Monday, February 21, 2011

Jurassic Park, Anyone?

Oh, dear, I believe I've fallen behind in my blogging. I do have a good reason, I promise! My computer, poor baby, has decided that it does NOT enjoy the rainforest, and is threatening to die completely...I'm trying desperately to nurse it through, but we shall see. It pretty much decides to shut off and refuse to power on for a day or two, at which time I frantically type up papers and do what research I need to before it doesn't work again, which doesn't leave as much time for blogging as I'd like.

But, enough of my technology troubles! The past week or so has been fun, to some degree, and very busy! We had our first field exercise, which is a week long experiment and scientific write-up. My question was on the relationship between wood density and growth rate in saplings planted at rainforest restoration sites. Sadly, my results were non-significant, but then we had the paper to write up.

Have you ever had to sit there and re-learn something for what seems like the umptheumpth time? Going over and over things that seem so basic to you, until you want to bang your head through a wall? Well, that was what this paper felt like! We spent hours going over how to write it, how to cite things, what sections to put in. We sat through three hours of the professor running all of our statistical analyses, and I had to stay, even though I had already done all of mine! It was frustrating, but it's over now and all is well. I handed in my paper this morning, and hopefully the next one, starting today, won't be as much review.

In other homework news, we also had a fauna quiz this week! For anyone who's reading this and was in Ornithology with me, it brought me right back to late nights in Dana, studying bird calls. We only had to learn 19 birds and 6 frogs, so it wasn't so bad, but the bird calls are definitely still stuck in my head! I keep on finding myself whistling the tune for the Little Shrike-Thrush, or the Brown Gerygone when I'm not paying attention!

On a non-homework front, we've gotten to go into town a few times, which has been nice! This Saturday, we got forty five minutes in a little town called Malanda, right when they had their farmers market! I got this pineapple juice there that was to die for, all pulpy and thick and sweet. It was amazing. I could have drunk about ten of them! The farmers market also had a bunch of interesting tropical fruits, including one called Ice Cream Bean, a three foot long green see pod, that you twist open. Inside looks almost cottony, and you pull out the beans, black and shiny and covered in cottony pulp, and pop them in your mouth. You then suck on them until all the pulp is off, and then spit out the bean. It was awesome, really sweet, almost like vanilla ice cream, except that it was warm and a weird texture. I then got some chicken tenders (can't live without them!) at a local cafe, which were also delicious. I do miss my chicken tenders, out here in the rainforest!

We also got to go to the local crater lake, Lake Barrine, this Sunday. Lake Barrine used to be a volcano, but then it filled with water and is now an absolutely gorgeous swimming hole. I didn't quite feel like swimming, so me and two other girls went and walked the circuit of the lake.

Last thing was Mamu Canopy Walk. It was a trail through the rainforest, and then on these connected platforms over a huge gorge. It was kind of foggy, with low clouds, and there were flying foxes all over the place. It made the whole thing feel like something out of Jurassic Park, as though Pterodactyls were going to swoop down and snatch you right off the walkway!

Okay, hopefully that's long enough for now, because it's lunchtime, and I need to hurry if I want the leftover steak! Tata, folks!

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