Travel Adventure Novels (in progress)
Photo-journal of highlights of the adventures in the “Girl Among Beasts” Non-fiction memoirs volunteering with animals in Australia (Bird Plastic Project and Kangaroo Behavior study), Peru (Amazon macaws), and Germany (monkey-mountain project).
1- Australia book: completed at 52,000 words, querying now.
2- Peru book: is in draft 1, written at 46,000 words.
3- Germany Monkey Mountain: is fully outlined in bullet-points at 25,000 words.
While working in the Amazon rainforest in Peru, there was a huge storm which took out one of the pathways. I was very excited to see the variable landscape, including the entire way to the campsite underwater behind me. Atop the huge tree pictured here is one of the Macaw nests we were studying.
A view of the macaws eating at the clay lick. They eat the clay for nutrients.
See more Pics from this project with Macaw conservation in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest on their facebook page below. (the only one of the conservation projects I did with an organized / established group)
One of the females in our behavior study on wild kangaroos: The goal was to watch them graze, and then approach one female at a time (There were scientific standards to this process, I can assure you!) and determine “flight distance” which means, how close I can get power-walking towards her before she runs away. The purpose was to test female shyness and aggression. I was selected as a a volunteer “stranger” who was unfamiliar to the group of roos, unlike the familiar regular 2 researchers. The 3 of us stayed in an old condemned ranger’s station in the rural Australian outback, far from any city, in the state of Queensland.
While studying Kangaroo behavior, and staying in an abandoned ranger station, we were supposed to go out into the field to find them. However, waking up after a nap, we were surrounded: an large male (don’t mess with) jumped the fence and lead a group of females to graze inside the yard. With a whole field of nice, non-competitive grass out there, I can only shrug as to why he would do so. We were totally surrounded! They stared us down and wouldn’t let us leave the house. :o
Working on a bird-plastic study (one of the first, in 2013), which involved locating and dissecting dead seabird stomachs, to see if they had eaten plastic, and what kinds. All birds had been found dead, or died against all attempts to recover. Study contained over 100 diverse species (from seagulls, turns, gannets, gulls, ibis, and many more) at the University of Queensland, and found that this is a problem in Australia and worldwide. The paper has been published now.
I didn’t have a great camera at that time, unfortunately. On “Monkey-Mountain” there were wild monkeys living in rural Germany with a large Jurassic-Park style fence around it, and we hung out with them for 12-hours per day, studying their behavior and social habits.
Here is an old-man monkey, one of the 60-monkeys in the troupe, seen here hanging out on a log…. So like us.
During the monkey project, we lived in tight quarters, above a farm house with six people living in each other’s faces. It was hell. We fought, people cried, drama and tensions escalated… we were far less civilized than the monkeys we had come here to study.