It seems like only yesterday that the students were arriving in Brisbane, but yesterday I dropped them at the airport for post-IRES travel.
We finally remembered to take a group photo on our last day at the field site, and also went out with a bang by winning trivia at the Samford Hotel! Here we are with trivia master Mark Shiels–all of the hats were won at trivia throughout the last 9 weeks.
Since it’s winter here, we decided to celebrate Christmas in July! The festivities started on July 23 (Festivus in July; shown here are Sarah D. and Taylor participating in feats of strength while Joe holds the festivus pole), followed by Christmas cooking making on Christmas eve and a Christmas dinner and a secret santa gift exchange on the 25th.
For our last day(s) off we took an overnight trip to Byron Bay, known for it’s lazy surf vibe and humpback whale migration! It was a great break before our last two weeks of non-stop data collection! Here are some of the students from the lighthouse watching for whales and dolphins.
In June, we were fortunate enough to host our friend Serena from Papua New Guinea. Serena helped us out in the field, and is pictured here holding everyone’s favorite red/black male, Greg (GRG, so named for his green, royal purple, and green color bands). Read more about the white-shouldered fairywren project, of which Serena is a key player, at the WSFW blog: https://wsfwblog.wordpress.com/
The 2016 fall in Samford Valley was very dry, resulting in much lower water levels and a drier site this year than last year. However, the winter has been really wet (the lake is more full now than it was in the photo below, but not as full as last year).
Our field site is located about 45 minutes from Brisbane, so this last week was the first time that the students have been into Brisbane itself. We took the ferry into the city, visited the Queensland Natural History Museum, and saw Finding Dory (an appropriate movie choice when in Australia?).
We always eat well, but especially so on birthdays! Trey is a big fan of the strawberry champagne tim tams, which were the inspiration for his cake (thanks to Sarah D!). In general though, the new tim tam flavors have not been a big hit.
None of these come close to last years Three Beantim tams (coffee, vanilla, and cocoa beans, not to be confused with three bean mix).