June 21, 2009


I haven't been updating this blog for a while. I'm really into photography right now and taking a lot of pics of birds so my other blog is getting more attention.
I went to the Parklands for 2 days straight. On Friday with younger son and Saturday , I cycled there with older son . It is currently my favourite spot for birdwatching as I get to see birds I don't usually see in other areas of the bikeway and it helps that there are ducks there for the kids to feed. There are eels and turtles in the mini lake too but they haven't come out after the water had turned a bit murky due to the rain spell the past months. There is also a little airstrip next to the park where hobbyists congregate with their miniature planes on the weekend. I keep telling myself I need to take pics of them too but my main focus is really taking pics of birds. It's a bonus if I can shoot birds I rarely or haven't seen before.

June 01, 2009

Alma Park Zoo

We went to the Alma Park Zoo yesterday. It would have been about half an hour drive if dh had taken the Gateway instead of going though the city centre and into some northern suburbs . Yes we got lost for an hour or so there. I'm afraid us south suburban people don't usually go to the northern suburbs vice versa and so it took us ages to figure which road we were at plus only decided to use gps in my phone when we were almost there.
Anyway, when we got there, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice and shady the zoo was . There were tall, shady , beautiful trees at the entrance and we didn't need to go out of our car to buy tickets, just drive through and the nice attendants came to us.
Most of the animals were in enclosures where they roam about freely whie visitors can feed them with a bag of animal feed bought at the entrance or cafe cum souvenir shop. There was an enclosure for fallow deers which we went to first because it was near the carpark, as well as camels , llamas , koalas, kangaroos , tahr (mountain goats) etc. I think the two red pandas were my favourite. I took pics of it napping while dh videotape them eating and moving around. I also managed to get pics of birds and trees in and around the zoo although I did pity the birds that were caged there . One galah in the cage seemed tame and liked us stroking its head. We found that out when older son, always inquisitive, poked his hand in the cage to touch it. The baboons were also cages too unfortunately. There was a short presentation about them by a zookeeper while a large alpha male baboon set in the cage behind him and amused the crowd with his antiques. There was also a presentation about koalas and the kids also got to touch a baby croc and a python.
At around noon, we had a nice layback lunch in one of the picnic area where there were tables, benches and even a place to barbeque , in the midst of lovely shady trees. Dh had prepared some sandwiches and cut fruits for the trip beforehand and I bought sliced cakes and drinks at the cafe nearby. There were some amazing looking peacocks and peahens roaming around the area and the boys were trying to chase them. I think they enjoyed the zoo more than the nature walk two weeks ago as there got to see lots of animals. It's a nice zoo , not heavily commercialized like some others and I highly recommend it. :) Though it is a good idea to study how to get there first!

May 24, 2009

W/end walk/cycle

It had rained pretty much last week and I think it was wed or thurs that the bikeway was completely flooded and I could actually that the water had risen up next to the road. Fortunately, the road wasn't flooded and I could still pick up my kids from school. The next 2 days after that, it was lovely with sunny intervals and then it started to rain again on Saturday. I had lunch at the sushi train with the family and thought I'd walk back home with dd , which was about a mile. The only bad idea was that I was wearing heels and my feet were killing me half way home, I need to bring the trainers in the car next time.My painful soles just about canceled my plan to go jogging today so I went cycling instead. Needed to be consistent at cycling well, at least boost the mileage a bit otherwise it is rather painful for me going uphill (like it was today).
The bikeway was wet and puddly and I couldn't ride that fast since when I hit the puddles, the muddy water would splash all over my white Asics trainers and even on my bike shirt. Near the parklands , part of the bike path was immersed in water and I couldn't get through it and had to turn back. I met a group of bird watchers at one stage who were pretty keen looking into their binoculars, they didn't realized they blocked my path. Didn't want to startle them so I just rode through the wet grass. Hey I'm a birdwatcher too. :) I saw the usual birds that frequent there plus an egret and some grey looking birds flying at the parklands which I couldn't positively id, maybe they were herons? There were also sounds coming from the wet marshes sounding like continuous drumbeats which I suspect were frogs.
I then made my way to the other end of the bikeway to make a complete loop but didn't reach the end because there was a pickup truck blocking near the creek. I supposed they were cleaning up the mud there so I had to turn back . All in all, I managed to cycle almost 20km for an hour and a bit on a wet puddly bikeway which wasn't bad. :)

May 16, 2009


As I said in my previous post, it is a bit chilly in the morning now and I am not in a hurry to go out the front door until the temperature increase a little, nearing mid-day. However, older son was repeating for a few days prior, that he was going to the rainforest on Saturday. I said to him that there isn't any rainforest around here where we live, just maybe at the Botanic Gardens. It turned out they planned to go bushwalking in the Nature Reserve just a few kms away. I decided to follow too but nobody told me we had to track up a hill! It felt more like the song Miley Cyrus keep singing about these days, "The Climb"...
It was not a bad hike going up, down and around the hill. However, son was a bit disappointed he couldn't find any animals and kept expressing his disappointment . Maybe we should of taken him to the zoo instead of bushwalking. We did see some skinks though which he tried to capture but they managed to escape into the undergrowth. (You know, the skinks in our garden shed were much larger if he wanted to get them.)
I brought my camera along too and was a bit disappointed that I could not spot any birds most of the way although I could hear their calls. The only consolation was a kookaburra which I managed to spot a kookaburra deep in the reserve. It was probably the only I bird I got this time around. The rest of the photos I took were mainly of trees, a caterpillar, butterflies and spiders.
Dh didn't really know the way around the hill reserve although he had studied the map at the entrance and decided which one we were going to follow but I guess we didn't stick to plan. Thankfully, he borrowed my phone which had a GPS and we could find our way back to our starting point. Older son was moody and younger son was tired after maybe an hour , so we stopped at the top of the hill for some needed refreshments. Older son was still in a dark mood after that, walking grudgingly but when his dad promised to get him a toy after the hike, he was motivated to walk and even ran pass us. I was mainly left behind on this hike, taking my time to get a good shot even though there weren't anything much to take pics of. But it's all good.

May 05, 2009

Morning Fitness

I haven't been consistent with my exercise this year now that the temperature has dipped at this time of year as it is almost winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The early morning are cooler if not colder and I would rather prefer to stay under my duna instead of attempting to jog at 6 o' clock a few times on weekdays. However, I do try to jog or cycle on the weekend.
Last Saturday, I went out for a jog a little later at around 9 ish instead of the usual 7 ish. During the spring/summer, most people like to walk their dog around 8 am so I try to jog before that time. However, on this particular Saturday there weren't many recreational walkers or people walking their dogs. The only people I came across were the competitive athletes on their training run from the opposite direction. I think I recognise one of them from the sports centre where I go for my gym sessions (not very often these days). These guys are super fit and some of them even compete at a national/international level and they were running shirtless that morning. Gosh, I wish I can go shirtless for my morning jog, saves me a good 5-10 mins finding the right sports attire for the session.
There is also a squad practicing running/cross country at one of the fields I pass on Saturdays. I was probably a bit late that morning and they may have finished their training session already coz I didn't see them running like in the past weeks. Their coach really grill these high school/college runners into running around the field many, many times over. These youngsters have a lot stamina to be able to do this.
On Friday mornings, I sometimes observed a group of bootcampers wearing the same bright red tees displaying their bootcamp motto or something, will be exercising or training with a bootcamp coach somewhere on the open field/grassland around the bike way. They comprise mainly of women who are motivated to attend these sessions to lose weight and get fitter. The session are normally held a few times on weekdays and I sometimes wonder if I should enrol in these bootcamps for some group motivation. But then they probably have finished their bootcamp for this season...

April 25, 2009

Round up

I have been busy lately due to the school easter break in mid April and now they are back to school, I was busy cleaning up the house and catching up on chores for the most of the week.
Dd and her bro will be taking assessment tests in mid May. They have pushed it up from August to May this year. Apparently, dd's teacher are not at all worried about dd and even expect her to come up tops! I just hope she read the questions carefully and take time to reread her answers instead of stopping early and reading a story book like last time (although her previous results were perfectly okay and well above average of her peers.) As for her bro, there is absolutely no pressure for him. As long as he is happy and understands the concepts at school, it is fine.
Dd also almost got to represent her school in cross country but they decided to do a rerun and she came in 4th this time instead of 3rd. She came home to tell me that she did not make it to district as her friend beat her by half a meter. I said that it was okay. You know, I'm just happy she improved her position from 2nd last to 3rd place this year!

April 09, 2009

Cross Country

It was the kid's cross country yesterday so I left home about 9.30am. Fortunately, the kids' event didn't start until I had arrived. I also brought along my dSLR to capture some of the action. It was weird hanging it around my neck for all the other parents to see but what the heck. The younger kids started their event first and I took some pics of them at the start line. The mums of African origin were cheering their kids all the while. They were really loud compared to the other parents and can I describe them as "rowdy" ;-). Some of them look quite nice in their long flowing headgowns that were brightly coloured or patterned. So I pointed my camera at them. They were camera shy and looked away. I asked them if they wanted to be photographed. A few ran away and an elderly one said an outright no but two were willing to be photographed and were all smiles. I hope to get more pics of African next week where the local library showcase African culture for the whole month. I also took pics of my Afghani friends and their kids. They were very photogenic with their fair flawless skin and pretty smile.
Well, back to the action, older son got his usual placing this year, 2nd last again but he tried his best. I was surprised with dd though, when she came back home with a 3rd place ribbon pinned at her shirt. I didn't realize she was ahead of the other kids in her age group. Last year she got 2nd last. I guess that grueling 5k funrun I ran with her, somewhat improved her standing in the cross country this year.