"birding Aus" <>
Fri, 12 Oct 2001 14:56:33 +0000
Some years ago an ex-FBI agent ( passenger of a cruiseship on which I was
lecturing) and I tried to cross one of the Aru Islands. We came up
against an impenetrable wall of vegetation and had to backtrack. Of
course the forest looked the same on all sides and he was starting to
look a bit nervous. I led him without hesitation to a little well from
which we'd started, and I haven't the foggiest how I did it, except that
I have a good sense of direction.
I have spent much time in the remote bush, rarely using a GPS or compass
and have never been lost. The only hairy experiences came about because I
relied on a colleague to note where we were.
For instance once during the Wet Season a colleague and I were dropped
near the middle reaches of the Mary River, by helicopter. A few hours
later when it was pitch black and pouring my colleague decided we would
survey the nearby monsoon forest. After an hour or so I asked my friend
if he knew where we were. 'Sure', he replied, 'I've taken an astro fix'!
Luckily, the river was nearby.
Next month, under similar conditions we set off into an even larger patch
of monsoon forest near Corroboree Billabong, and there was no guiding
river nearby. I just made doubly sure my sense of direction was working
that night! Curling up on the ground in that area was not to be
recommended, and not only because of the hordes of mosquitoes!
Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
Follow these direct links to my work on the web:
Four Short Stories
Birds of Darwin Sketches
Birding & Natural History in the Far North
World Birding Event
Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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