Got a bower on the phone, honey!

October 29, 30, & 31

Fairly routine work the last couple days; hunt for bowerbirds in the morning, contemplate the wild winds that seem to always blow, and think about what’s for dinner :-) I will add a special note in that we met one family who had three bowers on their property, not very far apart from each other. Their land did have a pond for water, some tropical plantings, some exotic gardens, a bit of natural palm vegetation, and a small mango orchard. Maybe those are just the elements that a bowerbird needs!

Not far away in our forested study area, I found a new bower in a rather scrubby setting, close to a rainforest ravine and a cow paddock. What was especially amusing about this discovery was that at the time I was standing on a log holding my binoculars with one hand, trying to see into the scrub, while with the other hand I was talking to Sara using the walkie talkie. During her first sentence I had to interrupt her for at that moment I saw blue decorations and a bower. So cool!

Something of note was that on our way to town, which takes about five minutes to drive, Sara felt a tick on her shoulder. So I pulled over and deftly pulled it out, head and all for it had barely any kind of hold. It couldn’t have been on her for more than an hour. But yet, the bite mark really hurt and we put tea tree oil on it right away. It was still bothering her and by the next morning, there was considerable redness around the bite mark, an area about as big as the diameter of a tennis ball. I had her start taking Benadryl. Obviously we would want to keep an eye out for any signs of Lime Disease. She said it itched like crazy yesterday :-(

This morning the redness covered a much larger area, although the intensity was less. There was no sign of a bullseye rash. I stopped at a pharmacy this morning and spoke with a professional and she recommended a different antihistamine. We will keep a close eye on it and decide tomorrow if we must seek out a physician. It’s probably just a strange over reaction to the bite, something not so uncommon here. Many people here still claim that Lime Disease does not occur in Australia, but it does for we met people who have gotten it from ticks here in the bush. Sometime a patient knows something the doctors don’t and you might have to be forceful in getting the treatment you know you need.

Well, its a beautiful day here along the coast and for once the winds have moderated. It’s out of the south and so I took the opportunity to catch a few waves hiding behind the headland at Sandy Beach. One unique thing about this coast is that there are so many headlands, with a beach to either side. If you don’t like the look of the surf on the one side, just hike or drive over to the other side and see if it meets expectations. As surfers from Florida know too well, east coast US beaches are beautiful, but very long and straight with nothing to break up the winds are settle the waves.

We have two video cameras going at the moment at our campsite bower and so it is time to go check the operations. Pretty convenient that one of our study animals set up shop not fifty feet away from our camper!



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