Day 3 of the Art-science BioBlitz at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
Saturday's weather was showery and humid but at least it wasn't continually raining, so presented more opportunities to get out into the forest.
My allocated tree for the day was Tree 1 - Gureya, the Jinibara name for 'fig', another beautiful and awe-inspiring strangler fig.
However, I was keen to spend some time with the Entomologists - Dr Geoff Monteith and Dr Kathy Ebert. They were doing studies of native dung beetles, collecting specimens around the trees, as well as at different levels up into the canopy. They were very helpful and knowledgable, keen to share their scientific methodologies and findings with us. I was able to spend some time examining dung beetle specimens through their microscopes, its amazing the detail and beauty of these little insects that play such a vital role in recycling forest nutrients.
I also went out into the forest with Geoff and Kathy as they checked their insect traps. I made sure I recorded their activities and insects collected in my visual diary. I managed to escape the leeches though I noted that Geoff had several hanging off his leg at one stage....!
During the afternoon, I spent some time at the base of the Gureya tree, sketching the blackbean pods that had fallen within Gureya's dripline. Due to an approaching storm, I had the tree to myself, its a lovely experience to be sitting on a low stool alone in the forest, with the drizzle of rain filtering through the canopy. Finally though the thunder and a need to dry my watercolour washes drove me back into BioBlitz HQ to work some more with my gelli plate and paints.
After dinner, Leisa and I returned to BioBlitz HQ to see the insect light traps that Geoff and Kathy had erected. There were some very interesting looking moths attracted to the lights. We also enjoyed the song of frogs in the nearby pond.
|Dr Kathy Ebert studying and identifying dung beetle specimens|
|I'm using a magnifier to sketch some of the insect specimens|
|The view through the magnifier...needless to say I now have one too!|
|Out with Geoff and Kathy checking the|
|Nighttime insect light trap.|