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Blog 5: Barking Owl Field Camp (Day 17-21)

Final Days!

Today (Day14) we receive a visit from the Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University Professor Glynn Davis and his wife Prof. Margaret Gardener, Vice Chancellor of Monash University. It is a terrific opportunity for us to demonstrate our work in such a spectacular context and for those visiting to appreciate the breath-taking beauty of the Kimberley, as well as the striking importance of this work. We are so grateful to all the visitors who made the time to do this.

With the final days upon us we continue to work long, hard days to ensure we collect as many samples as possible before we run out of time. Dr Alan Finkel, Chancellor of Monash University and publisher of Cosmos magazine, Dr Elizabeth Finkel, Editor in Chief, and Assoc. Prof. Ros Gleadow visit us at the ‘Hatched Kangaroo’ site − a spectacular shelter with ample mud wasp nests, mineral crusts and slab falls associated with a complex interaction of rock art styles to keep everybody happy and busy for two days.

We wave goodbye to the Cosmonauts as well as the Nicholas’, Janet Hergt, Mark Jones, and the Harrisons; and welcome TOs Augustine Unghango and Ethan and Adrian Karadada who advise us on interpretations of the rock art imagery and the logistics of sampling.

On our last day we do a recce of potential future sites for next year’s field season. We enjoy one last chopper ride and cool off for the last time in the Drysdale River. At night we begin the big task of breaking camp which had been made much easier by Robin and Paul who worked tirelessly to pack up whilst we were in the field. We finish our dinner and play a VERY tense game of cards to decide whose job it is to fill in the drop toilets − hard luck Nick…and we won’t forget that Jordy wrestled with what we can only assume was a man-sized scorpion from under his tent that night…and made absolutely no fuss about it 😉

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