Talking to the frogs

Two years ago (2018) I recorded mum talking to the frogs and it was featured on the ABC radio show Off Track presented by Ann Jones.

Since then, every time we go to the park, mum tries to communicate with any frogs that might be around – but with no success. We could never find one. And now it is spring: Bingo! We heard a frog respond!


Mum is not as well as she used to be (late-onset Parkinson’s disease) and her voice is now too soft for the frogs to hear and respond, so I had to help her out.

It made mum very happy!!

Off Track

(Below is the original POST NOVEMBER 2018)

Subiaco Common

Rating:  100 FBIO’s

IMG_0407You can find the  entrance to Subiaco Common on Mere View Way in the suburb of Subiaco.

My mother lives near the common. It is a beautiful place to talk a stroll.

Mum has late onset Parkinson’s disease and apart from finding it difficult to walk she also has difficulty projecting her voice. Sometimes I find it difficult to hear her talk and have to lean over close to hear what she is trying to say.  Recently she has commenced speech therapy to try and improve her voice.

IMG_0025On this occasion she decided to practice some vocal exercises while we were walking through the park. As we walked along she would suddenly (and surprisingly) project some loud ‘Aaahh!’ sounds; often in various pitches and often to the amusement and/or puzzlement to some of the other walkers in the park!

As we walked passed a pond I suddenly heard an echo to one of mum’s vocalisations. We stopped and I asked mum to say ‘Aaahh!’ again and again there was an immediate echo!


To our amazement the echo was a frog!  Mum seemed to pitch the sound just at the right frequency to trigger  a response from it. We found this very amusing, every time mum said ‘Aaaah’ the frog would immediately respond to her. But if we just talked, the frog would remain silent! I took out my phone and recorded it.

IMG_0028The common is a wonderful  space to take time out if you live or work near here. It is in a lovely setting of trees, flowers, lakes and waterways and there is also  a BBQ area, a children’s playground and even an open ground for exercising the dogs or kicking a footy.

Mum and I had a fun day there and the frogs added  much to our enjoyment of this  enchanting environment.

Great Southern Revisited

On the road to Quinninup.

Well, it has been some time since I had travelled to my favourite haunt near Quinninup, a town located between Pemberton and Walpole. When I arrived there were a few surprises. I guess I should have known things wouldn’t be quite the same…

…or be too surprised of changes in a strange year like the one we are having in 2020.

Sadly the first thing I found was that the good old Australian weatherboard pub has gone, burnt to the ground in a bush fire. Luckily no-one was hurt.

The old and the new!

The new pub is great (and the people are still the same), but I did miss the atmosphere the old country pub had.

After the four hour drive down from Perth, I was looking forward to some of my favourite walks in the forest. Along the way, I was disturbed to find some of my favourite areas of the forest were now fenced off with constant warning signs: Private Land – No trespassing.

And I was disturbed to discover some land cleared of trees for farming. The rumour about this is as follows; as the land dries out, farmers are having to move further south in a bid to find more reliable rainfall. Is this true? The sad thing is that it can only be a temporary fix. Eventually, as more forests are cleared, then inevitably climate change will dry out this land too. Won’t it?

But as I walked on, my optimism returned when I passed through a tranquil country scene on an established farm. At that moment I realised that farmers, like the rest of us, have to make a living to make ends meet – how else can they supply and feed the country. In addition, farms and the forest can be integrated and the land looked after. I hope that happens. Perhaps we can help and stop buying discounted food from the supermarkets _easier said than done! Maybe we need an understanding between consumers, markets and farmers that together we can save our planet. Anyway, I argued all these things with myself; that is the beauty of walking in the forest – your mind can toss these thoughts around as you stroll along! BUT, I was happy again.

Later on, I came across a section of the Warren Blackwood Stock Route, part of a trail that meandered through the Karri forests.

The colours of the forest provided evidence that winter was over and now it was spring!

How lucky are we to live in such a beautiful state!

Happy, refreshed and energised by the clear air of the forests, I was ready to get back into my writing (my new occupation!). One novel published, another being reviewed and my third is on its way! Natural environments have a way of clearing the mind and freeing the creative spirit! Try it out :-).

Talking Magpie

This is amazing. Listen carefully and watch the magpie’s throat – he barks like a dog and later says good morning. With thanks to my sister Jane for capturing this on her smart phone – taken at Smiths Beach, near Yalingup, Western Australia,  brilliant!


Cervantes, a small fishing town.

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

1000 points if you walk though any of the natural habitats!



Cervantes is a small fishing town, an easy two and half hour drive up from Perth along the Indian Ocean Drive.  The town was named after a ship-wreck. The ship was named after Cervantes the author of Don Quixote.



The town has white sandy beaches perfect for fishing or swimming and for enjoying tasty and fresh seafood (Cervantes is famous for it’s Lobster Industry).

Cervantes is an excellent place for boating, camping, fishing, four wheel driving, scenic driving, snorkeling, surfing, swimming and walking. The picture below was taken from Thirsty Point where two brave windsurfers braved the elements (the beach was closed due to a whale carcass washed up on the shore – shark alert!).


This quaint little town is very close to Nambung National Park, the home to a desert area  with many ancient rock pillars amid sand dunes known as the Pinnacles. You can walk or drive through this  moon-like landscape (many people go at dawn or dusk or even at night-time if there is a full moon!). The area is less then 30 mins away from Cervantes by road and entrance is through a Discovery Centre (which means there is the inevitable entrance-fee attached).


The atmosphere here is eerie as the gentle breezes seem to whisper along the desert sands and through the moon-like rock forms.

Just east of town is a saline lake called Lake Thetis where you can see Stromatolites (ancient living marine fossils). The lake is one of only a few places in the world with these living fossils.




We walked to the lake via Thirsty Point and through some bush land where we came across wild kangaroos, emus and even a snake or two (always best to wear long trousers when bush walking, however snakes are very shy and usually avoid you).


Hangover Bay is not far from Cervantes and is aptly named especially if you happen to have overly feasted on seafood at the Cervantes Tavern or at the Lobster Shack. Dolphins are common here and sea lions can also be occasionally seen. We didn’t see any the day we went there but we certainly enjoyed walking along the shore and swimming in it’s tranquil waters.


Cervantes is well worth a visit and if traveling here in Spring the area around Cervantes comes alive with spectacular displays of wildflowers between July and October. The Lake Thetis stromatolites and the Nambung National Park Pinnacles are both must-see attractions.

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Perry Lakes

Nature Reserve

Rating:  300 Frequent Bio Points


Perry Lakes

Perry Lakes consists of two lakes ( East Lake and West Lake) within a 80–hectare reserve.

Easy 1 -2 hour walking, BBQs, toilets, children’s playground, outdoor Gymn, shaded areas.

Floreat Park, WA

FieldsPerry Lakes is situated near Bold Park, between the city of Perth and the Indian Ocean.  You can walk, ride your bike, try out the outdoor exercise equipment, enjoy a picnic, exercise your dog or just enjoy the ambience of being in a nature reserve.


This year both lakes are full of water. Something I haven’t seen for many a year. As far as rain goes, this has been a good winter but unfortunately hasn’t been a regular weather pattern in recent years.



Walkways can take you through around the lakes and sometimes through some very beautiful environments




As you walk around the lakes you  will come across a variety of wetland birds including ducks, ebrets and white-necked heron.

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On the Perry Lakes website there is a link to a Noongar story about Perry Lakes narrated by Neville Collard.

Perth has some fabulous nature reserves and this is one of them. Very family friendly!


Please  do not feed the wildlife and if driving into the park be careful of turtles crossing the road (and if walking during springtime – be aware of the occasional magpie swoop).










Bold Park

Sanctuary by the Sea

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

A Class Reserve


Bold Park

Walking Distance: 1 up to 9 km Various circuits

Easy 1 -2 hour walk depending on trail/s taken

The entrance to Bold Park is near Perry Lakes in the suburb of City Beach.


Bold Park beautifully situated between the city of Perth and the Indian Ocean.  All trails are for walkers only, no bicycles allowed but you could ride to Perry Lakes and park your bike there.



Today I took the Tuart Walk as well as parts of the Zamia and Banksia Trails.

A couple of cockatoos kept an eye of me as I made my way up to the entrance to the park.



This was a beautiful walk on a tranquil, warm spring day. I would occasionally come across one or two walkers but for the most part the trails were very quiet.



At times it was easy to imagine that I was well away in the countryside.

However stunning views of the city occasionally reminded me that I was less than 10 kms from centre of Perth.



Further on up the Zamia trail I caught glimpses of the Indian Ocean. It was astonishing to realise that some beautiful Perth beaches were only about a kilometer away.


Along the way the trails were flanked by beautiful flowers.


Many people go to Kings Park. It is truly magnificent. But don’t neglect Bold Park. It is a great place to take a relaxing stroll, absorb the natural surroundings and replenish your sense of well-being! Highly recommended!!



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Bibbulmun Track

Rating:  2000 Frequent Bio Points*

South West__0605The Bibbulmun Track is  world famous. It is a  long distance walk trail (one of the longest in the world), stretching 1000km from  the Perth Hills all the way down to Albany on the south coast.

The track winds through the scenic South West of Western Australia.

For the more seasoned and adventurous walkers there are shelters along the trail for overnight camping.

For the more casual walker  (who may prefer to stroll for an hour or two in scenic surroundings) the track is easily accessible in many places along the way.

Donnelly Lake_449_print


The track starts in the Darling Ranges and finishes at Albany on the south coast.

It passes through many towns such as Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Donnelly River, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole and Denmark.

I spent a week or two exploring different sections of the trail starting at the picturesque Donnelly River and finishing up just past Walpole on the southern coast.



The Karri forests past Walpole were particularly pristine!

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Along the way I captured many different sounds of the forests.

I put these sounds together to create a Soundscape depicting a day in the forest from dawn to dusk. It is called Bibbulmun Cathedral and attempts to capture the spirit of the forest.

The bush walk is ever changing and at times breath taking, for example when you reach cliff-tops above the  Southern Ocean.

South West__0549


This magnificent trail winds its way through diverse areas of natural and wild beauty; from jarrah forests to the giant karri and tingle trees.



You will come across a variety of flowers and trees, low-lying scrub heath lands, lakes and rivers.  There are very many mammals, reptiles and birds that thrive in these areas.

Pelican blur__

Even just an hour or two on this track will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Highly Recommended!


Smiths Beach

Magpie, cockatoos and surfSmiths Beach, Yalingup

Rating:  300 Frequent Bio Points*

Yalingup is a coastal surfing town located in the south west coast of Western Australia. 01e30d20a7267d6f84650c77942799acf46dd07eeb

It is along the Cape to Cape Walk  which starts at Cape Naturaliste near the magnificent coastline of Geographe Bay.

Smiths beach is a popular swimming spot with Resort style accommodation right on the beach.
Yalingup is part of the Margaret River’s famous wine making region.
You are currently listening to Old Scruffy, a magpie that sings for his many visitors outside Canal Rocks Beach Resort.
The outdoor beach shower post provides an ideal platform for his operatic performances.
There are a variety of sea birds, local cockatoos and kangaroos that frequent the area.
Apart from the beautiful swimming beaches there are stunning ocean views a short walk away along the Cape Cape Trail

Yalingup is an easy 3 hour drive down from Perth and we spent a very pleasant few days at Smiths beach, enjoying swimming in the crystal clear waters and breath taking walks along the coast. February is usually very warm and dry but we came across some very unusual weather patterns while we were here.
Prior to our leaving Perth, this amazing cloud band (taken  at Peters Pool Cottesloe) was a portend of things to come!
A low pressure tough from the humid tropics of Northern Western Australia can form cyclonic weather there. In this case it created a rain depression that traveled all the way down to the South West, causing unseasonably humid and wet weather and flooding in some places.
It also presented us with amazing sunsets as can be seen in this picture of my mother and I walking along the coastline one evening. We felt like we were on the edge of the planet Mars looking out at the universe (and everything)!

Rottnest Island

Wadjemup –  Land across the water where the spirits go.

Rating:  1,000 Frequent Bio Points

 Plus 500 Bonus Frequent Bio Points every time you walk or ride to a bay away from the settlement!


Rottnest Island

19 Kms across the sea from Fremantle, Western Australia.

Rottnest Ferry services are available from Perth and Fremantle.

Rottnest Island is an A Class Nature Reserve preserving flora, marine and wildlife.

Cars are not permitted on the Island and bicycles or walking are the main means of transport.

Rottnest is a place of natural attractions and healthy activities.


Rottnest is the home to the quokka, a quokkasmall marsupial with a pouch similar to Kangaroos and Wallabies. In 1696 de Vlamingh thought that quokkas were “a kind of rat as big as a common cat” and he named the Island ‘Rotte nest’ (meaning ‘rat’s nest’).

The traditional and Indigenous name for Rottnest is Wadgemup.

After colonization Rottnest was used for a time as a prison for convicted Aboriginals. These convictions were often only for very petty crimes.  The conditions on the Island have been quoted as being horrific; ‘squalid, cramped, dank and dark’. This was a shameful period in the recent history of the Island.  A memorial centre is to be built and at least some proper respect will be paid to those who lost their lives there.


There are many walks on the Island including guided walks and bird watching walks

The Island is surrounded by beautiful and often secluded bays.

The waters around Rottnest as crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

October and November are best times to see the many humpback whales heading past Rottnest towards the Southern Ocean.

Accommodation is basic but clean. It is a safe place for children and families.There are facilities for disabled and elderly visitors. This has become a place for all people to enjoy. 019e435f9a6c1fbd7ea637179c88dd39b636d5013f

Developers want to get their hands on the Island and build 5 star hotels and resorts.

Locals do not want the Island to become a place just for the wealthy.





My mother  has Parkinson’s disease.

We have just spent a lovely week at Rottnest.

We were well looked after on the ferries and on the Island.

Mum says she felt so much better after having spent a week in such a healthy environment.

Her appetite was good, she slept well, and there was an obvious improvement in her health each day and throughout our stay.

 Rottnest is a  pristine environment and a natural wonderland.

 Highly recommended!


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Ridgeback Trail

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

IMG_0401Ridgeback Trial

Distance: 5 km circuit

Moderate 1 -2 hour walk

The entrance to the Ridgeback trail is on the Telephone Road about 1.5 km north of Quinninup.

Finding the trail

Quinninup-3Walking north of Quinninup, go past Karri Lake on the right and the new forest re-plantations on the left. After a turn in the bend at the top of the road you will eventually find a small sign post indicating a forest track called Telephone Road.

This is near the entrance to the Ridgeback trail.

This trail is much underused. In fact the original sign for the trail was lying flat on the ground and was therefore hard to find.

The trail itself is largely overgrown and the signage can be hard to follow at times. If you are persistent you will come across some beautiful and tranquil  forest scenes. There is a feeling of remoteness in places.

I love this walk.


This was a particularly good wet winter. We need more of these!

And the frogs were happy.

Along Telephone road near the Bark road turn off the frogs seemed to be in conversation with each other.

They are amusing to listen to if you have the time.