Wednesday March 3 2010
Today was our free day. Our coach would not drive to Glenorchy, which was a place we all wanted to visit. Last night when we were considering what to do about this Hannah suggested renting a van. We all agreed that was a great option and rented a van for the day. We drove to Glenorchy and saw some of the best scenery I've seen on the trip so far. Mountain vistas, Glaciers, Lakes, Waterfalls, Rivers . . . etc.
We found a nice trail, called the Rathbourn, in the Aspiring National Park. This was the event of my trip thus far. This forest was like I have never seen before. Against Hanna's advice I ventured off the trail along the trap lines. I got some nice photos of 1080 poison traps for ferrets, stoats, and possums. Since my study is on possums as a pest in New Zealand. The ground was all covered in moss and felt like walking on a sponge. The group walked much farther than I expected them to be able to go, but I caught up with them further up the trail. We returned to the van and got some lunch at a local diner.
After lunch we went to the Glenorchy black marshes and Glenorchy lake and viewed black swans. There were also other waterfowl such as New Zealand Scaup. The walk around the marshes was quite nice and very scenic. We returned to the Hotel that evening and most were too tired to continue, but I still had a mission and we had a van to do it with.
Bracken, Stewart, Myself and Dr. Potapov took the van and our night equipment out to find some possums. We found many rabbits (I lost count at 20), three feral cats, and four possums. We were only able to get usable photographs of the last possum that Stewart spotted. Consequently the possum is now named Stuart. By the time we found the fourth possum it was time to find our way back to the Hotel and get some much needed rest after a long day.
By, Laird Klippenstein