Winter in Canberra: walks in Haig Park, birds, and a Book Barn when you need it..

Winter arrived in Canberra on 1st June with snow falling on the Brindabella Mountains

The first day of Winter: Photo: Canberra Times

During autumn we had seemingly non-stop rain and so the occasional wintery, but sunny day was welcome. The storm water drains around the inner city were flowing steadily with water, hard to believe after so many years of drought, not so long ago.

We have taken to walking our daughter’s dog Charlie once a week, which is very good exercise and we visit parts of the city with good walking/cycling tracks.

One of my favourite walks is through Haig Park. This park reminds me of parks in Europe, perhaps as so many of the mature trees are European, and as in Europe, people stroll through the park all week and all through winter.

The park was planned and trees planted in about 1921, as a wind break shelter within the city. 7000 trees were planted, mostly exotic evergreen and deciduous trees.

Since that time the park has had times of neglect, but is now a wonderful addition to inner city living.

However, in contrast to European parks we have possums rather than squirrels and many different colourful birds..

Despite the regular walkers, and a very popular, busy market in the park on the weekend, there are plenty of birds to be seen everywhere.

Eastern Rosellas are very shy parrots, so I was happy to get a photo of these two Rosellas.

Needless to say the cockatoos are everywhere..

Last week we went to Sydney to visit Paul’s mother, and on the way home we stopped off at one of our favourite bookshops Berkelouw Book Barn.

This inviting Book Barn has a roaring fire in winter, and is a wonderful place to browse for books, (second-hand and new ones) at any season of the year. We always have coffee and sometimes cake, which provides the fuel needed to hunt out new books and second-hand books. We came away with an interesting pile of books, as always..

Berkelouw Book Barn Bookshop Photo: Trip Advisor.

Nowadays the Book Barn is also a restaurant and a wedding venue as well. However, these don’t start until midday, so the very best times to visit are the mornings and week days if possible.

Lastly, a flashback to autumn when we visited our family in Melbourne. We always stop about half way, at a small town in the Alpine region called Myrtleford. Next door to our Air BnB is a vacant block of land, which is used as a wildlife sanctuary.

This family of Kangaroos always come down cautiously to see us…no feeding required, .. they are just curious, or as the Aussie expression would have it, they are Sticky beaks!

Finally, my favourite photo of the year so far, a young kookaburra in our garden. Every winter about this time a family of kookaburras come to our garden. I’m sure the family love the fact that we have many birdbaths filled with water for them, and many worms in our vegetable garden..(Paul doesn’t love that side of things)

However, I like to think, and I’m sticking to my story, that they also come back to show us their latest very cute offspring.

Best wishes to everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.

We are living in a turbulent world these days, and during times like this I remember my mother, who concentrated always on the small, simple and pleasant parts of life, to help get through the difficult parts, and her favourite quote, as I have mentioned before:

When the world wearies and society does not satisfy…. there is always the garden.” by Minnie Aumonier

13 Replies to “Winter in Canberra: walks in Haig Park, birds, and a Book Barn when you need it..”

  1. That’s a lovely quote, how sensible your mother was. Loved the post with all your excellent photographs. The Book Barn sounds like a fabulous place to stop and take refreshment for both body and mind. The juvenile kookaburra was sweet.

    1. Thanks Susan, yes, my mother had lived through many ups and downs, and was always SO sensible about everything. I do love the Book Barn, and it is at its best in winter.

  2. Love the quote, and also the look of Book Barn. Possums, are of course a pest here. I remember those white cockatoos vividly from Canberra – they liked to flock around the university accomodation where my husband was staying.

    1. Our weekly walk is near the University, and there are still many, many flocks of cockatoos around, such characters and so noisy! Possums are not officially pests here, but in reality, they are pests, in suburbia anyway.

  3. I LOVE that quote, and it has never been more reflective of what we are all experiencing right now. Thank you! Your birds are beautiful, and I enjoy each and every one. The Book Barn looks like a wonderful stop. Who doesn’t love the combination of books, coffee and cake? Charlie is a lucky pup to have special weekly walks.

    1. Thanks Judy, I’m trying not to let the cockatoos dominate my posts! Yes, you so right, books, coffee and cake, a great combination. Charlie is a lucky dog, and he is being trained into sitting quietly next to the table if we have coffee or lunch at a dog friendly place. Win-win!

  4. Your mother was wise indeed. Loving those curious kangaroos and the majestic snowy mountains. What a lovely well used park filled with such delightful birds. Ooooh, the Book Barn is my kind of place for sure.
    Goodness, that juvenile kookaburra is just unbelievably cute! Lovely post as always.xxx

    1. Thanks Dina, yes my Mum was very wise. I agree the juvenile kookaburras are hard to beat for cuteness, every winter I have to post a photo or two of them!

  5. The snow on the Brindabella Mountains reminds me of the first snowfalls on the mountains around Anchorage, Alaska, which was called “termination dust,” because it signaled the end of summer. Lovely. As for the Book Barn, what could be a better place to be married than a bookstore?

    1. I like the snow being called ‘termination dust’..it is always sad to see the end of summer. In Canberra we usually have cold unpleasant weather for a few days, and then, the snow falls on the mountain and the next day is beautiful!
      Best wishes with all your weaving projects.

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