November 16, 2015
Note: Australians are known for their unique way of bending and shortening the English language. Personally, I find English dialects to be fascinating and will try to share some of the relevant and/or more entertaining slang terms we come across. They’ll be denoted by italicized text in parentheses.
We’ve been in Australia (Oz) for 12 days—a fact that my brain is having a hard time adjusting to. It may be in part because the cool Mediterranean hills of Adelaide feel familiar. The rolling residential streets are narrow and winding, shaded by mature gum trees (including eucalyptus (eucalypt); native here, obviously) punctuated by bursts of vibrant color from private gardens and native flowering shrubs like bottlebrush and jacaranda. And when you venture out beyond the suburban foothills, you find rolling grassland, already turning gold in the dryness of early summer, interspersed by oak-like woodlands. And beyond that, vast vineyards yielding some of the best wines in the world. Beyond that, the Great Australian Bight bleeds into the vast Southern Ocean. This should sound familiar to many of you. Yep, almost immediately upon leaving the airport, Colin and I agreed that Adelaide reminded us of the central California coast—a place that we both have very strong ties to. After 24+ hours of travel, we had landed in a familiar land…but not quite. Like California with crazy colorful birds, a British accent, koalas, and no Mexican food. A bizarro world of sorts. Though I’m sure the we-swear-we-don’t-feel-jet-lagged style of jet lag had something to do with our skewed perception of place.
January 24, 2015
I’ve finally gotten around to going through last year’s field season photos (yep, 6 months later). Better late than never, I guess. And the 2015 field season is beginning to creep up on me. In a little over 3 months, I’ll be back on the road, indulging my wanderlust, exploring Colorado’s topography. I feel like I have way too much to do before then and yet it can’t come soon enough. Colin and I have been working on a fancy pants camping setup for Sally (including, hopefully, a new camper shell) and I’ve set some major personal and slightly-less-major work-related goals for myself (arbitrary deadline: May 1st). More to come on all of that. Anyhow, enjoy the photos. I will do my best to post more frequently this year, both photos and stories.
May 17, 2014
SO. I spent yesterday morning sitting about 20 feet away from 35-40 Sharp-tailed Grouse on their lek! Yep, even on my mornings off, I get up at the crack of dawn to go look at birds. Though this was a particularly special experience; it’s not like I was getting up at 4 am to go check out some sweet Mourning Doves staring at each other or something.
In the last couple of years, I have developed a strong rule about observing first with my own two lenses, that is, without looking through a camera lens. So I spent the first half hour or so soaking in the experience first-hand: watching their comedic jitterbug dances and listening to their funny little pops, rattles, and hoots. It was tough to get good photos with my little camera in such low light, but I did my best. These were digiscoped through my binoculars. To get the full experience, listen to their calls in the player below. Enjoy!