of cockatoos and big ass trees

when the novelty of picking cherries died down, roughly around 30 minutes in, and having filled a bucket with about a kilo of the fruit in it, jeff and i decided to call it a day.

under normal circumstances, that usually means driving back home. but since we’re not exactly the perfect definition of ‘normal’ (i’m pretty close. he isn’t.), driving back home can sometimes mean taking a detour or two. which then becomes another blog post in itself because the other one was getting pretty long and this one has way too many pictures it’s ridiculous.

bernardo's cafe, monbulk, victoria, australia

so, anyway, first leg of the said detour was at bernardo’s cafe in monbulk. jeff said he had been there before and that it was a great cafe. i’m wrinkling my nose as i type this. it was underwhelming, to be honest. although i don’t really have any particular criteria of what the characteristics of a great cafe should be but ‘so-so’ is probably the best way i could describe it.

the scones were alright. i’ve tasted better. this hospital i did my clinical placement in in essendon made some mean scones baked fresh straight from the oven in the kitchen right next to the staff dining area. scones never tasted the same after that. if i try one that beats it, i’ll let you know for sure. but for now, let’s just say that those hospital-grade scones hold a special place in my cheap palate.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

next stop was at grants on sherbrooke. totally unplanned. we just happened to drive by and got curious. the place was pretty packed.

turns out that aside from it being a picnic ground, you can also feed cockatoos there as well for about $3/bird tray. and judging from the way i struggled to counter their weight on my tray, i say they’re pretty well-fed. too well-fed.

“they’re actually kind of obese,” the guy dispensing the bird food said.

boy, do i believe that. they were heavy! like, seriously.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

it was definitely an interesting activity for raven, though. she had never really been this up close and personal with birds before. she got scared. not exactly the reaction i was hoping for but as far as sensory stimulation and exposing her to new experiences is concerned, i reckon it was a success.

i just hope she didn’t get subconsciously traumatized by it that she’d freak out at the sight of birds in her adult life.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

across the road from the bird feeding area is a bush trail where you can go for a walk. looking at that photo above, i cannot help but admire how nature and infrastructure co-exist harmoniously here in australia. where everything is organized and there are signs everywhere giving you directions on where to go. or warnings on what poisonous creatures to watch out for.

plus, the parks here are free. sure, the councils kill their residents softly with the exorbitant rates but at least we all die with the assurance that our local park’s grass will be religiously trimmed and maintained even though the swings and the slides could maybe use an upgrade.

i don’t know how, exactly, the funding for state parks works, though. but if they come from taxes (and i have a feeling they do), then it’s nice to see that the government is making good use of it.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

in our inappropriate footwear, we checked out their easy trail. raven was up for it, as well. and by that, i mean one of us was always carrying her although that job mostly fell on jeff when he wasn’t taking our pictures. tee-hee.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

when i wasn’t being paranoid about snakes and spiders, i actually enjoyed that short walk. (short, because we didn’t complete the trail.) it felt nice to be in nature — just admiring anything and every thing that catches your attention. all that green!

and the smell. reminds me of early mornings in the provinces in the philippines when the air is fresh and clean. pure. before the noise and the heat of the sun suck it all out.

forests must probably smell the same all over the world.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

speaking of forest, i’ve never seen trees so tall and massive in my life! the sign said they’re the world’s tallest flowering plants, mountain ash. they can exceed 100 metres in height and can live for up to 500 years long. these are the younger ones. apparently, a wildfire burned much of the forest down in 1923 so if you do the math, this baby i tried to cuddle is about 94 years old.

i’m not a tree hugger, no, but i wanted a point of reference. next to it, i look like a twig.

grants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australiagrants on sherbrooke, kallista, victoria, australia

*raven at 1 year and 7 months old

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