Life is like a Merry-go-round, but I feel I sit on the sidelines far too much these days.
Is it the fact I am ageing far too quickly since early retirement in 2010?
Is it modern technology which makes me feel like a dinosaur?
Probably a bit of both.
After 10 days of intermittent wireless keyboard connection and my keyboard not registering some letters as I type OR, at the end of a paragraph, a gremlin, chases and deletes each letter at lightning speed until I’m left with a blank page again, I’ve concluded it was a virus or my 2019 iMac was very, very sick.
My tiny 11″ MacAir worked just fine when I took it out of the drawer, but its size and my poor touchpad skills make it not feasible for long-term use with my eyesight. It’s my communication and entertainment provider every time I go into the hospital for surgery.
My lovely computer technician James is coming today, but last Friday, the Gremlin left my location and moved on to someone new.
Duh! How can viruses(?) and Gremlins(?) disappear all on their own. At one stage I couldn’t even type my password to log on, so I had to turn the computer off and try again later in the day(s).
But I decided to keep the consultation time so James could fix a lot of other mysterious computer-related matters……..I hope.
In the meantime, I got outdoors for a short (2 km) walk down to the local pond and lake last Sunday. The first real nature walk since the 26th of October last year (according to my photo library).
Very little to see in the way of local bird life and not much else happening as the riverside walking/cycling/jogging trail was almost empty. Where were the usual Sunday crowd? I could hear some carnival sounds that day. But where from? It was a long weekend with a Monday public holiday but there are always joggers or cyclists on the river path no matter the time or day of the week.
There weren’t any of the local Purple Swaphens grazing in the low-lying field next to the gravel path leading to the river. They are always there – Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring (including that crazy new season of storms and floods the eastern seaboard of Australia has acquired).
But not last Sunday.
Note: The images below were made in past years.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio) and 2 chicks
Grazing on pond/water grass
Purple Swamphen standing in Maribyrnong wetlands pond
Standing in Maribyrnong wetlands pond
Purple Swamphen on the edge of Bundap Lake
All I saw were a few Superb Fairy-wrens grazing on the gravel path edges, a couple of Mapie Larks who frequent this area and, initially, an unidentifiable water bird on the rocky edge of Bundap Lake.
Note: Images below were made in past years.
Male Superb Fairy-wren in the long grass behind my apartment building.
Female Superb Fairy-wren in Frogs Hollow Nature reserve behind my home.
Male Superb Fairy-wren on my balcony fence
Adult and younger Male Superb fairy-wren on the side of my road.
Male Superb Fairy-wren
Magpie Lark near my home
Magpie Lark near Bundap Lake
Magpie Lark next to the Maribyrnong River
I had trouble holding my heavy 150-500mm lens steady, but here it is.
Last Sunday’s only bird shot.
I couldn’t get the bird to turn around so I could see its breast feathers, so this was the only view.
The large webbed feet were my clue and I finally narrowed the identity down to a Eurasian Coot. Google images showed it was a juvenile and missing the sooty-black body and white beak of the usual adults I see.
Feel free to correct me in the comments if you believe it to be a different water bird.
The photo below, made in the Royal Botanic Gardens some 10 years ago, show a Coot looking at its feet as though to say……
“My what big feet I’ve got. Are they really mine?”
A few more photos of Eurasian Coots taken over the years….
Royal Botanic Gardens – Melbourne. “My, what big feet I’ve got”
Caught by a fishing line – Yarra River, inner Melbourne suburb
Stretching its wings. Local Bundap Lake.
Local Bundap Lake.