It’s July already?!? (Kathryn)

Time must fly by even faster in the Land Down Under—our first month has already come and gone. The Fellows all arrived safe and sound to clear skies and warm weather with only one bag lost between them. But despite all his clothes being left thousands of miles away in LA, Xander managed to eke out several days in the official “Qantas Uniform”, a beautifully logo’ed grey T-shirt with matching grey bottoms cut in the latest Aussie style: short.

After getting the run-through of life at Coomalie Farm, everyone piled into our trusty Pajero, aptly dubbed Wren One (She has a red-backed fairy wren painted on her sides), to head off for a day of fun at the Territory Wildlife Park and Berry Springs. The Wildlife Park houses native flora and fauna such as dingoes and saltwater crocodiles, as well as other more approachable members like the free-roaming wallabies. We culminated our trip at the Park with an impressive showcase of diverse avian predator behaviors, from eating mid-flight, plunging underwater for prey, and using rocks to smash open eggs for the yolky reward inside.  At Berry Springs, after a successful sausage sizzle on the free gas grills graciously provided in nearly all the parks of the Northern Territory (yes, you read that right, free gas grills) we went for a dip in the natural hot springs and lazily floated along the Pandanus-lined stream.

Everyone has since jumped right into their projects, finding wrens and conducting arthropod and vegetation surveys. More to come later!

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