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A Pandemic Parade - Rediscover Your Local Footpath

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published August 16th 2020
A walk on the safe side
Our exercise here in Melbourne is restricted to within five kilometres from home. Having walked all the green areas on my local map, some outside of the square thinking was needed.

suburbia from the air.
Plenty of options.

Standing at my front gate, the first choice is left or right. Whichever way you chose, at the first intersection you have a similar choice, left, right or straight ahead. You soon realise that you may never run out of options for a new walk in your own neighbourhood.

This is becoming a popular form of exercise, as whatever time of day it is, there are people walking. When collecting my daily newspaper from wherever it lands after being aerial delivered from a passing vehicle, I see people walking past.

Family walk
Fourteen legs a walking.

While reading that newspaper over breakfast I often spy more walkers passing by. I will soon join them.

I chose to go left as I went right last week. If it is pure exercise you seek, a brisk pace will see you literally pounding the pavement, looking like you want to get wherever you are going quickly, so you can then return.

You wouldn't want to miss these.

A more leisurely pace will give you time to appreciate your surroundings. Some may say walking around your neighbourhood is boring. It is as boring as you make it.

red flower
Seeing this will brighten up your walk.

At any time of the year, almost every front garden will have flowers in bloom for you to enjoy as well as for the owners; flowers you don't notice, or shouldn't notice if driving.

Red rhododendrons, visible from a distance.

white flower
A slow walk will see these.

Part of my walk today was along the service road of a busy highway, with a wide band of fairly dense vegetation separating them. Several bright yellow blossoms caught one's eye from a distance and closer inspection revealed wattle trees in full bloom, a harbinger of Spring.

wattle tree
This will brighten up your day.

Even brighter.

Birds like to perch on overhead wires. If you have children with you, it can be educational for then to identify the species.

spotted dove
A spotted dove.

Magpies are ever-present on walks and except for nesting season are not shy and can be closely approached, much to the delight of children.

A friendly magpie.

Crows are often seen in suburbia. They often seem to look evil, but looks can be deceiving.

A black crow on grass.

Good walking shoes or sneakers are essential as you will be pounding upon concrete, so some good cushioning is needed. If you are a regular walker, you would already be well-equipped. Many walkers are accompanied by their dogs, also getting their daily exercise.
Walkers with dog.
Two men and a dog.

Remember that your doggy is in bare feet and prolonged walking on concrete footpaths may be uncomfortable for them. If you pass one of the many small grass-covered parks in suburbia why not stop for a few minutes to allow a rest for yourself and some soft underfoot grass for doggy.

picnic table
A place for a rest.

painted spoons
Special items often crop up.

At certain times of the day, the footpaths around your area can become very busy in what could be called a pandemic parade.
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Why? Local exercise
When: anytime
Cost: Free
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