Talking to the frogs

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!

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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.

 

Perry Lakes

Nature Reserve

Rating:  300 Frequent Bio Points

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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CityView

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.

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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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Araluen

 

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

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Araluen

Botanical Gardens

Located in the Darling Range.

35km south-east of the Perth

Easy and Inclusive Walks

(Disabled Access)

 

Springtime in Western Australia, one always thinks of our beautiful wildflowers especially after such a good winter. However, here in Araluen one could almost imagine being in Holland with such a spectacular show of tulip. Kathy and Marcia took a trip there and this is what they found and photographed.

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Araluen Botanic Park is home to many species of Australian and international flora.

Its unique micro-climate featuring loam soils and high rainfall provides an unparalleled opportunity to grow exotic cool climate plants in our desert climate.

 

Camellias, tea roses and tulips can all be discovered at Araluen in springtime amongst a native backdrop of Eucalyptus, Marri and Blackbutt.

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The natural surroundings support a range of native wildlife, including marsupials, birds, reptiles and water creatures. After a good wet winter the frogs were particularly active and great Bio Indicator of this unique environment.

Araluen boasts of a magical journey through the Park highlighting the stunning bursts of colour from the 125,000 Tulips throughout the Park.They are not wrong and well its worth the drive there!

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Karri Lake Trail

Rating:  300 Frequent Bio Points*

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Distance: 4 km circuit

Easy 1 -2 hour walk

The entrance to the Karri Lake Trail is  off Wheatley Coast Road at the northern end of Quinninup.

 

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The winter of 2016 was a decent season with constant rainfall across the region. They say that frogs are a good sign of a healthy environment (bio-indicators). Wherever I walked I could hear frogs!

On one particularly wet day I walked down to the entrance off Wheatley Coast Road where  I could hear Bonking Frogs sounding like an orchestra of banjos in the rain!

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The walk around Karri Lake is mostly very easy with beautiful and at times stunning views along the way.

Karri Lake is the water catchment area for the town and there is evidence of logging and clearing in parts of the lake.

 

Unfortunately there is  bacteria in the lake and the water is not fit for consumption. Drinking water has to be be constantly trucked in to refill the town’s reservoir tank .

It seems strange houses are allowed to be built around and very close to the lake.

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The closeness of the houses and the human manipulation of the landscape is why the walk doesn’t attract the full 500 Bio points * you would expect.

Never-the-less it is a very satisfying walk and well worth doing for the views,the fresh air and to listen to the birds, frogs and insects everywhere! This recording captures the sounds of the forest as I walk past a stream.

 

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King Karri Trail

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

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King Karri Trail

Distance: 4.2 km circuit

Easy 1 -2 hour walk

The entrance to the King Karri trail is off the Wheatley Coast Road towards the South West Highway.

 

 

 

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Fallen LogNot far from the entrance I thought a fallen tree had crossed the track. It wasn’t a tree, but a massive branch from the top of one of the huge trees.

A reminder not to walk in the forests during storms (or the day after)!

 

There are two named trees along the trail; Shaggy Karri and the Hollow Butt King Karri  They are 300 to 400 years old and over 60 metres high!

Shaggy Karri

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Recently the Hollow Butt King Karri had succumbed to nature and crashed down to the forest floor. I’m very glad I wasn’t admiring it when it fell across the path.

Hollow Butt before (2015).

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Hollow Butt after! (2016)

Hollow Butt 2016

 

Overall this is a delightful and easy walk. Listen to the bird life in the ambiance of the forest air (including magpies and kookaburras).

 Time Machine: Listening to these sounds takes me right back to this place and time!

 

Quinninup

RATING: 750 Frequent Bio Points

Every year I try and escape the technologies and demands of city life by going down South for a couple of weeks. In the Great Southern Region of Western Australia I discovered the charms of an old timber town called Quinninup.

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Quinninup is a few kilometres down from the turn off to Pemberton on the South West Highway.

The little town is a hidden gem.  It  is not the place to go to find 5 star accommodation or for any resorts surrounded by sparkling spas, pools, cocktail bars and artificial plants.

 

But it is the place to go for easy, beautiful and restorative walks in our magnificent Karri forests!

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Accommodation varies from old timber cottages, caravan park and cabins as well as holiday homes with beautiful views of the Karri Lake.

 

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Meals are available from a great little country pub.

 

 

 

 THE WALKING TRAILS

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Toadstool Quinninup

There are three easy to moderate walking trails around Quinninup; The King Karri Trail;, Karri Lake Walk and the Orchid Trail.

There is also one lesser known moderate to difficult walking trail called the Ridgebark Trail.

Winter is a great time to walk the Karri forests of the South; the snakes are all asleep and the forests are vibrant with intriguing tapestries of various creepers, fungi, mosses, ferns and lichens.

However to catch the wildflowers and wild orchids then Spring is ideal. The snakes might be awake but they are rarely a problem (they slide away and hide from human footsteps). It’s a good idea to wear appropriate sturdy shoes and long pants. Dress for the weather (rain can come up quickly and unexpectedly).  Always carry water in the warmer months. Avoid walking the forests on stormy, windy or very hot days.