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It has been a while since I have posted a blog post, but this seems the appropriate medium to talk about recent events. To get you caught up, in 2020, I returned to Michigan State University to be an academic specialist with a fixed-term contract. MSU has always held a special place in my heart. It's where I grew into the person that I am today. I was always a nerd when I was in high school, but I felt like I was a fish out of water there. Sure, I was supported, but I hadn't found like-minded people. When I got to MSU, I did. I was able to pursue zoology and grow. I was able to travel to Costa Rica and Panama and fell in love with tropical biology. It's made MSU special for me. In 2022, I was promoted to the continuing system as an academic specialist (more job security and more freedom with what I could do).

Lyman Briggs College is a unique place. It's a STEM college that highly values pedagogy. It also is a residential college, meaning that students live in the hall (Holmes) and go to class there as well. We have small classes and get to know our students. In a university intro bio course, there may be 300 students. Professors don't get to know their students. Students don't get to know their professors. In LBC, I have 48 students in a lecture and those same 48 split between two labs. I get to know my students. It makes teaching quite rewarding, and I get attached to my students. Virtually every semester, I fight back tears when I say goodbye to students to the end of the semester.

On February 13, 2023 at 8:32pm, I received a text that stated in essence "active shooter on campus, run, hide, fight." Admittedly, I was initially skeptical that it was actually shooter. It can't happen at Michigan State. It was a mistake and the police were being cautious to protect the student body from a possible threat. There was frustratingly little information about what was going on. I was at home, but I wanted to know where this was happening. MSU is one of the largest campuses in the US. It mattered where this was happening. A colleague of mine was on campus and locked himself in his office with two students. I was texting with him and another colleague to make sure he was okay. That's when information started coming through.

There were confirmed injuries and fatalities. This wasn't suppose to happen here. I started scouring news sites for information. Nothing. I found a link to the police scanner on Twitter. I started listening. Before I go into that, I think it is important to offer the perspective here.

In the US, we hear about school shootings all too commonly. By the time we hear about a shooting happening, it is in the final phases if not already done. Police have found and cornered the shooter. The shooter committed suicide. By the time it gets to the national media, we already know how many victims there are and we have moved right into the "how can we stop this from happening" phase. As the public, we do not experience the shooting in real time.

That changed for me. I was not on campus, so cannot speak to the situation there, but just my impressions for the moment. The police scanner was chaotic. Police were getting calls about suspects walking by the chemistry building with was looked to be a gun. They were getting calls about a shooting in IM East. Or McDonel Hall. Or Berkey Hall. Or Akers Hall. Or Hubbard Hall. If you don't know MSU's campus, this is meaningless. As I said, MSU's campus is massive. It would probably take me 15 minutes to walk from Berkey to the Chemistry Building or from the Chemistry Building to Hubbard Hall. There were reports all over. At the time, we still did not have any information of casualties. We did not even know how many shooters there were. Maybe one? Maybe three? It was, as I say, chaos.

At one point, there was a lot of concern in Akers Hall, which is across the street from Holmes Hall. At one point, one police officer said that he could smell gunpowder. Might be a gun, might be fireworks, but he could smell it. All I could think about were my students, hiding in their rooms, maybe peaking out the windows watching a police raid in the building across the street. What must that have been like? It's one thing if this is happening two miles away on the other side of campus. It's still scary, but it's out of sight. It's not supposed to happen here. Except it did. Across the street. As I listened to the scanner, I was just hoping never to hear about Holmes.

At that point, national news media had picked up the story and were covering it. This was probably two hours into the ordeal. I decided to turn off the scanner and watch the news media to help with my stress and with the realization that police were responding to every panicked call from students, and that made it difficult to track what was going on. The news media would help filter those details into what was known and not known.

At that point, we knew that there was one dead and several injured. At MSU. It wasn't supposed to happen here. The main focus seemed to be on north campus: Berkey Hall and the Student Union. At 11pm (2.5 hours after the initial text), police held a press conference to let the public know what was going on. One dead and five injured and transported to Sparrow Hospital. Still didn't know how many shooters there were, if it was a student or faculty, or where they were. They shortly after released a picture of the person.

There was more panic and chaos as it came clear that this person was still at large and police, seemingly, had no idea where he was. He could be holed up in one of the campus buildings. He could be holding students hostage. He could be on the run. We just didn't know anything. As time went by, it came clear to me that he was on the run. There was no information on additional casualties or any sign from him. Police were scheduled to give another press conference at midnight. Midnight came and went and no news. I was getting tired, but I would not be able to sleep until I saw this resolved. After all, I'm sure my students weren't sleeping. How could I? The delay in the press conference got me thinking that they found the suspect. My suspicions were confirmed when, at 12:32am, police held a news conference saying that they person matching the suspect's description was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They believed he acted alone and the shelter-in-place order was lifted. They announced that there were three dead and five wounded and in critical condition.

I went to sleep and slept fitfully. The following days were a bit of a blur, if I'm being honest. I have shifted between crying at the thought of this happening on my beloved MSU to anger that this happened again. The eight victims were all students. Students! They came here to learn. They came to fall in love with MSU like I did. That was taken from them by someone who had no affiliation with the school. It was a random act of violence. The police named the students: Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandra Verner. The weight of this heinous act started settling on me. Campus was closed for the following two days and a candlelight vigil was held at the Rock. I could not go to it, but I watched online.

I was only tangentially involved in this. I will have to heal like all, and I will have to help my students heal. I am going through many of the common responses associated with traumatic experiences. I'm looking for blame. After this happened, the Rock was painted to say "How many more?" The day of the vigil, someone repainted it in the middle of the night to say "Let us defend ourselves and carry on campus." This sent me into a rage. Guns are the problem. Having more guns would not solve this. And this is one of the things I think is important to emphasize for people on the outside looking in. The police scanner at the time was chaotic. Students called in any suspicious person. More often than not, the suspicious people were police clearing buildings. If you added a bunch of guns in the hands of panicked young people, there would have been a great deal more deaths and injuries. This is the fallacy of a "good guy with a gun." Yes, the occasional bystander does stop a shooting, but more often than not, they are a hinderance to law enforcement because they have to assume anyone with a gun is a threat. I am glad that this message quickly got painted over.

I'm looking for blame. I know that. But I'm also tired of this happening. I got angry at Newtown. At Parkland. At Uvalde. And now it happened at MSU. It wasn't supposed to happen here. And this is different. To be on the inside of this experience, I understand a little better those people who have to deal with mass shootings and the after effects of them.

I also want to take a minute to call out the media. As this was happening, while we didn't know all of the details, I said that this would be in the news for two days, then by Wednesday, it would be gone. I was not too far off. I write this on Thursday. Most national media is not covering it anymore. My community is still broken. It is going to be broken for a long time. It is infuriating that it is a two day story and then move onto something else. Furthermore, they focused on the bad and not the good. They didn't cover the student who ripped their shirt off to staunch the blood of a victim. They didn't cover the thousands who showed up to the vigil. They didn't cover the vigils that happened at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Grosse Point, Clawson High School, or the moments of silence at various athletic events around the nation. MSU was just one more statistic. Where is the coverage of the people?

They did not show the best of Michigan State University. I love this school because, despite having 50,000 students and 10,000 faculty/staff, across a 5200 acre campus, we are a close community. Parents were driving random students back home to their families. Businesses were offering spaces to heal. So many medical professionals showed up at local hospitals to treat the wounded that some were turned away. This is how I want to remember MSU.

I went to campus for the first time today, three days after this happened. It was eerie how quiet campus was. On a normal Thursday, students would be all over, parking lots would be full. Not today. I wanted to visit Sparty and the Rock and the buildings where it happened. I did, and I was overwhelmed. There were hundreds of flowers. There were random people standing and reflecting. The love, and strength, and resolve was overwhelming. We would not let this dark time define us. I cried.

It won't be the last time either. I have class on Tuesday. I initially was going to just do what we were supposed to do this week next week, but as the days went on, I realized that I am not going to be ready. I'm sure many of my students won't be either. We will have some sort of discussion. I have been reflecting on what I want to say. What I need to get off my chest. It is not fair that the student experience I had was robbed from my students. It is not fair that students so quickly and readily acquiesced to the "Run, Hide, Fight" mandate from the police because they were doing shooter drills most of their lives. It is not fair that campus will not feel safe for them anymore. I tell my students that I consider Briggs to be a family - which is why I get teary-eyed at saying goodbye to them. The thought that this happened to them and scarred them for life is almost too much to bear.

We're not a statistic. We are a community in pain. As the inevitable debate around school safety and guns rages after this, I implore people to think of those who actually were in it. Think of their fear. Their confusion. The lasting scars - both physical and emotional. The time for inaction is at an end. We have to change this. I don't wish this on anyone. Spartan Strong is a good reflection of this community, but strength isn't measured in how much you can lift, but how much you can bear. We're bearing a lot right now. We will get through it, but it is going to take time.

I am writing this mostly as part of my healing process. I'm very empathetic, so when I watched news of other shootings, I got emotional. But this is so much different. I hope I can convey that. I hope that people reading this can get a perspective "from the inside." After watching news of other shootings, it was easy for me to dissociate from it because it was happening in a different town or state. I could be empathetic, but it didn't impact me personally. I was always an advocate for gun reform, but this has given me a different perspective that I'm not sure I am articulate enough to express. It wasn't supposed to happen here.

I also do this for my students, for the students in the hospital, and for Arielle, Brian, and Alexandra. What else can I do other than share my story to help them?

It's been a while since I posted in the blog, but I hope to get back to it more. I'm creating a series of videos on my Youtube channel which should hopefully provide some insight into the editing process to help you all with your own edits.

One of the most important things that photographers can do is keyword their photos in a program like Adobe Lightroom. If you take thousands of photos, as I do, finding one of your photos can be a challenge. By keywording, you can simply search for the subject you're interested in and all of your photos with the associated tags will pop up. This also is important for selling photos on stock agencies! If someone else is searching from Eastern Gray Tree Frog, you want to be sure that your photo of an Eastern Gray Tree Frog pops up in their search results.

I won't repeat what I put in the video as I'll post it below so that you can watch it yourself. But in my video, I say that you can download my keyword list from my website. So if you are looking for that list, you can click on the link below to download it for your own use. Enjoy!

JP Lightroom Keywords
Download TXT • 1.59MB

Cascade in the Grampians National Park

It has been very long since I last updated and that is in part because there hasn't been much going on since my last update. Well, up until the beginning of April that is. So let me briefly get you up to date for the time between the last update and the beginning of April.

Cascade in Kosciuszko National Park

I went back up to Kosciuszko National Park to aid in another round of the corroboree frog clay model study. My "official" role was to be a photographer. I was to set up camera traps with clay models and see if we could capture predators on camera. I, also, was to use a full spectrum DSLR camera (can see into visible spectrum and UV - normal cameras can't do that and you need a special conversion done to the camera) to take pictures of attacked and unattacked models so that we can do visual modeling to see if there was any difference between conspicuousness of unattacked and attacked models. I was keen to try this method out as, while getting the equipment to do it costs several thousand dollars, that is far cheaper than a spectrometer which is on the scale of $10K-$20K depending on the model you get. Long term, when I have my own lab, this camera might be a viable option for me. Despite being the photographer, I was roped into placing models, which I had reservations for because the method had been changed from the last excursion to do grids rather than transects. In theory, either method is acceptable and is represented in the literature. In practice, however, grids, in my opinion, are tedious and cost more in time for little benefit for this experiment. I expressed these concerns, but it was decided to do grids anyway. So be it, I'm not the lead on this project. Without going into too much detail, I had the worst field day in recent memory (placing grids in 45F, 30+mph winds, hail, and sleet) and we had a low attack rate on our models. At the moment, I don't know what, if any, the results are. But I did get camera traps out and photos of models. All in all, there were headaches and benefits to be had.

Blue Mountains National Park

And that, more or less, was this big event that happened since my last post. I did get to explore a little more around Sydney and went to the Blue Mountains National Park and Royal National Park, but it's been quiet since. Now onto the meat of this post, and this will be long as I'm covering two weeks of going through Victoria, so if you need to use the bathroom, I would recommend going now. The weather is finally starting to turn for the better for finding my frogs. The frogs in the genus Pseudophryne are largely fall breeders that wait for the autumn rains to trigger breeding choruses. Those were supposed to start in mid March but thanks to El Niño, they were pushed back a few weeks and were rather pathetic. I had planned my first trip into the field on April 1 to Victoria, and I was admittedly worried that I was going to be wasting time and energy when the frogs weren't calling. I obsessively checked forecasts for Victoria, hoping to see rain, but only saw sun with one low chance of rain in the ten day forecast. I decided to go and not postpone after talking to a friend who was confident that I should have no problem finding frogs despite the rain. I decided to start my 5892km trip in eastern Victoria

Dendy's Toadlet (Pseudophryne dendyi) from Croajingolong National Park

on the outskirts of Croajingolong National Park where I had done my clay model study last austral winter. I was quite nervous about my ability to find these frogs because they are largely fossorial, and I've never found one on my own before (I have been shown a spot where some occur, and found one there, but I haven't found my own locations). I had recordings of their calls and a general idea of where to look, but beyond that, I was on my own. After 8 hours of driving, I got to Cann River and decided, rather than rest, to start looking and see how difficult my research was going to be. Within 20 minutes of my driving down one of my target roads, I found a chorus. And with a little luck, I caught my first P. dendyi. What a relief! I should note at this point that these frogs are a real pain to find. They are easy to locate by their calls, but finding the frogs is a different matter entirely. Like I said, they're fossorial. The males construct little bowls just under the leaf litter and call in them. This helps amplify the sound. It also makes it difficult to tell where they are calling from as it, at times, causes them to throw their voices, as it were. I found the best technique for finding them is triangulation. Figure out where you think they're calling from in one direction, then move to the side and get a better idea. Doing this seemed to be pretty successful. The part I really hate about my research is that I have to euthanize the frogs I collect. I want to get information on the toxins, the stomach contents, and genetics, and simply, to do so, I have to euthanize the frogs. There is no way around it. Making matters worse is that the males of these frogs guard eggs, so if I take a male, the eggs lose their protector. If I take a female, this time of year, she is filled with eggs. It's a no win. My collection, thus, has been one individual per chorus. Generally, that individual is a male and in that case, I do my best to collect males that are not guarding eggs.

Male Dendy's Toadlet guarding eggs

I ended up finding 6 P. dendyi without too much difficulty, thankfully. I decided only to collect ~6 individual per location (which were roughly 100km apart) in an effort to get broad sampling and not get biased by one area. I also collected 2 Crinia signifera as part of a project for one of my committee members in Mississippi. I had to process these animals shortly after collection in an effort to halt digestion. I ended up collecting two additional P. dendyi (a male and a female) to take pretty photos of the following morning as well as to get scientific photos (with the aforementioned DSLR). Those two were released after their star treatment. And then I was off to the next location 100km away near Lakes Entrance. There, I should be able to find both P. dendyi and

Belly pattern of the Southern Toadlet (Pseudophryne semimarmorata)

P. semimarmorata. I spent the day scouting possible roads to drive along, listening for calls, and then waited for dark when I would go out to collect frogs. Like the night previous, I found it easy to find frogs, but this time I found only P. semimarmorata (and Crinia, but they're ubiquitous). Pseudophryne semimarmorata are weird for the genus because they are pretty dull dorsally (common in many species in the genus), but on their bellies, they have the typical black and white reticulations found throughout the genus and bright red arms, legs, and chins (only visible ventrally), the latter trait being unique to this species. And man is it bright! It perplexes me as to why a frog that lives underground would need such bright coloring and have it only on their bellies. That is a question I really want to answer but will probably have to be sought after my PhD. And the same deal as the night previous where I collected two animals for the star treatment and processed the rest. At this point, I was feeling pretty confident that all of my concerns about wasted time were not necessary, but whenever you start getting overconfident, life has a way of putting you in your place. The next spot was near Toongabbie, a spot where P. dendyi occur and they are very yellow. I wanted to find these frogs last time but had no success. I was reasonably confident that that would not be the case this time around because of my success the previous two nights. Unfortunately, this area was significantly drier than the other places and after driving over 100km listening for frogs (on roads I'm sure the car rental company would have issue with), I didn't hear a single frog calling. It wasn't until I got to my campsite that was on the edge of a dried swamp that I heard a few feeble calls from the swamp. At this point, it was about 48F and the frogs were not excited about that. The single noted calls might be spaced minutes apart which made triangulation frustratingly difficult. In the end, the frogs were in sphagnum mounds, but I couldn't find a single frog. I was bound to have some nights where I wouldn't get my quota, I was just disappointed that it happened with Toongabbie. Again.

You Yangs Regional Park outside of Geelong

When I choose my sites, I had the general idea that they should be approximately 100km apart. I should be able to collect 5 or so frogs from each spot for each species that occurs there and be able to get my quota allowed by my permit. After Toongabbie, I was a little worried that the trend of dry areas would continue and my sampling would not be as thorough as I would have hoped. Indeed, after I left Toongabbie, I went to Geelong where, on quick examination, I realized that it was like pre-desert and far too dry for frogs. Driving to the one reserve I hoped to find frogs, I actually saw dust clouds pop up. Rather than waste a day, I decided to keep going and start on the Great Ocean Road which goes from Geelong along the coast to Warrnambool and is one of the spots recommended to go as a tourist to really see the landscape of Victoria. I went half way to get to the Otways which are the mountains on this jut of land. As before, I went out at sunset and

Dry waterfall in Otways National Park

tried to find frogs. Unfortunately, as before, I didn't find any. It was just too dry. I went to two waterfalls during the day in hopes of doing some long exposure photography. The waterfalls, for all intents and purposes, were completely dry. That night, however, I got some much needed rain, which did get other frogs calling, but not the species I was looking for. While the range maps do indicate that the frogs should be in the Otways, public records show a lack of records in the area, so it's possible that there aren't Pseudophryne there, wet or dry. So onto the next spot: just east of Portland.

Shipwreck Coast along the Great Ocean Road

This allowed me to complete the drive on the Great Ocean Road and see the rest of the southern coast. And is it magnificent! Most of the coast is comprised of sheer limestone cliffs that rise 100 feet above the ocean. It's also known as the Shipwreck Coast because so many wrecks happened in the settlement period and gold rush of Australia. The sea has carved this coast into exquisite beauty that

Wet Koala on the Great Ocean Road

photos really cannot do justice. The other reason to take the Great Ocean Road was to get my koala. I did not see a wild koala the last time I was in Australia, and every time I mentioned it, people would say that they're everywhere in Victoria, and specifically, on the Great Ocean Road. And that proved true when I saw a few tourists on the side of the road taking a picture of something. I quickly stopped and saw a koala happily munching on some eucalyptus. That was not the only one I saw. I ended up seeing half a dozen more along the road as I drove to Portland. This next area was supposed to be on the edge of a good concentration of Pseudophryne semimarmorata, so I was a bit more hopeful that I wouldn't lose out of another day's sampling. Unfortunately, despite the rain of the night before, the frogs were not calling, so another shot day. The following day, I moved a little further west

Southern Toadlet from western Victoria

to Dartmoor, which should be right in the center of this distribution. If the frogs were here, I should find them. It look a while and it was much harder than eastern Victoria, but I did finally find frogs here. All Pseudophryne semimarmorata and interestingly, they looked somewhat different from the ones I found at Lakes Entrance. The red patches of the LE frogs where instead more yellowish-orange in these western frogs. It makes me curious if there will be any differences in toxin content between the populations. I'm glad I was able to get such distance populations because if there are any differences, I'm more likely to find the in the far edges. At this point in my trip, I had to make some decisions. It is obviously much drier than I was expecting and finding frogs far more difficult west of Melbourne. The second half of the trip was planned to be a northern loop in hopes of getting some high elevation frogs. With it so dry and sampling so sparse, I decided that I would probably be better to concentrate my sampling where I know there are frogs and that conditions are favorable rather than gamble for good conditions. I would try a couple more northerly populations, but otherwise head back south and east to increase my sampling there. So the plan now was to go to the Grampians followed by Bendigo, and then head to Toongabbie and work backwards from there sampling in between where I had already sampled.

Tantanoola Caves

When I left the following morning, I decided, since I was on the border, to go into South Australia and visit Tantanoola Caves. This served two purposes. First, assuming the rest of my plans work out, I should have hit every Australian state on this trip. Send, I needed some time to kill and I haven't been to any caves while here. I'm glad I stopped at what essentially appeared like a tourist trap pit spot on the side of the road. It may be that, but the caves, which were small, were pretty magnificent. They were easily the most decorated caves I've been in. Unfortunately, they were tourist-ified I that they were made wheelchair accessible and had sidewalks throughout the cave. They also had lighting thorough the cave, which at first I didn't care for, but it did help with dramatic lighting for photos. For a spot that I decided to go on a whim, it turned out to be a pretty cool stop. And then I was off to the Grampians. I decided to stay at the Rockland Reservior which sounded like there should be water, and thus, frogs, there. When I got there, however, it was bone dry. The campsite I had chosen was right next to the reservoir and had a boat launch. When I went to the boat launch, however, I didn't see any water for as far as the eye could see. This wasn't going to work, so I decided to leave and try a spot on the southern part of the Grampians mountains and then access the eastern side which, looking at satellite imagery, looked far more promising. Unfortunately, it too was far too dry for frogs.

MacKenzie Falls in Grampians National Park

The following morning, I wanted to see some of the Grampians which are a rather curious feature on the landscape. They are a mountain chain that popped up in the middle of no where. They also happen to be one of Victoria's most popular national parks. And where there are mountains, there are waterfalls, and I was aching to do some waterfall photography. I got up quite early in an effort to avoid the weekend crowd and because I had a long drive to Bendigo later in the day. If I was to see this park, I'd need several hours to do so. I started out at Silverband Falls which, after a 5 minute walk which brought me to a completely dry stream bed, I turned around without even going to the falls, knowing that they, too, would be dry. My second shot was MacKenzie Falls which were advertised as being a year-round waterfall. It is also one of the most popular spots in the Grampians. But I got there largely before the crowd and could take my time photographing the falls. There maybe was not as much water flowing over the falls as in other times during the year, but I actually like that because you can better see the features of the falls rather than a complete curtain of water. Still with time, I decided to continue down along the river to a second fall, Fish Falls. This waterfall was much prettier and more photogenic. I spent quite a bit of time photographing the different levels of these falls before calling it and heading back to my car and then onto Bendigo.

Fish Falls in Grampians National Park

I wanted to check out around Bendigo because supposedly high yellow Pseudophryne bibronii can be found around there. Like with the Toongabbie frogs, I really wanted to get these high yellow frogs because they are so different from the rest of the range. However, when I got to my campsite, it became blatantly apparent that I was unlikely to find my quarry. Bendigo, too, was very dry. I held onto hope that the recent rains left some moisture, but in digging through some very deep leaf litter, it was completely dry throughout. And as I would have thought, when I went out at night, I didn't hear any frogs calling, even though the habitat looked suitable. Another bust. But hopefully, from here on out, my successes will increase. Starting with Toongabbie the following day. Third time's a charm, right?

Toongabbie Dendy's Toadlet composite

It was a long drive to go from Bendigo to Toongabbie but I decided to camp in the same spot that I did before because I heard frogs calling in the dry swamp adjacent to the campsite but I was unable to find them last time. I also wanted to scout areas where I may find the infamous Toongabbie frog. After doing that, as the sun went down, I started in the swamp. Persistence netted me two Pseudophryne semimarmorata which was great (wasn't sure what was calling there - could have been either P. semimarmorata or P. dendyi), but not my target. I headed to the mountains closer to Toongabbie. I drove for perhaps 5 kilometers without hearing a thing and was ready to call the road a bust when I heard a loud chorus of Geocrinia victoriana calling. Generally, where these call, so do Pseudophryne, so I got out of the car to investigate. Initially, I only heard G. victoriana but then I heard the distinctive, single note of a Pseudophryne. This was the moment of truth as this was most likely to be the Toongabbie frog. And after a great deal of searching, I found the culprit which was the frog I was hoping for! As I collected the first one, two more started calling, so I found them as well. And the distinction between the three frogs was quite striking. They had more yellow than the P. dendyi further east, but they were rather different from one another. When I drove further up the road, buoyed by my success, I ended up finding 4 more, also somewhat variable. This trait is particularly exciting for me as a color evolutionary biologist.

Easternmost population of Southern Toadlet

The following day brought me to Cape Conran which was supposedly the furthest east P. semimarmorata occurs. This would be particularly good to sample because then, I'd have samples from two extremes of this species. Unfortunately, I was not as successful as I was hoping (I should also be able to find P. dendyi in this area). After a bit of work and a lot of driving, I ended up finding 4 P. semimarmorata which was better than nothing.

I must admit that the lackluster success of the previous night did not give me great confidence as I headed further east, basically where I started this whole trip. I did have success the first night and my next site was only 50km away from there up in the mountains a bit, but the night previous left me worried because I saw plenty of spots where frogs should be calling, but didn't hear any frogs. Was it going to be the same for this mountain area? On the plus side, the campground I decided to stay at was beautiful and secluded right next to the Ada River

Gang-Gang Cockatoo drinking from the Ada River

(a stream, really) and had tons of animal life around it. My hopes for a successful night came when I heard the distinctive one note call right in front of the campground latrine. I didn't know what to expect here because I was at higher elevation than the first night, and at higher elevations, P. dendyi tend to have greater amounts of yellow. When I uncovered the calling male, however, it looked just like the lower elevation individuals. Interesting, nonetheless. The night ended up being my most successful, collecting 9 P. dendyi in a couple hours. I needed a good night like this one. And after that, I headed back to Sydney for a brief respite before heading onto Queensland!

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