Dogs

Over summer I shot a few clips of the dogs at the playing field. I edited them into a couple of short films, which I am quite pleased about now as we have had to retire Schaefer from ball games there. His mind wants to play, but his hips and spine cannot. He is certainly ageing now.

Joshua’s first solo

Just perusing my video feed on Vimeo and realising how much material I had that I could have used for posts here, and what a good format the blog is for cataloguing this stuff, presenting it and letting people come to at their convenience (rather than slamming endless images/clips onto their phones without invitation.

This video is one I am so pleased with because of what the event means to Joshua, and therefore to us. He has applied himself to his flying and there has been some behind the scenes turbulence, but here is, flying solo, Pilot in Command. Well done Josh!

Video Catch-up

A couple of short video links to show case some recent drone work I have been doing. I am still very much at the beginning, and therefore steep, part of the learning curve where drone flying and photography is concerned.

A short winter flight near home
Practicing low level shots and panning at Glengarry, with a nip up to altitude to take in the whole village

East Gippsland

We are well into the second half of 2021 and the world seems very far from getting on top of the COVID pandemic. Despite the wealth in Australia, states are locking down with case numbers that would be a dream to many other countries. This can largely be attributed to a national vaccination rate < 10% at the time of writing. Even in countries with high rates of first-dose vaccination, case numbers are in the 000s with the delta variant proving to be quite virulent. I certainly don’t think I saw it going on this long, but in reality the lessons from the 1918/19 influenza pandemic were there.

For me, 2021 has been busy and rewarding on many levels. Samuel is well established at Uni, Joshua is coming to the end of his schooling. Carolin is underway with her hypnotherapy business and I have had some work related changes that have been extremely positive and satisfying, whilst also challenging. Outside of work, I continue to make some progress with projects that I have wanted to commence for a while, including learning to play the piano which is a wonderful hobby. Clearly, this blog has not received much love, for reasons that I cannot really explain. The parallel process that I intended when I commenced the blog, which was a podcast, is an idea that I return to intermittently but have not put high enough on the list to really make progress on. Maybe it will come.

Carolin and I are currently away on a short break and whilst the latest lockdown precludes us from roaming more than 5km from our accomodation, it is a nice 10km radius to explore and the photography opportunities have been amazing. Looking for a way to showcase some of the images, I suddenly remember that I have this site, so here we go.

I really cannot praise the Fujifilm system enough. I use a variety of lenses, including these two and the 18 – 55mm zoom. I sometimes put my old Minolta 50mm prime and 28mm prime, via an adaptor but I find I rarely use the Fujinon 18mm prime these days.

2021

2021 is underway after what was, for us, a whirlwind Christmas that came and went extremely quickly. Between the Port Fairy trip and now, I had four days off around Christmas and otherwise just odd days here and there. I have made the most of many of those days, sailing or fishing with the boys and going for walks with Carolin, but work has certainly built up and been quite pressured.

I’m quite good these days at using my time-off as well as possible. Over the last couple of weekends on-call, I’ve used the down time in between duties to get out with the camera and pleasingly, the local air ambulance has obliged by flying on these occasions. The first two images are from a fortnight or so ago, as the helicopter returned from the city. I am quite pleased with them. Click through to see more info on Flickr, such as camera settings etc.

Transitioning into the hover
Final approach

In general, it is rare to see something particularly interesting at Traralgon airfield I’m afraid. Unlike Tyabb, where all sorts of curiosities will fly in and out on occasion. A nice silver twin did pop in once last year, it looked like some sort of Beechcraft immediate post-war machine. There are some good looking helicopters here at the DWELP base, ready for fires that thankfully have not occurred yet, but I can’t get photos of them as they are behind fences. The aircraft below did amuse me though. It’s anti-theft system probably can’t be beaten.

Railway Plans

It transpires that the heritage railway tracks I mentioned in a previous post (https://inmyshed.blog/2020/10/21/along-the-tracks/) is an area of great significance in terms of remnant native vegetation on the Moorooduc plain. I commented on the native vegetation in that post.

The local Shire, Mornington Peninsula, have released plans to create a bike path along this route, next to the railway, connecting the Peninsula link bike path to the town of Mornington.

This has left me somewhat conflicted, because whilst I am a great supporter of the idea of bike paths like this, the trackside walk is quite idyllic in its current state and there will inevitably be an effect on the biodiversity of this slither of bushland.

I hope that a way forward can be found that balances the development, with its benefits, and the vegetation. My idea for that would be unpopular with many, and involve replacing the railway track with the path, but I do recognise the importance of the railway for many people.

I recently watched this excellent video about the trackside vegetation, on Vimeo.

Trackside Preservation from Educational Television on Vimeo.

Port Fairy

Last week, Carolin and I had a few days away in Port Fairy. We had not visited since 2001 and on that occasion, I am pretty certain we just passed through briefly on our way towards South Australia. The town is quite beautiful, with some wonderful historic buildings and some very tastefully constructed modern ones. The town was still in the pre-Christmas quiet phase, exacerbated by the lack of international tourists no doubt. The weather was unusually mediocre, with strong winds for the whole trip and heavy rain for the first couple of days, but it was just nice to be away somewhere after the lockdowns and so-on that have been a feature of this year.

Port Fairy Lighthouse
Lighthouse, Griffiths Island, Port Fairy

Leadership and High Performance

To be honest, I have not really taken a photo this week that I fancy sharing. It’s been a busy week or so at work, with lots of developments. I am continuing to try and plan for 2021 and explore a few opportunities.

Along the way, I have been listening to some excellent podcast material with well constructed interviews. An excellent series is Grant Chisnell’s Crisis Talks. (https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/crisis-talks/id1469194730)

Mr Chisnell interviews Australian leaders, such as Fire Service Commissioners, Ambulance Senior Officers and ex-Military officers about how they and their organisations prepare for crises. His questioning shows a deep understanding of the subject at hand and elicits fantastic answers from his guests. I particularly enjoyed this interview with Mr Justin Dunlop, Ambulance Victoria’s Director of Emergency Management. As an AV employee, their COVID response has deeply impressed me and has been first-class. It was fascinating to hear and understand a bit more about how it came about:

https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/crisis-talks/id1469194730?i=1000479251696

Historic Aeroplanes

Last weekend, I took Joshua to the local airfield for his ultralight flying lesson. I took the new zoom lens to try some aviation photography. I was very fortunate that instead of the usual hum-drum Cessnas and Pipers of General Avation, the Old Aeroplane Company were flying two T6 Texans. One was in RAAF livery, the other in US Navy and both looked and sounded magnificent. These aircraft were advanced trainers around the time of World War 2 and have a unique sound as they become airborne. Back in the UK, airshow commentators referred to the propellor tips going supersonic, which caused this particular audio signature.

T6 Texan
Texan in RAAF livery
T6 Texan - US Navy colours
Texan in US Navy livery

The next aircraft is an Interstate S-1 Cadet, which I had never heard of before. I mistook it, from a distance, for a Piper Supercub. I love the colours on this aeroplane. Some online research at home revealed that it was a contemporary of the Cub, with some refinements but a heftier weight and price tag, which meant it sold less well. This example looks very well cared for.

Interstate S-1 Cadet
Interstate S-1 Cadet on take-off
EC120 Helicopter

Just as we were about to leave, this red EC120 arrived, which was a bonus for a helicopter fan such as me. I don’t believe Tyabb has a vast amount of helicopter ops, so it was a pleasant surprise.

I look forward to my next trip. Tyabb is certainly an interesting airfield, in terms of the chance of seeing some unique machines.