2016 Auburn Botanic Gardens

Serenity and solitude – –

Garden entrySaturday – Winter sport has finished, the sun is shining in a wonderful blue sky and I am going to tick off one of those ‘I will do that one of these days’ subjects – Auburn Botanic Gardens.  OK – a garden in Auburn doesn’t sound all that flash but photos I have seen makes me want to discover exactly what it is like and how better to enjoy a wonderful morning?

About a 20 minute drive from home – dodging the never ending roadworks that plague Sydney – sees me arrive at a secluded little spot. Plenty of parking in the council car park across the road – cameras, water and everything else I may need in tow and here I am.

BlossomsThe entry is through the Japanese Gardens (pictured above), and unfortunately only 1 little cherry blossom tree is still in flower but I knew they would be finished – never mind.

Once through the gate you realise that this is a place of total serenity, although maybe that is because it is only 9am in the morning and the screaming hordes have not arrived.  I make the most of it of course and proceed on my way.

PeacockLook what is here to welcome me!  What a wonderful greeting – a beautiful peacock – resplendent in his best dress clothes and that wonderful tail.  Obviously by the way he holds his head he knows exactly how majestic he is – he even stays still to pose for photos.  Isn’t that blue an incredible colour?

He struts around surveying his kingdom but does not unfurl his tail for me, guess he is saving that for next time!

Japanese entryTime to move on through another wonderful archway and this area opens up – truly a feast for the senses.  Doesn’t this invite you to walk through?

It is so quiet and there is not a soul in sight.  Doing the photography thing first there are lots of interesting little corners to explore – a wonderful little waterfall – seating in quiet corners – the sounds of water in the big pond area.

Japanese gardensAny minute now I expect Mr Miyagi to wander through – I cannot hear any traffic noise or noise of any sort – how incredible is that?

On the left of the photo above there is a little red bridge and it is here that the park attendant stands as he feeds the numerous koi – looking at them they are extremely well fed and they fight and splash around to get every tiny pellet.

Over the bridge which spans a little waterway – – and I am in another world.  I would love this peace and quiet as a constant in my life – but it is yet another dream.

BridgeBridgeThese two wonderful little bridges over the softly running water give some welcome shade as you explore.

Bamboo clumpsAzaleasThrough clumps of well maintained bamboo and borders of brightly coloured azaleas, along well maintained paved paths and you arrive at a most calming place.

Japanese GardenIn the small building you see on the right there are seats where you can just sit, relax and dream the day away.  As you can see, there are still no people around – I am so lucky.  After about 15 minutes one Japanese lady arrives.  She is in a wheelchair and is with a male companion – I like to think it was her grandson.  He tells me that the gardens and the waterfall relax her and apologies for standing in front of me  No need to apologise I reply – take all the time you need as I am quite content to sit here and just enjoy the peace.  He bows – how quaint.

GardensThis is the view on the other side of the path. Unfortunately I tried to panorama 3 photos but only managed to get 2 to line up properly.  Now there’s an excuse to go back eh?

Through the archway and there is what is called a ‘Japanese Tea House’.  This overlooks the wonderful lake area and here you can enjoy your cuppa.

Japanese GardensYou really must admit – it is beautiful.  Down at the water’s edge there is a pathway of large stones across the lake into another part of the garden.  These stones are well maintained and there is no moss so I decide to take a chance.  Sitting in the shade on the other side I am soon joined by a flock of geese.  I kid you not!

Geese on the attackThese noisy honking buggers must think I am the caretaker with the mornings offerings.  Deciding whether or not to make a run for it, the ‘real’ caretaker turns up with containers of food and I am soon deserted by my fine feathered friends – I breathe a sigh of relief and decide discretion if the better part of valour so I leg it out of there.

As I am now out of the Japanese Gardens – I wander down the path to discover this wonderful Aussie billabong area.

BillabongThis is another calm spot that attracts all sorts of bird life – mainly those bloody smelly ibis.  I wonder if they are the reason that the water is such a blue-green colour.

At least you can sit away from them and what a good opportunity to practice a bit of bird mode photography.  I can’t believe that there are still no hordes of people!

Bird Mode 1Bird mode 2Bird Mode 3Bird Mode 4Whatever people say about protecting these birds; I don’t care what people think – they are the grubbiest looking things around – but still good practice for some photography on the wing.

Aussie BushLeaving my flying friends – it is down to more of the Aussie bush – the waterway is still a yucky green with an even yuckier covering and any minute now I expect to see a big Salty raise his head from the murkiness.

At the end of my meanderings there is an enclosure that has Aussie fauna.  Apparently this is where all the people were – or have they just arrived as I am ending my journey.

GeeseThis is a fabulous little place to get up close and personal (not too personal) with some Aussie favourites.

I am greeted by a family of ducks or geese – not too sure which one but they look like geese.  Mum and dad are very attentive to their little ones and keep an eye on everyone who walks past even the pigeon!

Rock wallabies are close at hand even an albino one.  The kids love these and stand and watch them jump around all over the place.

Rock WallabiesThere are also emus and a wombat but he was hiding in his quiet, cool hollow log burrow.

PeacockAs I leave my beautiful peacock friend is there to say goodbye – we are having a wonderful time until those who must get within nose distance of the bird decide to arrive with their even noisier broods.

He decides to take flight to the top of the gateway.  Bugger that flight mode was not applied.

Anyway, this is the end of the journey through these wonderful gardens and to think it is still early in the morning.

Now it is time to face the real world with the real traffic and by the time I get home it will be like I never enjoyed this tranquil time – just as well there are photos.