Sunday, February 26, 2012


Last week I resigned from the car auction. It was not an easy choice as I have worked with my boss for 17 years. However, the ankle is not healing as quickly as I would have liked, so I took the plunge, sold my shares in the business and am concentrating on getting well, and doing a few personal things. I am still auctioning houses on the weekends and will have a chat to a few firms in a month or two, looking to work as a contract valuer and /or auctioneer.

I turn 50 today and hope this decade is as interesting as the last. Here's to taking risks!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another ride. Eastern fire trail

With the weather improving, and storms predicted for later in the afternoon, it was time to get out again and do some riding. Again the ankle is not "right", but I need to persevere and chose to ride the fire trails that surround my home.

The Cannondale Prophet

The air was warm and full of the smell of bush honey. The track was firm, but some sections were rough as the rain had washed a lot of the exposed areas out. I was enjoying the Cannondale, even more so as I discover that they are no longer made in the good ol' USA. The current ones are now made in Asia are made of Carbon fibre and have 29 inch wheels. I don't need a new bike as I am at a point where I cannot get the most out of this one and it suits me just fine in its Citrus colours.

Some of the trails in rain forest

The tracks are overgrown as the bush enjoys the wettest summer I can recall. After an hour or so, I returned. I have to confess I have muscles I never knew I had, and the ankle improves with each revolution. Its still tender if i hit rocks as the joints act as shock absorbers. The next 24 hours will decide if i need to go back in and have the 2nd stage of the surgery.

All in all a satisfying ride in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First ride!

Australian Hobby (photo source- Wikipedia)

With instructions from my specialist to try the ankle out, I chose to do a 25k ride around the Lagoons. Its a quiet ride which I have posted about before. There is more water across the paddocks than last week but the sun was shining and the day was gold.

Frankly I did not know what to expect. The ankle has been "ok", not great, as the movement is reduced and I walk with a limp, but the pain is very much reduced. So away we went.

The lagoon ride is nice ( refer to last weeks birding) and it gives me a smile when I see the same birds in the same spot, as I saw last week. The added advantage on the bike are the fragrances. On the bike you move quickly and so the smells in the air really do waft. There is the smell of turf farms, the smell of horse stables, the smell of fresh cut grass, of orange trees and a wonderful smell of Asian market gardens. It all makes me want to add them to a wok!

Nankeen Kestrel with mouse (photo source-

Perhaps the nicest thing was seeing a Nankeen Kestrel displaying territorial behavior against an Australian Hobby, as well as seeing a paddock full of White- necked herons. I have a confession to make- I have a Nankeen Kestrel in my freezer. It was hit by a truck and died but looks undamaged. As I am a member of SOSSA I can get the bird stuffed. ( as its stuffed already lol..thats a joke...)

White-necked Heron (photo

After 25km I was tired but quite satisfied. The ankle moves differently than before, but it was a real pleasure to be on the bike on a rare and sunny day. I have to say I prefer these conditions that the conditions the boys at "No Hidden Lycra" blog have to ride in!

Lets hope the ankle keeps improving and I can get back to riding three times a week.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The lagoons

Golden-headed Cisticola (Photo courtesy of Alan Fear)

With a break in the weather for the first time in months, I thought would take to opportunity to see what effect all this water has had on the bird life along the Hawkesbury lowlands. This has been the one of the wettest summers I can remember, in fact not like summer at all, and its been brilliant in flushing out the creeks, streams lakes and rivers.

Red-backed Kingfisher

It was not long before I discovered the lagoons full and overflowing into the lower sections of the polo fields and farms. This provides and excellent oppportunity for the bird life as the water brings a lot of insect life up and out of the ground.

Black-fronted Dotterel

There was even fish swimming in the pools that are not normally there. Having spent a good three hours, I had a reasonable bird list and spotted a couple of favorites too. I did get out of the car and use the crutches but they are not too good on water logged ground!

The view back towards the mountains where I live.

The other benefit of all the rain is the growth of grasses providing good habitat for the Little Grass bird as an example. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in the sun. and the list could have been longer if Iwas more mobile.

Birds spotted:- Black swan, noisy miner, little black cormorant, , masked lapwing, chestnut teal, white ibis, red-rumped parrot, welcome swallow, nankeen kestrel, grey butcherbird, red-browed finch, crested pigeon, intermediate egret, golden-headed cisticola, black-winged stilt, white faced heron, yellow-rumped thornbill, black-fronted dotterel, little grassbird, superb fairy wren, australian raven, australian magpie, pee wee, dusky moorhen, eurasian coot, house sparrow, white-plumed honeyeater, little pied cormorant, australian darter, restless flycatcher, australian wood duck, bul bul, red-backed kingfisher, red wattlebird, purple swamp hen, pacific black duck, common bronzewing, bell miner, satin bowerbird, willy wagtail, mallard. Total:-41