The Changing Seasons May 2018

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 .

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The Changing Seasons April 2018

April for me has been mixed, with some highs and some lows. I know people like a good read, but I live my life with Jo and the dogs, play music, take photos and measure things. I wish I could enjoy writing but I just make a hash of it most of the time. Here is some photos from April 2018. Still warm here, even today on May 1. Colder nights and mornings. The beach is all (mostly) packed up, with our caravan still in a suburban driveway waiting to be brought home by a suitable vehicle. Thanks again Su for you inspiration and changing seasons initiative.

The Changing Seasons. March 2018

As I approach the end of my wonderful 4 weeks off work I realise I have done a lot of things but I have not reconnected with blogging. I’m so glad that Su has kept the changing seasons going because I can continue to drop in here at least once a month. It’s been an eventful month with spending some time down at the beach, home and a few days in the mountains. Here’s some snaps

The Changing Seasons February 2018

It’s such a mad month for me. I am so looking forward to March. Friday is my last work day for 4 weeks. One small problem; I’m working Saturday! Duh how did that happen. Oh well, big relax on Saturday night and some extra time at the end of my leave. Here’s some pics of my February. Added for Su’s Changing Seasons

Ah, the serenity

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything but on the changing seasons. Here’s a bunch of photos specially chosen for the Serene theme. Apologies as some have been previously published.

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

The Changing Seasons June 2017

A big part of blogging is not only posting, but reading, and commenting on, all of my favourite blogs. I apologise for not finding time for this. Work has been more hectic than ever and I admit to being a little addicted to Words with friends. I leave for work in the dark and get home the dark. It’s cold, I light the fire, we eat, we socialise, we watch the telly, we obsess with the internet.
Last week I travelled to Lakes Entrance for a course and managed to capture some pre-dawn photographs. It has been cold but very dry in Victoria this Winter. Some parts of Victoria need rain badly. I will add some of these pics for Max’s changing seasons.

The West Gate Bridge, Melbourne

As a child I was fascinated by the spread of freeways in my city and state. It was many years later that that I discovered they only solved problems for a short time. In Melbourne at the moment it appears every road is being worked on. By the time they all finish they’ll have to get going again. Until I was 11, there was a wonderful windy and relatively unpolluted creek that flowed near my house. We spent so much time down there. We called it the jungle. It was full of box thorn and thistles but it was all we knew. One day I spoke to a man ramming little wooden pegs in the ground. I asked what he was doing to which he replied ‘very soon there will be a big freeway coming through here’. I was amazed. That was end of the jungle.

About the same time, businesses in Melbourne’s western suburbs, the industrial, ugly side of town, were lobbying for a river crossing near the mouth of the Yarra River. Both sides were seen as an ugly wasteland; perfect for a big bridge. Work for the West Gate Bridge commenced in 1968. This only occurred after a series of dodgy money gatherings and bad tendering, as was found in hindsight. Well into construction, late in 1970, a section of the box girder bridge and a box pylon, collapsed killing 35 construction workers and injuring 18.

WG 7

West Gate Bridge immediately after collapse. Journalist photograph. I think this photograph is a mirror image.

Of course there was an inquiry and their findings can be perused. Construction eventually resumed. The photograph below was taken by me in 1976west gate 1976

The bridge was completed in 1978. Tolls were introduced, but later scrapped because it could be avoided. It now carries 200000 vehicles per day and a 2nd lower Yarra crossing is close to commencing. WG 1WG 5

Some say this bridge competes somehow with the Sydney Harbour Bridge. No way; It’s a big ugly bridge that runs through a fairly ugly part of Melbourne. It has 10 car lanes, but no train. I drive over it about 20 times a year. I’ve walked over it too, to raise funds.

Like all bridges, the Westgate has attracted a lot of suiciders. They did not do anything about this until an imbecile threw his 4 year daughter to her death to get back his wife, in 2009, in front of her brother. This story makes me so emotional. That poor little girl and the poor brother, and mother. I can’t write about it. They installed a fence.

WG 6

Under the bridge as we were heading out into the bay pre sunrise in 2008. No fence installed yet. Poor Darcy

Back in 1962, when I was 4, another smaller bridge in the centre of Melbourne cracked due to dodgy engineering. I was a big fan of Zig and Zag, clowns on the telly. They thought they had cracked the bridge when they accidentally dropped a coconut on it. They were gonna get into big trouble. I believed this of course.

King_Street_Bridge_Melbourne

King St Bridge