Friday, October 9, 2009
Last Sunday we drove three hours south to Yungaburra to the rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands. We didn’t waste any time, and Sunday afternoon we went to visit the Cathedral fig- a monstrous strangler fig and then to a lake in a volcano crater nearby, Lake Eachem. I couldn't help but laugh when I walked into the Yungaburra grocery store Sunday night and heard Sweet Home Alabama on the radio- where am I again? Monday we went back to the volcanic lake to carry out some rain forest experiments and for a refreshing swim in the lake. That afternoon we had our first encounter with “the Australian Bush” at Davies Creek. Monday night half of us went night canoeing to spot wildlife- we saw a platypus, numerous wallabies, and various types of possums. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures because I was driving our canoe and I was kept busy avoiding the other canoes (there were a lot of beginners). Tuesday we went to another nearby national park for some work and a refreshing but frigid swimming hole (see above). In the evening we did some work at a local farm where the owners are working on regrowing the original tropical rainforest that was cleared in the 1950's. We got to see numerous platypi and the only other egg-laying mammal in the world the echinda- an animal just like a porcupine except that it can't throw it's spines. We also saw went into a glowworm gave and saw perhaps the cutest thing ever (see above). Wednesday we got up at 4:45 AM to go count bird calls at another huge fig tree. I was tasked with counting the call of Lillan’s Honey-eater (sounds like a machine-gun) and the Wampu Pigeon call (it sounds just like it’s name)- safe to say, I’m a pro now (I counted about 200). I’ve attached a few pictures of the rainforest and the hostel we stayed in (On the Wallaby). Next stop, the Outback!