WHEN Tanya White went for her lunchtime run in Canadian on Monday she found rainbows, fish and hearts speckled for almost two kilometres along the track.
Chalk rainbows and positive messages have been brightening up neighbourhoods across the nation as school breaks set in amid isolation.
People along the Canadian Creek track were talking about the Rainbow Girl who had left pictures to brighten people's afternoons and hopscotch grid for children to play on.
Ms White had heard about the decorations - they were drawn by her seven-year-old niece Madeline Plevko, partly as a way to keep the community connected.
Madeline's extended family is speckled about Canadian and even though they live within about three kilometers of each other, they remain separated during the coronavirus pandemic.
At this time I don't get to see them or be with them, but this way I am sort of seeing them.Aunt Tanya White
"I loved it," an emotional Ms White told The Courier. "At this time I don't get to see them or be with them, but this way I am sort of seeing them.
"It's pretty cool when other kids are playing on the hopscotch she made, or the kids from school found out and have been adding to it all different pictures."
For Madeline, the drawings started in line with the Rainbow Trail trend where children make chalk drawings for others to find on their walks from a safe, social distance.
She kept drawing, and drawing and drawing on the neighbourhood trail.
"I'm just happy I make other people happy," Madeline said.
Ms White took photos and a video along the trail to send to Madeline as proof she had found the artwork.
Now Ms White is on the hunt for some chalk so she may leave Madeline a message and little drawing in return - just like Madeline's school friend had done.
Families wanting to find more rainbows can go to the Rainbow Trail group on Facebook for locations to walk or drive past, offering a little sunshine amid challenging times.
Bear hunts are also a popular global trend with people leaving teddy bears and other friends in their windows for children to find on their walks. Plenty of furry friends have been appearing in neighbourhoods across Ballarat.
You might even find one teddy waiting for the movies to return at Regent Cinemas.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Ballarat page via Facebook will help you find more. The group has almost 3000 members.
Both movements aim to promote community spirit, safe social interaction and a bit of fun in uncertain COVID-19 times, especially with schools on a longer term break.
Madeline's rainbow trail starts just off Recreation Road in Mount Clear.
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