An excursion out of the ‘Shire’

Today, I left my MountlawleyShire to meet a friend for lunch at the Tearooms at Matilda Bay, outside the University of Western Australia, on the banks of the Swan River.  It’s a lovely spot, but my goodness – it was incredibly windy!

It really wasn’t the best day for photographs at all.  The water was choppy, though it was lovely watching the dance of the sparkles on the water, and the sound of the waves on the small beach was very soothing.  It’s a long time since I’ve seen the river that rough.

So, no chance of seeing the dolphins.  They don’t come to the surface unless it’s mirror still, and today with the sind streaking up the river from the west, it was anything but.  Away from the river, it was a warm day, with hints of the humidity expected over the weekend (& hopefully there will be rain…), but by the river, you could feel it was Autumn.  There is rarely that fresh a ‘breeze’ during the summer months, even if you live right on the river or near the sea.  In fact, back home, the air in and around my house is utterly still and warm even though the sun has now gone down.  I don’t think it will be that cool a night.

But the early afternoon was delightful, though it was on occasion difficult to hold the camera still in the wind.  And though there were some unusual visitors, there weren’t as many birds around.

I’ve decided to include photos from other  visits this year, and I’ll make a note of when I took the photos.

So, a selection of photos I took today.  Not as rich in colour as photos from Hyde Park – by the Swan River is more ‘Australian’.  There are more native trees, and the open river and the broad swathes of light – they have their own beauty, though I am not confident I capture it.  Sometimes, I wish I had a SLR ….

1st: the city



This is the one flower that was out – it is not the season for flowers, but in Australia, there will be flowers out somewhere everywhere all the time.

Birds: Swans are not all that usual on the Swan River, at least – not around Matilda Bay, and certainly not so many.  They usually seem to go around in couples rather than groups like this.



The seagulls around Matilda Bay are quite aggressive to people eating lunch outside.  They are very cheeky.  I think the wind today kept the number of birds down.


Ravens are very common.  Beautiful intelligent birds, I love watching them.



There are often cormorants (the smaller back one) and frequently pelicans at the river.  Sadly these two were almost out of range of my zoom.

In the first of these is the wilderness of Kings Park, a huge natural reserve that is completely untouched except for when arsonists inevitably set it on fire in the summer.  Last year’s fire caused damage that will take 15 years for the park to recover from.  The 2nd photo is looking east from Matilda Bay across the river.  The light line on the other side of the river is the Kwinanna Freeway.  THe low hills in the background are the Darling Ranges, a low escarpment that millions of years ago was the old coastline.


Now for trees 🙂  Some Autumn, mostly native, all beautiful.

Not as colourful as Hyde Park or flowers, and not the best day for photography.  So here are some others from other days this year:

These were taken on a day when the city was shrouded in smoke from bushfires in the South West of the state. It made for spectacular sunsets, and a strange view of the city.  But you can see how still the water is.  There were not many birds there that day.

And this is from a month earlier – January this year.  Very clear and calm.  It was also very hot!  But there were pelicans so I could take better photos of them,


The water was so calm, this pelican is sailing on his reflection.


and always the ravens.

& that day, my fat little cat was waiting for me, finding shelter from the heat beneath my ferns.