New Year’s Day Breakfast

Happy New Year! We have a long established tradition of breaking bread with our friends and family for our first meal of the new year. Today was no exception. We gathered at our favourite barbeque spot at Lake Tuggeranong and proceeded to eat bacon and eggs, home-made bread and baked beans, some bubbles coffee tea and fruit.

Part of our festive New Year's breakfast, pen and ink and watercolour, 1 January 2015

Part of our festive New Year’s breakfast, pen and ink and watercolour, 1 January 2015

The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time.

Family and friends at Lake Tuggeranong, 1 January 2015, pen and ink and watercolour

Family and friends at Lake Tuggeranong, 1 January 2015, pen and ink and watercolour

A sketch and some photos

Last week we rode our bikes around Lake Tuggeranong from where I made this sketch of the Bullen Ranges, topped by fast moving clouds.

The Bullen Range from Lake Tuggeranong, pen and ink, 6 June 2014.

The Bullen Range from Lake Tuggeranong, pen and ink, 6 June 2014.

While we were eating our picnic lunch we had a number of avian visitors, not just the regular Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae) a common inland bird. I’d put my drawing tools away to eat lunch and so I was caught off guard when a black swan decided to pay us a visit. All I did was take photos, rather than draw! Here are some of those photos.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) and Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) and Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).

And another.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).

I’ve seen, probably the same swan, at that part of the lake on previous bike rides so next time I’ll have my pen at the ready!

Further along the bike path we spotted several Australian Darter’s (Anhinga melanogaster) drying their wings on the Sea Scout’s jetty (given we are over a hundred kilometers from the coast I always enjoy the irony of this name). I did have my pen out, but they were not happy with us approaching and flew off before I could sketch them.

An Australian Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) in a fairly common pose.

An Australian Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) in a fairly common pose.

Mt Taylor

For the first time since April 2012 I’ve climbed Mt Taylor. This is a major achievement for me post knee replacement. I knew I would have some places to stop and rest along the track so I took my small sketchbook to make some drawings on the way.

Lake Tuggeranong from the middle slopes of Mt Taylor, trees in the foreground, 6 December 2013.

Lake Tuggeranong from the middle slopes of Mt Taylor, trees in the foreground, 6 December 2013.

To my surprise and delight I made it up to the top of the mountain. There are wonderful views over most of Canberra from this spot.

Woden town centre foreground with Black Mountain and the Black Mountain tower in the distance, 6 December 2013.

Woden town centre foreground with Black Mountain and the Black Mountain tower in the distance, 6 December 2013.

What I was most interested in was the change of perspective from this height. Looking across to major landmarks with a very different horizon line from that at the bottom of the mountain.

The horizon line skimming Black Mountain, distant hills more prominent from this position, 6 December 2013.

The horizon line skimming Black Mountain, distant hills more prominent from this position, 6 December 2013.

It was a great walk. I found going back down was far harder on my knees than climbing up, but I was happy that I had made the effort.