Posts

The Cry Baby Collective

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I couldn't help myself with this one. It's been over 6 years since I posted Cry Baby Learns to Swim on YouTube, and it has since garnered over 1.2 million views and counting. Cry Baby was even featured on Discover Channel Canada at one point. My pride and joy! While it's awesome that so many people have really enjoyed that little pup (some find entertainment in the Russian translation of one of Cry Baby's blabberings...I'll let you search the video comments if you want to find out), I have fun discovering the remixed versions of Cry Baby that take the pup to whole new levels. And I've decided to share them all in one place....just for fun...Cry Baby's Hall of Fame. Let me know if you find more versions and I'll post them!

First, of course, the original:










Capturing Calves

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It's spring time! For us Montanans, it means a respite from the winter months, pleasantly warm days enticing us to play outside, and brilliant greening and flowering of vegetation that helps fill the soul after the excitement of snow and white wears off. It's a rejuvenating season for most. But for our Rocky Mountain elk, the spring season ushers in more than just a feel-good time. Over the past few weeks, pregnant female elk (cows) have been separating themselves from the herd, seeking secretive spots to give birth to the next generation. This could be in dense vegetation with no visibility such as that provided by willows in riparian corridors, in the new regrowth and difficult to traverse deadfall of previously burned areas, or anywhere that will conceal a newborn calf that struggles to stand or walk in its first day of life. The newborn calf, about the same weight of a mid-sized dog, needs a couple of days to gain strength and learn how to walk. After these episodes of sta…

The Lionesses of Lafupa

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The Lafupa Pride - here showing two of the three females we witnessed stalking a mixed herd of zebra and hartebeast. The lady in the back is likely pregnant, and didn't take part in the hunting activities, choosing to stay in the nice shade instead! This hunt was unsuccessful.

The lions are nearly invisible out here, with their coloration as well as their behavior. They can be bedded down in the grass, taking a siesta...and you can drive right up to them without a response. So if you decide you need to stop and take a pee, and you didn't detect them, you may regret it.

The Packing Begins

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The challenge: pack almost 50 VHF collars in checked luggage along with all our personal items, staying under the required weight (50 lbs), and not getting arrested because we appear to be smuggling expensive items into the country to be sold!  The line of collars in the far back are for wild dog and cheetah, the middle row collars for lions and hyenas, the front collars for wildebeest.
Many already know, but for those who don't, I successfully completed my Master's degree at Montana State University (what a relief!), and have accepted a position with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, where I'll be stationed in Kafue National Park studying most of the animals that are capable of eating me. I'm leaving May 19th, and will be in Zambia for approximately 7 months, returning in December-ish (with a quick return in Aug for my roommates', Aaron and Amber's, wedding!).
Stay tuned for more....

Defended

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The reason for the two year silence (wow, I can't believe its been over two years since I've posted on here last!):



A Friendly Penguin Wave (Goodbye?!)

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The 2012 Weddell seal science season for our crew is just about wrapped up, sadly enough.  Our camp has been pulled off the ice, and we've been busy scurrying around, returning equipment and gear, cleaning and washing everything.  We leave in 7 days!  Aaack!

It has been an incredible season with a lot of valuable data collected by a solid crew.  There are literally hundreds of people to thank for making this project a success...a substantial proportion of them working as support staff here on station.  Nothing would be possible without their wonderful and friendly support.  And I certainly can't forget to thank YOU (if you are a tax-paying American citizen).  Because this project is completely funded by the National Science Foundation, YOU are paying for it.

This may be my last season here on the ice, and so I hope you have enjoyed some of my attempts to capture not only the project, but also the incredible scenery and majesty of this place.  I may have a few more posts left i…

The Pack Ice is In

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The sea ice edge transformed by fast flowing pack ice and peculiar penguins:





Darren, over at Nature and Noise, has a great photo of some ice caves in the Erebus Glacier Tongue.