Flowers in our garden today

Today I did some planting in the garden. I couldn’t help but notice some the plants the were planted by my sister, Francesca and her family, last year, were flowering beautifully. So refreshing after that horrible fire.

Grevillea

Grevillea

lavender 2Calistemoncallistemon oct 15

Silver Birch that survived the fire

Silver Birch that survived the fire

Trip to South Gippsland Part II

As outlined in the Part I, Jo and I had some time to kill on Sunday morning before the 60th birthday party we were attending in Foster. Jo really wanted put her feet in the sea so we headed over to Walkerville. The road between Foster and Walkerville travels along a lush green ridge overlooking corner inlet and Wilson’s Promontory. It was a cool sunny, light wind day. Being October, the sun was quite hot; certainly a hat and sunnies day. As the wind was a south-easterly and light, a heavy sea-mist was shrouding the prom and the inlet. I imagine the view from this ridge would have been spectacular on any other day. We had a quick look at Fish Creek, quickly deciding we would drop back here on the way back from Walkerville. Further on, we noticed a ridge full of wind turbines on the horizon. If my memory serves me well, I think these were the ones that were constructed after a long battle with those who thought that the blades would inhibit the recovery of the endangered orange bellied parrot (OBP). Since the towers were built, there have not been many reports of affected OBPs. The roadside was scattered with many white flowers. These were tea-trees or Leptospermum.tea tree walkerville

We arrived at Walkerville at an expansive deserted beach.walkerville beachJo rushed down to the water and put feet in, albeit briefly, as Bass Strait is often cold. walkerville sand 1

I could spend more time here but this small sojourn was finewalkerville rockpoolhole in a rock walkervilleOur visit to Fish Creek – next

Trip to South Gippsland – October 17/18, 2015

Jo and I were invited to a 60th birthday party in Foster, about 180 km SE of Melbourne. Initially the party was supposed to be on Saturday at 1 PM but due to a death in the family, it was postponed to Sunday. We had booked our accommodation, so we stayed with the plan and did things in reverse. We travelled via the Latrobe Valley, through the Strezlecki Ranges to Thorpdale and Boolarra, dropping in on a teardrop caravan manufacturer on the way.

Lush farmland near Thorpdale

Lush farmland near Thorpdale

We travelled through the managed forests south of Boolarra, along the Grand Ridge Road, then on down to the semi coastal town of Foster.grand ridge road2

We then settled in our motel, caught up with some friends for dinner at the local pub. After breakfast we had some time to kill so we decided to head over to Walkerville and Fish Creek. On the way we spotted Foster’s beautiful gardens. This garden displayed your usual suspects like rhododendrons and northern hemisphere exotics.rhodies

But some lovely natives were sneaking in too. Like this tree ferntree fern foster

and this Callistemoncallistemon at foster

And this beauty as welljo bridge foster

To be continued.

Sense of smell: Olfactometry

Testing my colleagues for sensitivity to odour is about 20% of my job. I use an olfactometer to perform this test. This is commonly referred to as an odour panel. I love this part of my job because I get to relate to many people at very fundamental level. These photographs do not go anywhere near explaining why this occurs. Basically most people have no idea how sensitive they are to odour and that sensitivity is also very subjective. Added for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of smell.

The odour panellist

The odour panellist

What the odour panellist sees while the test is being conducted

What the odour panellist sees while the test is being conducted

sense of smell 3

The odour panel operator: Me!

The odour panel operator: Me!