The Changing Seasons June 2019

Bastille Day! A bit late for adding my June entry? Feels like yesterday to me so why not.

One thing I really enjoy about Winter is cold sunny days with the Sun low in the sky at Midday.

We had a little laundry flood. Some of the water seeped under the walls and under the floating timber floor. Cupping. Insurance job; should be fixed soon.

I partook in my last sampling/monitoring adventure of Port Phillip Bay. Was a nice Winter’s day. Notice the young ones on their phones. Out in the big wide world and they’re on their phones.

An good friend’s 60th birthday celebration at a pier restaurant in Geelong. After a while I realised that this was very much a girl’s day, so I spent most of the occasion talking to my old mate Mick (I’m Michael to most) and taking photos over the water. A lovely afternoon. Happy Birthday Pat!

And finally, a week before I retired, a curry day was held. I wanted everybody to be able to talk to each other and to come and go as they please. Below is a picture of my two of my best mates at EPA. Anne and Eamonn. I will be forever indebted to both of them and I already miss them. The three of us started working in the PS in 1980. It’s been a great career.
I made a heap of friends; there is too many to mention. More photos below.

Left to right. Me, Anne, Eamonn.

I’m sorry for the photos of people I missed. My real leaving day was July 5, so I may bore you then with more. Added for Su’s Changing Seasons

The memorable leech and police incident

A few years back, possibly 2010, Jo and I and the dogs went for an adventurous walk on the top of Mount Macedon. It was late Autumn and I could sense some rain coming. The walk was relatively short and we figured we would make it. Mount Macedon is 1000 metres above sea level and is lovely place to visit all year round. There are some hidden dangers in the Australian bush.

About 100 metres into the walk I started feeling a little uneasy about the weather. The air had an iciness about it and with rain in late May it could be quite unpleasant if unprepared. I decided to retreat, with my dog Billie, and push back to the car. Jo wanted to push on. I told her, and little Rogan, I would meet them about 2 km down the track, where another larger forest track intersected the walk. That way she did not need to retrace her steps. 

I drove on to the the carpark nearest the intersecting point and with Billie, headed 100 m or so down the forest track to rendezvous with Jo and Rogie. They had not arrived yet so I waited a about 10 minutes and there they were. The weather had indeed worsened so we all scurried back to the car. 

Upon arriving at the car we noticed that all of us had quite a number of little leeches on our clothing. I had encountered this many times bushwalking and just systematically flicked them all off. Jo, who also knew how to deal with leeches, was wearing tracksuit pants and she had so many she decided to just remove them. There was no-one around and she was wearing underwear. The dogs had heaps of them too so we flicked all of them off and jumped in the car.

Safe in the car with Jo driving, we headed back down to home. The road was empty of traffic. A short distance down the road Jo was feeling a little uncomfortable, around the eye. She stopped, did not pull over, and screamed at me to check her eye. “Can you see anything? There’s salt in the glove-box. Quick!” “Ar yes there is; I’m getting the salt now” I said. Just at that moment, as Jo was applying the salt, a police car pulled to the right of us. Jo’s window was down and we both explained the situation, but not Jo’s attire – it seemed irrelevant. 

Thankfully they understood immediately, pulled up in front of us and handed me a bottle of water on the passenger side “Keep it” they said. Jo was able to stop the leech from crawling under her eyelid. 

Staying in the car this time

Added for The Changing Seasons December 2018 Thanks Su

Venus and Jupiter

I have decided not to add any photographs in this post (but I’m going to) I was hoping I could explain to you, maybe the one or two readers I have, the wonder of this time of Venus’ synodic cycle, which is 584 days or 1.6 years. Put simply, Venus takes 225 days to orbit the Sun, Earth 365, but 584 days for Venus to lap Earth.
Please look at the table below.
Inferior conjunction is Earth/Venus/Sun in a line.
Superior conjunction is Earth/Sun/Venus in a line.
Max elongation W is when Venus is the highest it can be in the pre-dawn sky.
Max elongation E is when Venus is the highest it can be in the post-dusk sky.
The stations are an easy concept to understand but too hard for to describe here. But if you could draw a line of the planet’s position in comparison to background stars, there would be a period when the planet travels in a  retrograde direction.

8 15 2015 Inferior Conj. 19:22 GMT … 22Le39
9 6 2015 Direct Station 8:30 GMT … 14Le23
10 26 2015 Max. Elong. W. 7:20 GMT … 16Vi07
6 6 2016 Superior Conj. 21:51 GMT … 16Ge36
1 12 2017 Max. Elong. E. 16:12 GMT … 9Pi48
3 4 2017 Retro. Station 9:09 GMT … 13Ar09
3 25 2017 Inferior Conj. 10:17 GMT … 4Ar57
4 15 2017 Direct Station 10:18 GMT … 26Pi55
6 3 2017 Max. Elong. W. 6:16 GMT … 27Ar03
1 9 2018 Superior Conj. 7:01 GMT … 18Cp57
8 17 2018 Max. Elong. E. 8:09 GMT … 10Li18
10 5 2018 Retro. Station 19:04 GMT … 10Sc50
10 26 2018 Inferior Conj. 14:16 GMT … 3Sc06
11 16 2018 Direct Station 10:51 GMT … 25Li14
1 6 2019 Max. Elong. W. 6:10 GMT … 28Sc45
8 14 2019 Superior Conj. 6:08 GMT … 21Le11
3 24 2020 Max. Elong. E. 7:37 GMT … 20Ta08
5 13 2020 Retro. Station 6:46 GMT … 21Ge50

Now so what, you may say. Fair enough. Well this period of Venus’ station coincides with Jupiter being high in the evening sky too. This occurred at last synodic period also, but it was about a month earlier. Now our relationship with Jupiter is pretty simple. We lap it every 399 days.

Now this is the clincher for me. You may know I am obsessed with the 3D nature of long distance photography. When I look at the stars and the planets, it is really hard for me to envisage 3D, especially at such a grand scale. But with these two planets where they are at the moment, you can. Imagine a big disc, and we are about 1/3 of the way from the middle of the disc. After the Sun sets, you see Venus which is not only closer to the Sun, but is on the same side of Sun as us, and is travelling faster than us. Higher up you see Jupiter, which is on the other side of the Sun and about 2/3 out from the disc. (Saturn is at the limit of our naked eye viewing at 3/3. So your eyes are skimming across this great distance with perception of depth. I just love it. I will get a pic later.

Now the Sun set not so long ago; the first celestial objects I spotted were Venus quickly followed by Jupiter.Venus and Jupiter 1

Very faint but you can see them. I’ll grab another one later.

Here it isVenus and Jupiter 2

It’s bloody hot

The Changing Seasons. November 2017

If it wasn’t for the changing seasons I would not be posting in my blog at all. Thanks to Max and Joanne for keeping me in touch and apologies for not checking in on your stuff. Late November has seen us plunge into Summery weather, with a tropical feel. However, early November was still chilling us to the bone.

On the Melbourne cup weekend, Jo and I and two other couples attended the Maldon Folk Music Festival. I elected to not take photos of the artists; I wanted to be totally absorbed by the music. My favourite was a band from Boston called Mile Twelve. But there were many other fantastic local attractions there. In particular, Rich Davies and the Royal High Jinx. I also attended a mandolin workshop, which was fun. We camped nearby in our little caravan. I hope to be returning next year.

This month I have been a little obsessed with clouds. What am I saying; I always have been. I joined a closed FB group dedicated to clouds and have been having fun.

Jo sung at the Malmsbury Fayre last week. I enjoy taking choir pics

Plus some extra Fayre activities.

Of course, it can’t be November without some special flowers.

Plus a gnarly dead but still alive gum tree. They do things like that.gum tree

The Changing Seasons September 2017

Photography has been miles from my mind this month. It’s been a big month of music and early Spring entertainment. Removing last years dead grass has been high on my agenda. This Summer is going to be hot and dry one with the threat of fires up there with what hit us here in February 2014. This will not happen to us again.

Jo’s choir, the Pollyphonics put on a great show with a cabaret theme.

A little break in marine training on the Yarra River allowed me to grab this shot.

ship 1

The garden is moving into Spring

 

Our dam at the start of the season

Thanks for Max who runs the Changing Seasons. Check his blog out here

The Changing Seasons August 2017

I am so lucky to have been asked to sample down at the Gippsland Lakes this August as I don’t think I would have too much to contribute. I’ve added these photos for Max’s Changing Seasons. Please visit the page and check out some nice views of the world at different times of the year.

August is Acacia flowering time here in Victoria. I grabbed a couple of close ups.

These are both Cootamundra Wattles, Acacia Baileyana. Wattles grow through the bush like weeds and indeed, these wattles, 10s of them, have popped up since the 2014 fire, all from the seeds of one tree. These wattles are not indigenous to the area and must be kept under control. I love their flowers.

Last week I visited the Gippsland Lakes for a sampling trip. The lakes are estuarine and are mostly surrounded by farmland. While they are very beautiful and still wild in parts, they are under threat from the many uses that surround them, such as farming, industry and tourism. We sample the lakes to monitor the chemical and biological quality of the water. From this we can detect gross changes, or gradual trending, in water quality. This in turn enables us to pinpoint the possible source and can initiate discussions to influence changes in industry practices. It becomes a win-win, because most locals do not want their lakes to change while at the same time do not want to be over-regulated.

On the 2nd day, before heading out again, my colleague and I got up well before sunrise to do a spot of fishing and photography near where we were staying. It is indeed a beautiful place.

The Changing Seasons July 2017

Hi there! July in cold old Victoria it is. I have friends and family overseas and up north sunning themselves. I’m down here in the cold semi antarctic conditions. The sun is shining; it’s not snowing; it not -°; the fires roaring. There is really nothing to complain about. I maybe heading to Hobart next month. Now that will be a wintry experience for me. I’ve added these for Max’s changing seasons. Some not the best quality – apologies.

I have been seeing some very clear weather lately. The mountain – hill, in the distance in the first photograph is 120 km distant. One morning I thought saw a 160 km distant mountain but was not able to prove it.

I try to leave work early sometimes as I like to see the sunset and see my dogs in the daylight

March in Southern Victoria

March is a glorious time in Southern Victoria. Beautiful warm days. Cooler nights. Dry, often too dry…..For some reason I have been struggling taking photographs. I have been loving making music; maybe that’s the reason. This evening sky at home I could not resist.mid march evening sky looking south

A gathering of old friends for a pot luck dinner. A great time had by all.pot luck dinner old friendsOut on the job on the Gippsland Lakes between sites.

Back Down at the Bay with a G&T in handSummer is moving on

Another freakin sunsetanother freakin sunset

All added for Max on his great monthly photo feature at Cardinal Guzman