Great! She’s got the lead, not that I like the bloody thing clipped to me so I can’t go where I want but it sure beats being stuck in the yard all day. I suppose we’ll be heading for the Park again, plenty of exciting things in there if only she’d let me investigate them.
We head off up the drive, you might think turning left at the top would be the best option it’s more natural but I prefer the path beside the railway line where I can check out who’s been past. The big, beefy Staffie who always stops opposite our side gate to crap and that infuriating red Cocker that must be insane the way it carries on every time it goes past. Of course I can’t get a decent read of the place, I just get the barest hint of the message and she’s pulling me away. She’s not too bad though, lets me leave my marker for the first few hundred metres before she just seems to get cranky about it for some unfathomable reason.
Along the railway line we go then past the crappy Staffie’s house and into the park. It’s not a poncy park with mowed lawns and people sitting on wooden benches it’s really more just bush with heaps of intense smells. If I’m lucky I get to trail my nose through the weeds and stuff beside the track. Apart from all the other dog leavings I get to savour the wonderful whiff of rabbit and fox, if only she’d let me off the lead to flush the buggers out. The little lizards are much sneakier here than they are at home, disappear before I’ve even focussed and although I’d never admit it to her I’m quite pleased when she hauls me away from those antisocial hissers that seem to like sleeping out in sunny spots.
The Galahs are always good for a laugh. They waddle along on their stumpy legs and fluff up their head feathers when they see me coming, as if that’s going to put me off. I like to force them to walk away a little bit then a little bit more until they get cranky and screech at me. At that point I decide to show them who’s boss but she always pulls me away and I hate the feeling they might think I’m some kind of pet, not free like they are.
Sometimes we just go as far as the rocks and then come back the same track so I get to investigate a bit more but other times we go down to the gully. Telling you about that would take too long though so I’ll just stop here. You get the drift.
It’s a nice day, not too hot and I think I’ll take Tilly to the Park. She’ll love it. I won’t go along the road, I don’t like it when cars zoom around the blind corner, much safer to take the Railway path. It’s great since Ken planted along here, the Lavender hedge is just gorgeous with all the flowers just now and so many butterflies. Lots of Cabbage Whites but Painted Ladies too. I just wish Tilly wouldn’t feel the need to sniff every single spot along the way and pee at every second bush. I thought when I got a female dog I wouldn’t have that problem. Some lazy, dirty owners have been along here and pretended they didn’t see their dogs crapping. Don’t they ever stop to think what it’s like for others coming along or poor Ken who has to weed here?
We go along beside the railway then cross over the track and head into the Park. I love the sense of freedom I feel as soon as I step into it. Big Gum trees of all different types and Kangaroo Thorns which are some kind of Acacia, they protect the Fairy Wrens and I’ve even seen some kind of bright red bird like a Firetail Finch in here. The tracks are pretty rough and inevitably involve huffing and puffing up slopes but it’s worth it when we get to the Ridge Track. From here you can see the city spread out below. It’s not like most cities, there is only a square mile central core of high risers though a few more are popping up here and there.
As we walk towards the rocks and memorial bench we disturb the Galahs feeding on seeds that have conveniently blown onto the track. We approach and they look annoyed as they waddle a bit further along the track then when we appear too close again they let out a screech, raise the feathers on the tops of their heads and flap their way down the track a bit. Sometimes they take a decent flight and we reach the seat before disturbing them again. I like to sit and take in the view for a while, count the container vessels lying offshore waiting their time to enter the harbour. Maybe one day my ashes will be sprinkled here in this wonderful, peaceful spot.
We live here, we’ve lived here all our lives. I can’t remember the exact tree hollow that kept us safe until we hatched and fledged, there are so many around here that would have done the job. We don’t need a hollow anymore, well not until we start our own family anyway and in the meantime I like to hang out with friends. There’s quite a mob of us, all locals. It’s a good place to live. No cats for a start and plenty of space so no need for fights over food not that I’m saying we don’t fight over food! The grasses are covered in seeds just now and the best place to pick them up is from beside the tracks. Sometimes people come along with big noisy machines and cut the grass along the track but not this year, not yet anyway.
People are the biggest hassle for us. Sometimes it’s mad people with black boxes strapped to their arms and they come running up the tracks with no thought for anything other than getting up a sweat. They don’t even stop to look around and enjoy the space. Then there are the cyclists, some are nutters that don’t use the main track, instead they find the hardest way down the hill and make their own track even bouncing about over big rocks. The other cyclists are a bit like the runners, they ride up the hills looking as though someone is behind them with a big stick. It doesn’t look like life is fun and they never stop to appreciate the trees, flowers, butterflies or even give us a second glance. Of course when they blunder up the hill we have to get out of their way, never the other way around.
Dogs are another thing. What is it with dogs? They can never just walk on down the track and mind their own business, they have to pretend they’re savages about to rip us apart. For goodness sake, they’d probably choke on the first feather that stuck in their throat but they have to show off. Make us move from one spot to the other, it’s not as if they want the seeds. No, they just want to be annoying. Of course none of them can read, not the owners and not the stupid dogs. The sign at the front of the park says dogs have to be on leads and even has pictures but still they let the dogs run free. We let them know what we think of them, show them our rude feathers and make the most raucous, screeching noise we can just to irritate their ears then we move away until they realise they can’t impress us. When they give up their silly show we go back to the track, eat seeds and just get on with life.