June 30 already! It is been a different month for us with me changing to working 0.7, and preparing to move off the farm to a suburban block. I have added the usual bunch of cloudy watery pics with a couple of ring-ins taken by others.
Driving in the country in Australia, especially at night, and more so in Winter, is a challenge due to our lovely furry friends jumping in front of us without warning. This photograph is doctored but is a timely reminder for all of us to slow down a bit and keep our eyes peeled.
Last week Jo and went to see a special viewing of movie called Brothers’ Nest. Shane Jacobson attended the screening with an introduction and post movie Q&A session. I enjoyed the movie very much. It could be classified as a black comedy. For Australians it is nothing like Kenny. It’s distribution may be limited to Australia. Jo and I are in this photo but we cannot be resolved.
Thanks again Su for running changing seasons. See her blog here.
I get out sampling a fair bit these days. It’s a great job; I’m so lucky to have it this late in my career. The youngies put up with my whinging about my back or something else that might be bothering me. We get the work done no matter what the weather. On Thursday 21 June, our Winter solstice, we a had a glorious day for sampling on the Bay. Port Phillip is a large (1930 sq km), very open and mostly shallow embayment. It is separated from the sea by a narrow opening referred to as the rip; mainly because with tidal changes, the sea rips through there at quite a rate. Having said that, we do not have tidal variations seen in other parts of the world like Cornwall or The Kimberley; the Bay would indeed be a very different place if that was to occur. I have seen seals, dolphins, penguins and many migratory birds in the Bay. Whales visit, but I am yet to see one. Being next to a city of more than 4 million people, it has been hammered over the years. Treated sewer still empties into it; it has been over-fished and subject to many nasty pollution events. At its northern, southern and western ends it is has been deeply dredged for shipping. Despite this, it is still beautiful. Here’s some pics from the other day.
Mal, left, is checking data from the profiler, far left. Chris is filtering samples. I have completed my phytoplankton tasks
At the centre of the bay, we try to hook on to the buoy, rather than anchor, as the bay is 24 m deep. The hooking rope was damaged so we were unable to.
Late again. May started warm and ended quite cold. The fire is chugging along quite nicely and days are short. And at the end of May I got the dreaded Manflu.
It has been a month of car breakdowns. I have a bad habit of holding on to cars for too long and yes, they breakdown spectacularly. I’m out of pocket over 2 K and this car is running nicely one minute then all of a sudden, no transmission. On the freeway, thankfully out of the burbs. I just managed to get the car off the road, rang roadside assist and waited in the cold on the other side of the armco railing for a tow, because every monster truck that went by would wobble the car. That’s cars.
What a great day I had with the sampling team on Port Phillip Bay. The Bay was lumpy but we managed to finish all 6 sites, replicates and blanks. And we did all of this in 9 hrs.
Later in May our team headed down to Lake Wellington, the westernmost lake of the Gippsland Lakes, to investigate more sampling sites and to be involved in a media event. Lake Wellington is a large shallow brackish lake. It is partially surrounded by farmland and an RAAF air base. The LaTrobe River empties into it. I had initially requested to be not interviewed but I gave in and accepted it in the end. I was zero prepared. My colleague did not skip a beat but I bumbled my way through my bit. Thankfully, the editing skills of the journalist made me sound like a professional.
Now I’m 60 I’m grabbing every opportunity I have to make my life more interesting. I have not always done this; I don’t regret it because you can’t turn back time. There are also many very valid reasons why I have lived my life as I have to date; not a topic for these pages as I would bore you to tears.
I’ll add some photos below for Su’s changing seasons .
Looking west from Mt Macedon
Looking south-west from Macedon
Melbourne through the haze from Mt Macedon
Me sampling at Lake Reeve taken by Chris Garland
Lake Reeve at Loch Sport taken by Chris Garland
Sampling at Lake Wellington taken by ABC journalist