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No hum drum here


Louise Edwards

Another day full of adventure. So many passionate scientists doing their ‘thing’. I really enjoyed walking in another new area of the National Park, in particular, Site E. Each area of the Park has been divided into areas to help communicate and therefore label samples consistently. Today 2 new scientists were out in the field for the first time and I had the opportunity of joining them on their botanical survey. Matt and Gerry are from the Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns. Experienced botanists they walked the landscape searching for plants they don’t recognise or that have not been reported to be present in this area before. The best samples are in flower or fruiting. The photo attached was known to the area and is called Drummondita Calida . The species of this flowering plant have strong scents and have flowers that divide into 4 or 5 parts. The first recorded collected samples were taken by a landholder botanist from South West Western Australia called Drummond. He road on horseback and collected 10 to 15 replicates and packaged 200 to 300 species of plants and sold them in Europe. After a day in the field the Matt and Gerry then spent the night preparing the samples for drying. Each sample is laid out in-between newspaper sheets, then placed between 2 cardboard sheets with about 30 samples per package. Each set is bounded tightly to compress. The final stage requires the bounded samples to be placed above a dryer of 40oC for a day. I feel so lucky and privileged to be part of such a unique experience. My mind is swimming with ideas. Can’t wait to work with the students on ? yes can’t give away the surprises and yes multiple surprises as this experience could keep me going on new experiences for years.