Sunday 26 September 2010 – Gordon

It’s an unexpected long weekend in Canberra – unexpected by me, anyway. It seems we’re having two long weekends in a row at this time of year from now on. This one is Family and Community Day, which used to be Union Picnic Day. For a couple of years it took place on Melbourne Cup Day, but apparently restaurants didn’t like everyone staying home, so now it’s going to be the first weekend of the school holidays – unless Labour Day falls then, in which case it’ll be the second weekend.

Normally on Fridays, I swim in the morning and have a visit from Brian in the afternoon. At the moment, however, I’m having Friday’s swim on Thursday: some UCan students are taking up three lanes of the pool on Friday mornings, causing the other lanes to become too crowded. And Brian has been relief-teaching every Friday for the past term. This Friday was the last day of term and he was finally free to come round, except that I had an appointment.

I therefore thought it would be a good idea if Dac and I had our weekend walk in Tuggeranong on the way to visit Brian. I chose the Gordon Community Walk, around Point Hut Pond.

No walk happened on Saturday, so I wandered off to a concert in Hackett: Polifemy and Pocket Score singing music by Vecchi, Victoria, Gombert, Praetorius and others. The concert started at 5pm but for no good reason I thought it was 5.30pm, so I missed most of the first half. This was a pity because it was wonderful music, and generally very nicely sung.

Dac and I agreed to walk in the morning on Sunday, as the weather was expected to be quite warm – 21° forecast. Thanks to cat dramas, we set off somewhat later than planned, and I had my usual trouble remembering the way. The purple line below shows where we came in and parked.

 

Map of the Point Hut Pond walk in Gordon

The Map

 

As we found ourselves at the second-last distance marker sign of the walk, some doubt arose as to which direction we should take – not an auspicious start. Once we set off, we soon found the start of the walk, in the middle of a District Park with much of the same equipment we’d seen at Yerrabi Pond, including a flying fox.

The difference was that this park wasn’t nearly so well-attended, except apparently by litterbugs and vandals. Floating in every nook and cranny of Point Hut Pond were clumps of PET bottles and rubbish. Quite a few of the Community Walk signs were missing, and others had been graffitied, as had fences and walls all around.

 

Clockwise: boxy houses, palm tree, bird bath

Seen on the streets of Gordon

 

I could think of no reason for the difference. As you can see above, Gordon boasts boxes, palm trees, and even glass bird baths. There are pleasant mountain views…

 

Mountains seen from Gordon

Mountains seen from Gordon

 

I attempted to take a panorama, but couldn’t stitch the shots together when I got home, so here they are separately. Well, sort of. The picture above is made up of two photos.

 

More mountains seen from Gordon, with a rocky outcrop circled in red

More mountains seen from Gordon, with a rocky outcrop circled in red

 

This one is a single photo.

 

More mountains seen from Gordon

Yet more mountains seen from Gordon

 

And this one is two photos again. The five of them were all in a line, but I must have left gaps.

Any house in Gordon that doesn’t have mountain views probably has water views. Some have both. The lake is currently – but perhaps not always  – brown, and provides a home for assorted water birds. More reasons the denizens should be happy and not running around spray-painting, in my opinion.

 

Top: Swan pair, nearly full-grown swan, two cygnets. Under: pair with all five cygnets

Swans

 

(We only saw one family of swans. In the top half of this picture, you can see the parents with three of their five cygnets. The swan in the foreground was not quite black – perhaps  an almost grown-up cygnet. It didn’t follow the others across the pond, but kept poking around on its own.)

 

LHS: two pix of a pair of swans with 5 cygnets; RHS: Dac looking at them

Same swans; Dac watching them

 

Dac pointed out that mountain and water views were probably not of much interest to the disaffected youth of Gordon, who perhaps thought such things were for Old People and rather boring. I keep learning what Old People are like – the Riot Act, which I read for local news, treats them (us?) as a different species, too busy costing money, driving slowly, causing doctors to run late, and having sleep apnoea to be reading the Riot Act – so I’ve added “liking mountain and water views” to the list.

The pause to photograph swans was the first of several rests. I seem to have hurt myself quite badly when I tripped last weekend. I was having great trouble with my artificial knee, both ankles, and my right foot. All very painful and unpleasant. It’s never clear what to do in these circumstances, so I decided it must be right to keep walking as best I could.

(I was just starting to feel a bit more confident about walking, and now I’m worse than when I started. I’ll be very annoyed if it turns out to be wrong to have kept walking. How is one supposed to know?)

 

Three dogs we saw on our walk

Three dogs

 

Here are the dogs we passed on our walk. The one on the left is woofing at the two on the right. It had a partner in crime and I thought I’d got both of them in the photo – indeed, I boasted of this to their owner, who was drawn out onto her verandah by the barking, only to find a stranger taking photos. One of these days I’m going to get arrested.

 

Four water birds, clockwise: wood duck, moorhen, coot, cormorant

Four water birds

 

Clockwise: wood duck, moorhen, coot, cormorant (taken with extra zoom).

Continued 9 October 2010

I was very relieved to make it back to the car. The sun was blazing down – our faces were sunburnt, so we’ll have to contemplate hats in future, or much earlier starts – and, what with my physical difficulties and the neglected surrounds, I hadn’t enjoyed the walk much at all. This entry has been difficult to write, and that’s probably why.

Also because I was overtaken by a frenzy of school holiday events, of which I shall write when I get back to what I laughingly term “normal”.

Here’s the happy ending: we had a lovely brunch over at Z Brasserie at the Tuggadome, and then made our way out to Williamsdale to visit Brian and the cats and doggos.

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6 Responses to Sunday 26 September 2010 – Gordon

  1. dac says:

    Weird that you can’t look at comments.

    I do believe we ‘shaved off’ some of the walk by crossing that bridge, but since we got so sunburned, and were so ‘wrecked’ by the time we got back to the car, I figure that was a good thing.

    As for the ‘problem’ of youths being youths, I keep hearing about this Aristotle chap whinging about the same thing …

    I detest kids, and teenagers are even worse, especially if they talk too fast, which is to say, always.

    Oh and GET OFF MY LAWN!

  2. valkyrie1 says:

    You can look at comments if there are comments. There’s a link in the fine print, after the tags.

  3. Antoinette Lautenbach says:

    So that’s what a moorhen looks like. Very pretty.

  4. Antoinette Lautenbach says:

    I wonder if that rocky outcrop you circled is Gibralter Rocks, which sits just inside the Tidbinbilla Reserve? I’ve checked my map and the internet, and the distance and direction are just about right. Mind you, my maps are rather old, but even the ACT Government couldn’t have moved the mountains. 🙂

    • valkyrie1 says:

      Har, no, they couldn’t. I wish they – or someone – would provide a map for me that just showed the mountains. I’ve been looking at Gibraltar Rocks and you could be right. Here’s a lovely closeup on Flickr. Both times I’ve photographed that rocky outcrop (it also appears 2/3rds of the way down the Old Tuggeranong Road walk) it’s had a big mountain behind it, and the photos I’ve found of Gibraltar Rocks don’t, but whomnose.

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