Lake Cooloongup

Today was an reminder that I need to do a bit more research before I go charging out into the field to go exploring.  I did five minutes of googling to find a park near the Rockingham train station and came up with Lake Cooloongup.

So, to start with the lake is a bit further away form the train station than I had anticipated.  Not a huge distance, just further than I thought. Secondly the lake is actually further from the lake than I expected.  Well, further from the trail that looks like it runs around the lake when you look at the map.  That is, I didn’t get to see the lake from the path.

I am getting ahead of myself.

I caught the train to Rockingham station which was nice and easy.  Off the train I took what may well have been the scenic route along the bike path as shown in red dots on the map below. In truth, I ziggged and zagged a bit more than this, but the truth rarely makes the best story, so we will stick to the red dots.

Once I got to the ‘lake’ part of the track I tossed an imaginary coin and decided to head south.  It’s like a choose your own adventure book, except I can’t flick back through the pages to see how else it might have turned out.

I heard a LOT of birds. I saw a few. I got good photos of none.

Perhaps if I had more time, more patience and more skill I would have got better pictures of the many splendid wrens that were in the brush. With all of those limitations I got a to see a few flashes of blue, which was just an tease really.

There were also a number of raptors (unidentified) , some very small, nice sounding birds that were too damn quick, and some flycatchers.

Between bits of bush most of the place looked like this.

Sadly the only thing I got close enough to photograph was a tiger snake, and then it was me that wanted to get the hell out of there.

This picture was taken with a zoom lens, and is cropped. If I know nothing else from growing up in Australia, it is that spiders and snakes deserve as much respect and distance as you can possibly give them. I was wearing hiking boots, thick socks and all that stuff, but I was sure to make as much noise as possible and watch extra carefully where I was putting my feet for the rest of my walk.

The place where Tigger and I met is marked on my map with an artfully reconstructed squiggly line.

At this point my lift home called to say “where the hell are you?” to which my only response was, “that is a damn fine question”. My iphone maps and google maps were giving me different options so I just legged it as fast as I could while making lots of noise and checking to see where I put my feet.

Eventually I made it a track that runs along Mandurah road.  Unfortunately there is NO WAY OUT from  there.  I followed the track south and finally decided to hop over a small wire fence rather than continue and do battle with a large barb wire laden cousin that shields the bush form Safety Bay Road.

A day out is always a day out.  I went somewhere I hadn’t been before so there is always a win in that.  The snake didn’t get me and it didn’t rain. Will I be racing back?  Probably not. Apparently there is a picnic facility there, so maybe if I do go back I’ll choose that other adventure and look at the northern part of the lake.

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