One of the laws of being rubbish at blogging is that pretty much every other post has to be a pitiful set of excuses about why you’ve not posted anything recently, and that you’ll get back to it soon, for serious this time you guys, etc.
Except that, this time, I’m not doing that. You know why? Because my excuses are AWESOME.
Try this one on for size: I got married.
And then, after that, I went on honeymoon. To Borneo. For 3 weeks.
It was THE BEST.
I’m planning (hah!) to do a few posts on my trip, but for now I’ll leave you with a few photos from the first national park we stayed in, Sarawak’s rather amazing Bako NP.
Obligatory fly porn
Silver leaf langur
A fiddler crab celebrates his victory
Cicada : banana interface
One of many stick insects
A rather lovely butterfly
Bearded pig enjoys a sunset stroll on the beach
Big spider, chomping on something that was also quite big.
Tiny jumping spider eating a wasp.
I’m pretty glad I invested in a new camera before going away – it was an incredible place to visit.
As for now, I’m gearing up to head off to Lisbon for ESEB 2013 – my poster is waiting to be printed, so now I just have to send begging emails to really smart people in the hope that I can get them to stand near me and I can gain knowledge from them via osmosis (or talking to them, whichever feels less weird at the time).
I have started a new ‘tradition’ at home, in which I create a calendar of some photos that I’ve taken over the previous 12 months; I just finished the one for this year, so thought that I’d put up the photos that I have selected (including a couple of bonus mammal shots to round out the animal groups a little…!).
In 2012, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around Scotland a fair amount, and got a few nature firsts here – crossbills, vivaparous lizards, and finally saw the magnificent capercaillie (and ran away from it as it chased me and a very famous evolutionary biology professor up a path!). I also went to Sweden for a quantitative genetics workshop (where I learnt to love long johns as much as matrix algebra), took a trip to Canada (where I gave my first talk at a major international conference, Evolution 2012), and holidayed in Barbados (where Kirsty and I celebrated our engagement). The final bonus photo in this gallery is actually from 2013, and I hope it is a portent of good things to come!
A butterfly in Farley Hill National Park, Barbados.
Thousands of gannets nest on Bass Rock, an island in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.
A crossbill in the Cairngorms National Park, in the Highlands of Scotland.
A rogue male capercaillie in Speyside, Scotland; this guy chased myself and Professor Doug Futuyma up the path several times!
A dragonfly takes a breather by the river in High Park, Toronto.
A hairy crab on the beach at Bathsheba, Barbados.
Green-throated carib hummingbird, Barbados.
Long-horned beetle feasting on red berries in High Park, Toronto.
Anolis lizard checking out the new guests in our hotel in Barbados.
Gray kingbird looking nonplussed by the weather in Barbados (hurricane season).
A crab spider sucks the juices out of its prey, in Canada.
A juvenile red-winged blackbird in High Park, Toronto.
Waxwings strip the trees bare, in the glamorous location of Morrison’s supermarket car park, Stirling, Scotland.
Bonus picture #1: my first ever bear sighting! In Canada, of course…
Bonus picture #2: taken today, an otter exits the river right outside my flat!
I’m going to post this to Alex Wild’s request for end-of-year photo sets as well; mine certainly won’t compete with most of those on show, so you should go and check them out! There is some RIDICULOUS stuff going on. Hopefully I’ll have a competitive selection next year, as I’m off to Borneo in July for my honeymoon! That’s right: I’m getting married, like a real grown-up person.
Note: I’ve noticed that various people have ended up here after searching for rogue capercaillie in Speyside… I can’t give out the location myself, but I will say that we were taken there by a local wildlife guide, Steve Reddick, who was an excellent host and whose rates are also extremely reasonable!