Monday, December 28, 2009

Stairs Again: A Lazy Afternoon

I was up early on Christmas to open up for the breakfast program. We had a good crowd through for brekky.
After we closed I gave each of the volunteers who had made the effort on the Holiday morning a token gift of Swiss chocolates. I keep saying it, but our volunteers make all the difference for our programs. We couldn’t open on public holidays and weekends if we had to rely entirely on paid staff.

The rest of Christmas was a lazy day for me. Our eldest daughter E, has gone on a mad keen Christmas cooking frenzy over the past couple of years. It is an amazing luxury to sit back and do nothing until it is time to clean up.

On Boxing Day I was again in the city early for work. After that we had a BBQ lunch and went for a lazy drive out to the Maroondah Reservoir near Healesville .

It was a gorgeous afternoon so we went for a walk around the park. The park lies around the dam wall of what was once part of Melbourne’s water supply. It is a series of well manicured gardens, a mix of native and exotic species.

This piccie shows the dam wall seen through some of the plantings. The dam was completed between 1920-27. I guess that means most of these trees are between 80 and 90 years old.

We seem to be picking places with plenty of stairs just lately. Not as many as the weekend before last, but if I keep doing this I’ll be in danger of getting fit.
And this is from near the top of the same stairs.
The gardens are quite relaxing with plenty of places to picnic or simply sit and rest.
We strolled across the top of the dam wall. I paused to take some shots across to the other side. The lake being a former river valley has a shoreline of little bays and inlets.

This is what was the water works intake. I like the touch of the rotunda you wouldn’t see the extra effort on public structures these days. Maroondah is no longer part of the water supply as it is too small to be of relevance, so now it is just a public park.

From the far end I took a few photos.
The view down across the dam wall.
And straight down, the people at the bottom give a scale.
This view is back through the park. As you can see many of the trees are exotics. I think the conifer in the centre of the frame may be one of the American redwood species. (West Coasters What do you think?) The conifer to the left is definitely a cedar of some variety.

Then we turned and went back across the wall.
Finally before we left the park I attempted to get some shots of this Noisy Miner nest . Unfortunately this was about as good a shot as I got. The nest was high in a tree and quite well hidden. While I was setting up for the shot we saw a couple of adults feeding the chicks, but by the time I had the camera ready this bird was sitting still, keeping an eye on me. Noisy Miners are interesting in that, like many Aussie birds, they have a strategy of grouping together to help raise a single nest of chicks. Mum, dad and older siblings all have an interest in raising the current crop of youngsters.


Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

Nice Pics Al; good to see you are back. Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

What a lovely place! Glad to hear you had such a nice Christmas.

Me said...

hehehe! I have to wait before my daughter can start in the kitchen.
I would love to stroll in this lovely place one day in my dream...thanks for sharing.

Happy new year!

Linda said...

Beautiful pictures!

Wendy R said...

Dear Al

Great post, reflecting aspects of your life and a great attitude to life in general. The terrific bonus is (are?) your pictures. They are a window on a world which I will never see. Thank you so much for that.

My daughter is no longer at home but she was here for Christmas. And - as food is her delight too - we had many treats under our own roof. (She calls her blog 'Love and a Licked Spoon', so that should be a clue...)

Al said...

Thanks Christy!
Happy New Year to you as well!

Hi Lisa,
So much of the Yarra region is just heavenly. So close to Melbourne too!

Hi Khim,
My daughters are 23, 19 and 16 years old! A bit older than your little ones!
Thank you and a Happy New Year to you as well!

Hi Linda,
Thanks for commenting.
And thanks for the kind words!

Dear Wendy,
Nice to hear from you. Have you had a nice break? I am only too happy to share. But I can honestly say the same thing about your blog, you post very thoughtful and stimulating pieces.
We have two of our three at home. Our eldest moved back in last year (from Queensland) so she could afford to go back to Uni full time. It seems very strange when they leave, but also a little odd when they come home.
Very definitely a clue to her interests!