aquaprofunda: The tendril of a squash vine (squash tendril)
May's microadventure challenge was to go on a lunchtime microadventure, which I was pretty excited about. I love completely changing gears from my demanding office job to lunchtime explorations!

full writeup under the cut )
aquaprofunda: An eye reflected twice in a cut mirror. (Default)
March was a write-off month for me, but I loved the microadventure challenge (explore a waterway) for it enough that I decided to pursue it in April, and it was pretty awesome - I managed three!



Read more... )


So overall, in spite of March's flop April's microadventuring was awesome, and I'm totally looking forward to May's: having a lunch time adventure!
aquaprofunda: The tendril of a squash vine (squash tendril)
This was totally fun. From the moment I started it I was loving it. It totally tapped into my love of collecting, researching and recording data, as well as my love for nature and exploring it.

My rule for collecting was that I’d check off a species the first time I spotted it. That meant that the start of the month had lots and lots of additions to the list, tapering off at the end. Losing my job and also being bedridden meant that my month was a bit disrupted, so I didn’t get out and about as much as I wanted to explore different habitats.

That said, the ones I did explore yielded more than I thought. For example, one afternoon I spent a couple of hours sitting on the edge of the Yarra in the CBD and saw five different aquatic species in the small patch of murky river just in front of me. It was glorious.

The best part of it was having the feeling of being engaged with my environment on another level. Having an understanding of the creatures around me, rather than just looking at stuff and thinking “ooh, pretty” was like experiencing the world at a higher resolution. I really love it.

Also, since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to be one of those grown-ups who just knows things about… stuff. I loved being around adults who could just share fascinating science facts on call, commentating on the world around us and answering all the questions my hungry mind had with patience and a huge depth of knowledge.

So yeah, I really enjoyed this challenge on a number of levels and will definitely be continuing on with it.


Totals


Fish/aquatic: 7 species
Mammals: 3 species
Reptiles: 1 species
Birds: 29 species


full list, field notes & photos )
aquaprofunda: A thick woolen scarf wrapped around someone's neck. Their mouth is visible above it. (Scarf)
I've volunteered to set our group's monthly microadventure challenge for February, and I choose: wildlife spotting!

My plan/ideas for tackling this one this month:

  • Pay more attention to the birds around my home and observe them more closely.

  • Go on walks in local wildlife pockets - as many as I can in different areas with different ecosystems.

  • Actually put some research effort into identifying the animals, take notes and photograph if possible.

  • Aim to post a report at the end of the month detailing what I've spotted.


Realistically, I'm going to see a lot of birds and probably not much else, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people manage to get a glimpse of!
aquaprofunda: An eye reflected twice in a cut mirror. (Default)
So, my friend Jonathan has been getting into microadventuring and inspiring me to try and do the same (albeit probably with a more urban slant!).

Today I went on a day trip to Rottnest Island in WA, which was glorious. We had an early start (early for being on holiday, anyway) and caught the ferry from Fremantle at 9.30. It was forecast for 35 degrees on the mainland, but was at least 5 degrees cooler than that on the island, and most amazingly there was pretty much no wind - just the occasional cool breeze. The water in the bay was perfectly still, but we headed around to The Basin where I’d read that the water was good for swimming and snorkeling.

It was gorgeous.

panorama

I’d borrowed a snorkel & mask from a friend I’m staying with, so stripped down to my swimmers and got right in. Once I’d figured out how to get the mask clean and not fogging, the view was amazing. I saw buffalo bream, scalyfins, moonlighters, banded sweeps, sea perch, western king wrasses, and more that I couldn’t find pictures on online :D it was lovely.

The rocks around the beach had what appeared to be at first glance trilobite fossils - but upon research seem to be chitons:

Chitons

Afterwards we did a wee bit of walking, seeing some of the island’s many tame quokkas on the way, also spotting a couple of big skinks and a heap of birds - Australian pied oystercatchers on the salt lakes, heaps of crows complaining their hearts out and the ubiquitous gulls.

In the afternoon we went on a guided walk about quokkas(!!). The most interesting fact gleaned from it? Quokkas gestate for only a short time before the little joey nugget is born and crawls into the pouch to finish growing, like all marsupials, but in addition to that - once the first nugget is born, the quokka mates again and the subsequent zygote just hangs around as back-up in case the joey in the pouch dies. If that happens, the zygote finishes gestating. Amaze!

Anyhoo, the quokkas were adorable, and about as tame as you’d expect for evolving on an island with no natural predators. Very interested as soon as you got on ground level - especially if you put down a bag, in which case they’d attempt to dig around in the bag for food. Adorable.

quokka

O hai. You have food yes?
quokka

While on the island I generally tried to focus on the natural history rather than the colonial one (which enrages me - privilege check that I can choose to “ignore” the parts of history I don’t like so I can enjoy myself more) but a few interesting stories came out of the quokka tour. For example, there were apparently a couple of French sailors who had a duel; one of them is buried in the European cemetery on the island.

I also had to take a photo of this - a mulberry tree planted in the 1930s by the boys of a reform school that was on the island at the time. It’s an amazing tree, and mind-boggling that it’s still alive:

”old

After the quokka walk we moseyed back to the beach and I went for another swim before we got back on the ferry. Some of the best parts were in the last leg, though - on the ferry ride back to Freo we saw not only a naval submarine but a pod of dolphins playing around in the Fremantle dock.

All in all, a successful microadventure! I can’t wait for more.

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