25 May, 2012

It's raining again...

...and raining and raining and raining. Well, perhaps not quite as much rain as we've had on other occasions, however over the last day or so we've certainly had some decent falls. This morning up to 9am, the Bureau recorded 9mm at Geelong Racecourse and my gauge in the backyard read 10.5mm.Since then, a further 32mm has been recorded in the six hours to 3pm. And we can't say we weren't warned, with local forecasts tipping the average monthly rainfall to arrive within the space of the next day or two. A quick check of the stats reveals that this average for Geelong in May is approximately 46mm. We had reached that tally by 9am this morning.
A very grey day - Moorabool Street Bridge in the rain
Likewise, other areas of the Barwon catchment have received their fair share of rain. The Geelong Advertiser reported that Mt Sabine in the Otways received 35mm over night, whilst Gellibrand recorded around 20mm.
As usual, this means a lot of run off water is currently making its way into the Barwon and a flood watch (only at this stage) has been issued. The forecast it seems is for clearing showers, so I suspect the bulk of the rain has passed for now. At about midday however, I took the opportunity to go and snap a few rainy photos at a few of the easier access points along the river through Geelong to see if there was anything interesting to see.
Stormwater runoff from Belmont entering the river near Princes Bridge
In short, the answer was no, there was not much going on. At the end of Swanston St, I found a number of very upbeat - when are they ever otherwise? - Superb Fairy Wrens hopping about in the rain. At Balyang Sanctuary I saw quite a number of the more common species of birds, most of whom were not in the least concerned by the inclement weather. The Indian Mynas, Mudlarks and Silver Gulls all seemed happy enough, although a pair of pelicans perched somewhat ridiculously on top of breeding boxes in the lake didn't look so comfortable, nor did a pair of magpies perched in a leafless tree.
Pacific Black Ducks near Princes Bridge
Contrary to my findings on other rainy occasions, today it seemed, was good weather for ducks with a pair of Pacific Blacks paddling happily about under Princes Bridge. It was not, on the other hand, good weather for bees, with no sign of any movement at the hive I was watching last week.
Queen's Park Bridge in the rain

A bit further upriver at Queen's Park, things were likewise wet and quiet. With the exception of one individual as silly as myself at Balyang Sanctuary and a couple of paddlers (also of dubious sanity), I saw no-one on or near the river.
By this time, my attempts at waterproofing myself were becoming somewhat inadequate. My puffer jacket whilst wind-resistant was not really waterproof, my leather boots were a little soggy and as my woollen dress was getting progressively wetter I was beginning to smell more and more like a wet sheep. I decided however, that I had one more stop to make that might provide me with a decent view of the rainy river.
Therefore, I headed round to the Lookout.
View towards Fyansford from the Barwon Valley Lookout
The view which greeted me was indeed rainy, it was also rather limited. On a clear day, the Barrabool Hills are visible in the distance and the Paper Mill can be seen in the nearer distance. Not today. There was no sign of the hills and only a blur which I could barely make out where the mill stands. The traffic winding its way down the cutting into Fyansford had lights on and buildings were barely visible.
At this point, deciding enough was definitely enough, I headed for home, the heater and some dry clothes. The Otway rain shadow did not seem to be having a particularly large effect on Geelong's weather today.

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