope it stays that way.
“One man’s trash can be another’s treasure.”
The rain gives happiness to animals and people alike. For me, rainfall and cooler days are invigorating. After years of drought, and months of never ending bushfires, the rainfall last week of showers and the occasional thunderstorm is so glorious in all its wetness! Truly manner from heaven. The drought may not be over but the grass and plants respond.
I often think about that disconnect between feelings about rain. The folks in the Northern hemisphere have had enough of it and down here we crave it more and more. There never seems to be enough, for all of Australia, or if there is, it comes down in bucketloads, far too much for us and our fragile land to absorb.
Do you get how we feel about rain in Australia?
The ducks and swans frolick in the overflowing pond, and yes, our feet get muddy.
Yet it is this lifegiving substance the earth needs to rejuvenate, to heal, for water is the essence of life.
With blue sky as far as the eye could see in the other direction, I turned and headed back home. By the lakeside, I was greeted by the local birds. They were really happy too. Except perhaps, the baby galah!
He was probably pretty hungry by the sound of his raucous call.
Along with all the other walkers around the globe, Jo’s Monday walksinspire me to share a little of my home by the sea with others around the globe.