Big Question Marks

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Surfers Paradise Hit List #2: Our Favourite Form of Exercise

It's hard to call a 45-minute walk on one of the most gorgeous beaches ever exercise, but doesn't that just make it even more rewarding?

Giant jellyfish!
From the day we first set foot in Surfers, we've been trying to make sure we never take the beach for granted. At any time of day, there's many more people like us doing the exact same thing; in fact, one of the local papers even publishes the exact best times to walk on the beach (according to when the tides expose that lovely flat, packed, walkable sand) with the daily weather report. So one of the things we have been doing the most since deciding to move to Brisbane is taking long strolls along the beach.

Living by the beach and seeing it every day, you realize how the landscape is constantly changing: after a windy couple of days, the dunes are bigger, smaller, or even in other places. After a bout of big waves, sometimes the sand has been carved into small cliffs, even along the water. And the sandbars in the water build themselves up, flatten themselves down, and move along as well. It's always cool to see what the waves have washed up, too: some days it's seashells, some days purplish jellyfish, and one day we came across a jellyfish the size of a truck tire. It was pretty crazy.

Bird lesson in Kurrawa Park
One sunny morning, we thought we'd walk down to Broadbeach, the next suburb south, and grab a coffee for the walk back. It's about a 45-minute stroll and was lovely. On our way into the cafe strip, I was taking photos of some of the flowers around the seaside park in Broadbeach when we met Brian, a retired guy with a soft spot for birds. He was an interesting fellow, and on his daily walk to the library, he always carries a bag of mince (ground meat) in his pocket -- and his friends the Butcherbirds know it. We learned a lot about the Butcherbird from Brian as they landed on his shoulders and arms, and swooped in as soon as they spotted a little meat in his fingers. Adrian even fed a few of them too. They're pretty cute but great hunters-- in fact, they eat insects, lizards, and even other birds. He also told us about all the other species of birds --and snakes! -- that live along the coastline, even amongst the urban sprawl.  It was a bit of a lesson in appreciating the smaller, simpler things in our environment, and it's good to know there are people out there that don't let all the amazing things in our neighbourhoods go unnoticed.
Brian tells us all about the amazingly intelligent Butcherbirds

Inquisitive little devil!