Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Getting Outside

Disclaimer: I'm not really a fan of New Year's Resolutions, so this isn't one of those. But as December draws to a close I do like to reflect on the year just gone and how I'd like the next year to be different. I've noticed that lately I've been getting outside less and less. Maybe that's because I've been busier at work, busier with other commitments, moved further away from my work so am less likely to cycle commute these days... Also, a few trips away to disrupt my routine, followed by a nasty bout of laryngitis, haven't helped. Anyway, I've spent much less time than I would like to outside, enjoying the world. So I'm going to make a concious effort to Get Outside and do something every day, whether that be walking, running, cycling. I play a team sport, so I know that some days I won't be able to fit in a game and a walk, but I think an hour or so running around outside chasing a ball can count as well. And some days a 15 minute walk around the ovals at lunchtime might have to do. But it will still get me outside. This isn't so much about the exercise (I get quite a bit of that already, although more will be good for me), but about escaping the office, getting some fresh air and looking at things more than a metre away from me to rest those computer-tired eyes. Of course it will also be a good opportunity to see more wildlife and take more photos along the way. On a recommendation, to hold me a little more accountable to this goal, I'm going to post updates on here to track how well I'm doing.

So, how am I doing so far...?

28/12/11 - walked up Mount Rogers (a nature reserve near home) for the first time in weeks. This was when I remembered how much I like to spend time up there decided to make a real effort to do so more often. A lot of my Getting Outside efforts will involve walks and runs along the network of tracks at Mount Rogers - 10 minutes walk up a steep hill and I can step out of the suburb and into a little bit of bush with great views looking over the city and surrounds.

29/12/11 - a run on the trails on Mount Rogers (~3 kms running plus a short walk there and back).

30/12/11 - no walk / run as we already had a day trip planned for this day, but I did get to take a nice drive through some country I haven't seen for a while and an hour or two Outside on a lake in a small boat - nice :)

31/12/11 - short but hard run on Mt Rogers - ~2.5 kms run plus the walk there and back. Didn't start until late-ish morning on what turned out to be the first really hot day of this summer - clever. Returned half an hour later with a bright pink face.

01/01/12 - walk up to the trig point on top of Mt Rogers and explored a few new (to me) trails with S. A storm front was moving in from the west so we watched the dark clouds morphing their way across the city, punctuated by lightning, slowly creeping closer with half-hearted rumbles of thunder. The currawongs were especially noisy that evening, anticipating the approaching storm. We made it home just as the first few drops of rain fell on our suburb...

02/01/12 - run on Mt Rogers - tried a new route, usually when running I follow a particular loop of ~2.5 kms around the contour line a little below the summit, but today I took one of the tracks heading up from there to the trig point at the top, then back down the other side before following my usual route home. A bit more uphill than I'm used to, but think it's time to push those boundaries. Not sure on the actual distance run, but door to door including the walk each way it was 4.5 kms.

03/01/12 - yesterday I took a slow walk on Mt Rogers again, trying some new tracks to connect routes I know already. It is a fairly small area, but there are several major gravel paths connected by a lot of little tracks through the bush, so plenty of scope for variety in the daily walk. This route took me past a scattering of boulders and I finally saw one of the elusive skinks I've been hearing in the bush up there. As soon as someone approaches they drop down from the rocks and bolt for cover. The grass is so long up there at the moment that you can hear them rustling near the rocks but have no chance of getting a look. Today a particularly bold individual hung around on its rock a little longer so I got to see the source of the noise at last. Not a good enough view to ID species given my poor knowledge of skinks, but it was much a bigger animal than I was expecting - maybe ~15cms long and quite fat with vertical stipes. Hoping for a better look next time to try to get a proper ID.

04/01/12 - today I went for a bit of variety, with a meandering walk to the shop in a neighbouring suburb. Went out for some bread, decided not to go to the closest shop to lengthen the walk, but was still totally surprised to get home and work out I'd walked 7.5 kms. A nice way to spend a warm, sunny summer evening.

Well, that's not a bad start, now let's keep it up...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

It's 2012!

New Year's Day spent picking plums from the garden, sorting them into plums for eating and plums for cooking, now in the process of making plum sauce.

Not a lot to report for now, but that's the sort of day it is.