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[LBI 2012] Lasers in the jungle somewhere (with apologies to Paul Simon)

October 18, 2012

[This is the sixth in a series of posts – essentially diary entries – on fieldwork on Little Barrier Island, New Zealand. Internet access was unavailable on the island, so I am publishing them one-per-day now that I am back on the mainland.]


A very big day today, but for all the wrong reasons. Short version: started a little late, and got lost three times. Ended up back at base around 18:20, where 17:00 is the official time at which search parties come out. Cellphones are wondrous things.

The walk to Z line is out along the boulder bank, along the bottom of some cliffs. I rather severely startled a NZ Fur Seal pup both on the way out and the way back.

Today’s bird tally was good – 4 distance measurements, where I’ve been averaging 1 per day until now. All three of the monitored species (Tieke, Hihi and Tui) represented too – the laser rangefinder scarcely had the chance to cool down.

Still, I am destroyed. Fell asleep on the couch after dinner; still groggy while I write this. Fortunately, some rest days are coming up, enforced either by poor weather or concern for our wellbeing, whichever comes first. It will give me time to do laundry (sorely needed) and make a proper repair of my boots (bloody annoying).

Stuck in my head, although probably not entirely appropriate, is Paul Simon’s ‘Boy in the bubble‘. The lyrics I remember are:

“These are the days of lasers in the jungle,
Lasers in the jungle somewhere”


“These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don’t cry baby don’t cry
Don’t cry don’t cry”


From → Scientist

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