Another Mysterious Silence

Morning all,

My apologies for the lack of posts recently. There are of course a few posts on my time up in the northern territory in prep at the moment. Unfortunately due to the volunteer agreement with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, I can’t publish a photo until it has been ok’d by the AWC media person. This means it might be a little while before anything gets posted.

An arbitrary picture of me to keep your eyes happy
An arbitrary picture of me to keep your eyes happy

In the meantime, I’ve spent a couple of weeks up in Cairns and Melbourne doing a bit of planning. Melbourne is a delightful change of place, as it is actually cold here. It reminds me of the UK in late autumn. Melbourne itself is a lovely city, which I believe has just won the award for the world’s most “liveable” city (which it has won several times before)… whatever that means. It’s very relaxed but upbeat. There are more coffee shops than I know what to do with, and it seems that everyone in the city goes to these coffee shops to have meetings… all the time. I’m glad that in addition to my various hiking gear I have a smart shirt… they don’t need to know that it cost $2 from a charity shop…

The other excellent thing about Melbourne is its vast array of outdoor equipment shops. This is particularly handy as I plan for the next phase of my trip which is going to involve a lot more of the walking aspect of the overarching “walking and Ecology” theme of this blog. More on that once it’s more thoroughly planned though.

I’ve also just been off on a slightly different tourist experience, on a road trip with Dan (from Singapore). Unfortunately my camera is currently not talking to my tablet, and indeed it died half way through the trip anyway, meaning pictures are not going to be available for a while, and blog posts are going to be rare. In the meantime, I’m off to Scotia, another AWC sanctuary, to do some spotlighting and mammal trapping surveys for a few weeks. Hopefully that will be the source of a few more posts… if I ever get clearance to post some photos.

Anyway, my apologies for the huge lack of posts. I’ll fix it asap.

Until next time


Brief Catch up

Morning all,

After a long (long long long long) break, I’m back. It turns out writing a PhD thesis is somewhat draining, and while I have managed to get out a fair bit, I’ve not managed to do much writing (…you may have noticed).

That being said, a quick glance through the photos on my camera (I’m now using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ35) show two good little wanders I’ve done: a 4 day trip to Scotland with some biologist friends, and a day trip to Keswick, which I’ll write posts about in the not too distant future.

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I’m currently still living around Sheffield (though a different part of Sheffield, with new places to wander), with one or two exciting irons in the fire (not literally) for the next few months.

In the meantime, due to the technicalities of travel (and not being able to carry too much stuff with me on a train), I’ve started drifting into the world of minimalism. For those who don’t know (the majority, I suspect), minimalism is basically living with less stuff so that life is a bit more simple. I’ve now been living for a month or so using only the stuff I could fit into my 45 litre rucksack. It’s certainly an interesting experiment, however I’m finding that not much has changed… which makes me wonder why/how I managed to fill a whole massive estate car with stuff when I left my old house. It also makes me wonder if I can manage using a smaller bag (perhaps 30 litres). A particularly interesting challenge heading toward winter….

While this generally hasn’t affected my rambling/ecological habits, what has changed is the footwear I now use when walking. I’ve ventured into the world of “barefoot running shoes” and got myself a pair of Merrell Trail gloves. These are basically superlight shoes with very flexible soles and absolutely no ankle support whatsoever. If you stroll back to my previous post about footwear, you’ll notice that back then I was using full walking boots. I’m still a big fan of walking boots, however particularly in the current hot weather we’re having, the breathable fabric and lightweight nature of the trail gloves is fantastic. They also have a vibram sole, which is very tough, and has a good grip on it too, making them excellent for longer walks.

My Merrell Trail Gloves

Finally in terms of this catch up, I’m very pleased to say I passed my PhD viva the other day (with minor corrections, for anyone who’s interested), so now I’m trying to figure out what people do when they aren’t writing up a thesis.

Anyway, that’s just a vague post to catch up on where I am, and what I’m doing. More content will be coming soon

Mysterious silence

Morning all,

Just thought I’d write a very quick post to apologise for the massive lack of posts going up here for the past few months.

I’m currently studying a PhD, and am now in the “terrified because the end is almost upon me” stage. Sadly that means I’ve had very little time to get out and about, and when I’ve had time to do that, I’ve not had time to write about anything.

This post is essentially just a place-holder, to say sorry all has been silent for a while, and I’ve not vanished, I’m just hibernating in a big horrible mess of thesis stress.

The Rambling Ecologist should be returning vaguely properly in the summer.

Until then, wish me luck.


The pre-ramble

Morning all,

In this blog you’ll find my thoughts on a range of topics relating to walking and ecology (particularly where the two topics meet… somewhere outside).

The aim of this blog is to help me (an ecologist and rambler) to learn more about the ecology of my local area and improve my walking experience, but also to inspire you to get out and about and see what nature is doing where you live too.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey of discovery, and offer thoughts and questions along the way.

So without further ado (except for a gratuitous picture of a fantastic wood), welcome to “The Rambling Ecologist”.

Wyming brook, one of my local nature reserves.
Wyming brook, one of my local nature reserves.

P.S. I apologise for the awful pun in the title… actually, that’s a lie, I’m quite pleased with it. You can expect more where that came from.