Friday, December 22, 2006

breakfast of champions...

it was 430pm and i realized i hadn't had anything more than a cup of coffee. so i grabbed a handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans and went for a run. breakfast of champions!

I've been crazily researching 50 wildlife species i'm writing about for a big project, and interviewing scientists in tasmania... it's crazy making! but i really enjoy it. i love the work - learning and writing about all these cool wildlife species, and trying to bring some awareness into their plights.

i have taken one hour break for 2 nights now and watched prerecorded tv (I never watched tv for years and years but this dvr is great... bad bad bad i mean). i mainly watch the daily show with jon stewart which is such a hoot, friends and sex and the city.

ok anyway back to work for me! and i did have a nice healthy dinner.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

koala orphans

HOW CUTE IS THIS?!!! This is baby Reme, raised by Deidre de Villiers, a biologist and volunteer wildlife rescue person. She raises the baby "joey" koalas from when they are tiny and then releases them back into the wild.

Another photo of baby Reme, Copyright and printed with permission of Deidre de Villiers.

OK I gotta admit they're kinda ugly at this stage. But this is often the size they are when they are rescued if mom gets killed by a car. This is not Reme, but the photo was taken by Deidre de Villiers also.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Galapagos here i come

I am now definitely sure I'm going to the Galapagos Islands (off the coast of Ecuador) in late January-early Feb. I am so stoked! I have to start researching it a bit and see what kinds of stories I can pitch on the wildlife. I have one assignment, but there are always others. I'm going with the photo editor of the magazine so it should be really fun. It's a 7-day cruise, the first carbon-neutral cruise in South America. Now other companies are following suit.

A friend asked, what is a carbon-neutral cruise? See my post a few days ago on global warming, but essentially the company offsets the carbon emissions from the cruise's burning of gas/fossil fuels and use of energy by contributing to projects that offset the emissions, like tree planting and methane capture technology for dumps, etc.

But I'm really excited about seeing my awesome friend Jen when I go through Florida!! I've blogged about her before, I met her at the Conservation Genetics workshop a couple years ago and she studies shark forensics (identifying shark species from their DNA from the often illegal shark fin trade). We may head down to the Keys. It will just be fun to spend some time with her. She was MY blog mama, she blogged through her husband's cancer and grief after he died Oct 2003. And she is my super athlete woman inspiration, having run and won triathlons!

Oh! Speaking of which, yesterday I ran 8.5 miles - the furthest ever - at a pace of about 8:30 min mile. I am trying to train for a half marathon along with our church's student pastor, Chris. Here is his blog: - check out the video linked there on Nov 21, 2006 entry. Pretty cool stuff!

Monday, December 04, 2006

rescuing australian wildlife

Sam feeding a wallaby at the (Steve) Irwin family Australia Zoo.

I just wrote an article that related to Steve Irwin's Australia Wildlife Hospital and interviewed "Dr Jon" Hanger, and was so impressed by the passion he has for the animals he works on, and what they're doing there. In Queensland, they have wildlife ambulances, and wildlife hospitals and are working to expand the AWH where they'll have viewing windows and such so the public can see what is going on with their surgery and recovery efforts. The coolest thing to me is that they're making the connection between land clearing and roadkill or road strikes of animals... and at least in Australia, animals that are hit by cars can be rescued because the infrastructure exists - unlike in the US.

Did you know that many wildlife will just lay injured on the road for minutes and hours being run over multiple times before they die? So sad. At least there they have phone #s to call to have them rescued. And with marsupials, a lot of times the joeys will still be alive in the pouch even if mom dies.

I was thinking what a cool TV show that would make if they followed the stories of these koalas or kangaroos or things hit by cars, as they perform surgery and rescue the orphans. The koala orphans are sooooooooooo cute!!!! I went out in the field with a biologist who studies them and she also rehabilitates the orphans as a volunteer. What an awesome thing that would be to do.

When dedicating the hospital to his mum Lyn Irwin, his tribute just breaks my heart in reading it:
"You come to me in my dreams; your spirit is with every Wedge-tailed Eagle; I feel your breath in the westerly wind, but most of all I see your genes in my princess Bindi and my baby boy Bob…Oh gosh! I miss you, Mum. I miss you every minute of every day, and the pain of losing you tears my heart out. But I'll stay strong; I promise you I'll stay strong - for it was you who taught me to be a Wildlife Warrior."
I saw an article in People mag on Terri, Bindi and Bob and my gosh they are such a beautiful family and my heart goes out to them. It was a summary of an article that was in the Australia Women's Weekly because it's linked from the Australia Zoo website (or was, can't find it now). Terri is actually from Eugene, OR which is where I spent the early years of my life also. I lived there from age 2 through 9 in a cool house on Hill Street next to a cemetery where I spent a lot of time. Wonder if she and I ever crossed paths when I was a kid? After that I moved to my dad's log cabin in the OR woods further north, by the Columbia River.