I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published July 31st 2017
Peace, Parrots and Popeye
The rainbow lorikeet almost fills the nesting hole that it has chosen while its mate sits in a tree opposite calling loudly. Both are ignoring me in their haste to secure a choice spot to raise the next brood of these colourful little parrots that frequent our backyards and city parks.
I am walking along the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile, which is named after an Indian spiritual master who promoted enlightenment through exercise. The route starts on Sir Edwin Smith Avenue near the Memorial Gardens, just opposite the Oval and Cathedral. It follows the avenue north turning right into Frome Road then meanders beside the banks of the Torrens along War Memorial Drive. Despite the urban location this walk encompasses a wide range of natural habitats including; aquatic, arboreal and open grassland.
There are late blooming eucalypts along the route and a group of noisy miners are tucking into the winter bonus. One of the birds hangs precariously from a slender branch to feed on both blossom and nectar while others circle the area deterring other species. They really are the epitome of parkland bullies with their territorial behaviour and masked bandit faces.
Along Frome Road there are open stretches of parkland that are well used as sporting venues. The playing fields provide an excellent area for ground feeding birds such as lapwings, cockatoos and ibises. And lunch at the Zoo's Wisteria Cafe at the southern end of the Frome Road Bridge is a nice way to break up the walk.
From the Bridge the view of the city and Torrens Lake with its iconic 'Popeye' tour boats, is quite spectacular. Walking along the foot and cycling path by the water I am able to spot numerous wetland birds on the lake, in the reeds and even feeding amongst the garden beds on the bank. There are both black and maned ducks as well as coots, moorhens and a spectacular darter or anhinga is perched on a half-submerged tree branch drying out its feathers.
With the river behind me it is a short walk back to the plaque that marks the start of the trail. Certainly, the Peace Mile is a lovely walk and a wonderful way to combine the original concept of meditation through exercise with an appreciation of nature, in an impressive parkland setting.
Footnote: this excursion is well suited for seniors and families as it provides a safe not too strenuous walk with nearby toilets and food outlets.