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Tylers Going Aussie

One Last Post

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wow! It is great to be home, but I miss Australia. What an amazing trip it was. I got to see so many awesome things in person that most people will never get the chance to see. And along the way I met some great people and made new friends.

Out of all the adventures we had: Moonlit Sanctuary, Great Ocean Road, Healesville Sanctuary, Uluru, the bush camp, the banana farm, Reef HQ, snorkeling on the reef, and the Australia Zoo, my favorite was the reef and the snorkeling. I especially liked following the parrot fish on the reef- cool colors, and the way it used its beak to scrape the dead algae from the coral was interesting. Thank you DSA for this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Throughout our trip there was one thing that I kept noticing. This was how much Australia does to protect the environment. It could be as little as making you put your room key into a slot to use the lights, or separating your trash into different groups - glass, recycle, or trash. It could also be on a bigger level such as the Australia Zoo working to protect tigers which have lost 96 percent of their population in the past 100 years. On our last night in Brisbane we had a group sit down to reflect on this. We each went around and had a chance to share what we might do differently to protect the environment. My response was along the lines of separating trash. I would start doing things the right way such as recycling everything that should be recycled and making sure all my trash gets into the can. After seeing 2 natural wonders of the world and the effects of pollution and coral bleaching, I think if everyone started to do these simple, little things we would all be better off and would still be able to experience the wonders of the world.

So, to anyone who reads this blog, next time the trash can is closer than the recycling can take the liberty to put your paper in the right can and you will have the feeling that you have helped protect our earth (after all, it is the only one we get and the only one that has baseball).

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey everyone, I am little behind on blogs so I'm going to combine yesterday and today as one.

Yesterday we woke up very early but none the less excited to finally go on the reef. The fairy that we rode to orphius was named Challenger 3. Naturally we thought what happened to 1 and 2. Anyway upon arrival our half of the group that rode over first had the whole beach to ourselves. We had water fights, interveiws, and broke open a coconut. When the other group finally arrived we got a rundown on how we would chose a fish to follow and record its eating habits. After our meeting we got suited up and went to the reef. We followed two main species of fish the parrot and butterfly and found that the favorite food was dca or dead coral and algae. Then we came in for lunch which was not surprisingly another sandwich day. After lunch we headed back out to do some transets. A transet is when you lay a tapemeasure out and every meter mark down what was on the ocean floor. We were so tired after this that we went to bed.

This morning we woke up early again and went back to reef hq. Here we compiled our data that we had been collecting the previous day. Then since we had been working so hard we got some free time to go shopping. Since us boys did not care to buy shoes we split off and went strait for the good stuff at the sports store. Tomorrow we are at it again at the Austraila Zoo. Peace out.



Aquarium Adventure

Yesterday we got to sleep in a little. What a treat these days. We started off the day by going to the Reef HQ. By the way, I’m really tired from the so sorry if I miss some events.

Anyway, we started off by going to the theater to get an introduction to the Great Barrier Reef. Did you know the reef was formed was formed over 53 million years ago? Next we watched a power point on the ten main species of fish so we could identify them on the reef. I couldn’t remember all of them but I can remember the Gobi, Surgeon Fish, Lasses, Butterfly, Parrot, and Gropers.

After our morning tea we did some interactive activities that had to do with carbon emissions. In our experiment was put neutral water into a flask with PH detector in as well. Taking just 3 breaths and blowing into the water turned it from neutral to acidic. Based on these numbers think about it on a global level. Next was another interactive activity about food chains. We learned that if and part of a food chain dies out then the rest will die out too. An exception to that rule would be like sea grass dying out from rock beds, but not sand beds, then growing back when the rest of the chains died out.

Our day was concluded with a night tour of the facility were we meet a turtle with floating sickness which we found could have occurred from infection or consumption of plastic. We had a fairly early bedtime set because of the early wake up to catch our ferry. Well so long for now.

Wow What a Day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Every person on this bus is very hungry from all the events we've done. Our day started off with a wake up call that let us sleep in. We didn't get up till 6 =). Anyway our first activity was going to a banana farm. We were greeted by the farm owners with time for tea and crumpets. Mmmmmmmmmm good. Next we rode on the back of the tractor down to the feilds were the bananas were grown. We stopped at this one place and got to go on top of a waterfall. We learned some cool facts such as bananas are a type of flower. Duggan also got a chance to try one of the fresh bananas that had fallen one the ground.

Next we went into the factory where the processing is done. We all got a chance to preform some of the jobs in the factory. And then we were of again in a quest for Townsville. After about an hour and a half we stopped for lunch at the giant gumboot. This giant rain boot was built in dedication to the year 1950 when there was over 4 meters of rain that flooded the town. This boot was also built to attract tourism. They architects thought many people from all over Australia would come to see it but that never happened. After lunch we were back on our way to Townsville.

We arrived in Townsville around 5 or so. We went to Reef HQ first thing. It was here that we learned what we would do over the next couple of days on the reef. Some quick facts about the reef for you is that it is the size of 75,000 soccer fields, has over 1500 species of fish, and there are still at least 1000 undiscovered species on the reef alone. After we learned about our agenda, we were introduced to the clown fish that had his picture taken for the animators of "Finding Nemo." In fact all the animal picture except for the whales and sharks came from Reef HQ. When were out on the reef we have a chance of running into 3 types of shark: bull, great white, and tiger. But no need to worry. We have a 6 times more chance of dying from a vending machine falling on us and 15 times more chance of dieing from a cork hitting you. Once again no need to worry. Our next event was training. Although Alec didn't want even go I got him to have a really fun time trying on equipment and learning different moves. Well so long for now.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Yesterday we woke up bright and early. Well not really bright because the sun was not out yet. Anyway we crawled out of our sleeping bags and cleaned ourselves up. After a quick breakfast we made our way onto the 4 wheel drive coach. Although we slipped and slided a little it was not the same as coming into the camp. Next we made a quick switch over to a much nicer coach to embarck on our 6 hour journey. With some unexpected stops and maneuvers we got in to the cultural center at Uluru rock just in time. Once there we had one of the natives, Cassidy, show us some survival techniques. He showed us the various tools that men, women, and children use. the coolest were the spears that the men use. The men use a speacial tool called a spear thrower to add length to their arm to increase spear speed. Next we learned about traditional dot painting. The dot painting actually tells storys and is not just random. I made a painting of and optimistic sunrise. After we felt like little kindergardeners again we went back to our hotel for a BBQ. At the BBQ along with Ashlee, Shea, and Arron I had kangaroo. Off to bed.

Woke up very early this morning to go catch the sunrise on Uluru rock. None of us thought it was possible but suddenly the sun poked through. It provided us with some incredible shots. It must have been my painting. After the sunrise we got a very breif tour of the rest of the park. We learned that Uluru has not eroded over the years because it erodes from the inside out. After our "tour" we made our way back into town to grab some lunch and board the plane to Cairns. When we arrived in Cairns we were welcomed by heat and humidity. We got our bags and got onto the bus. After stopping for a quick photo op at the beach we arrived at the Croc Farm. We first went to see the exhibit with all of the crocs. We learned that the crocs sex is determined by the temperature of its nest. If its nest is 31 to 32 degrees celsius it will be a boy and any other temperature will be a girl. Next we went to see some various animals that included a toad, snake, walluby and koala.We all got to "hold" the koala witch was lucky because Queensland is the only state than allows you to even touch a koala. Yet again we had another outstanding BBQ and then off to see the Northern Quall. One different thing about the Quall is the female has to bulid up fat on its neck because during mating the male thrashes it around. After this we got back on the coach and headed for the hotel to try and catch some sleep. Well I've got to get to bed so see ya

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another great day at the Ooramimna Bush Canmp! After the short flight from melbourne to Alice sprigs we boarded the coach to get on our way or so we thought. But no in the rare rainstorm out here(they have had 28 cm in the last 7 years) we couldent drive. So after we got our 4 wheel drive coach we were on our way sliping and sliding down the dirt road. When we arrived at the camp we had a delicious BBQ with fresh organic beef. Next we learned a traditional survival technique of making bread. Here's the recipe: put six cups flour in large bowl. Slowly while mixing it in add about a gallon of water. Once the dough is a good consistency knead it and put it into a speacial pan. Finally put all of the pan but the top of under the sand and put hot coals on top. While our bread was cooking we had other buisness to attend. We were divided in half and one group went to whip cracking and the other went to setting up their swags for the night. I finally got the hang of the whip when my finger busted open. No need to worry mom I cleaned it out. Then we swithced stations. While we were setting up our swags the guide keept us intertained with some cool facts. We learnd that all cows on the property(150 thousand acres) were beef cows for one reason. In beef cows 70 percent of energy goes to making them fat while 30 percent goes to making milk. In a milk cow the numbers are reversed so those cows are much skinnier. After our swags were all ready to go we went back and tried the bread we made. With some honey it was delisious. We went on a walk to the old police station and saw the nicest jail I've ever seen. Next we came back and had some dinner. Finally we went out next to a fire and listened to an astronomer talk about the stars. Did you know that on Austrailas flag the 5 stars represent the southern cross and the lone star represents the Commonwealth. We crawled into our swags and fell strait asleep.

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Ready For the Wild Ones

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wow what a great day at the Healesville Sanctuary and the Victoria Market. We started off by looking at a sugar glider that was 10 years old! The sugar glider is a marsupial just like most other animals in Australia. And like all other marsupials there is a embryo that grows in the pouch. The embryo of the sugar glider is about half the size of a grain of rice. Next we did an autopsy of a kangaroo. It was interesting to learn in depth about its digestive track. Although it was a bit smelly.

The second part of our day included an incredible Birds of Prey show. Some of the birds that were featured were the black breasted buzzard and the wedged tailed eagle (Australia's largest eagle). One thing that was very peculiar was the buzzard can pick up rocks with its beak and slam them on eggs of emus to crack them open. It was honestly one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. After the show we were privately introduced to Jess the wedged tailed eagle. Jess is the oldest animal on all of Healesville. Finally we went to the Victoria Market where I literally shopped tell I dropped. So far I have had tons of fun looking at captive animals but now I am ready to fly to Alice Springs tomorrow and start seeing the wild ones! So long for now.
- Tyler

A Day in the Rain Forest

Thursday, May 28, 2009

(Tonight’s blog post was a group effort. All students collaborated to create the post.)

There was a spiral road that never seemed to end. After three hours on the bus, one of our teachers even got sick. (And no – it was not Mrs. Jensen.) On the way to the rain forest we got to see our first wild koalas in the trees along side the road.

After arriving at Otway Fly, it was fun getting our hands dirty as we each planted two trees, one Myrtle Beech and one Mountain Ash.

The Mountain Ash tree is the second largest tree in the world. It can grow up to 150 meters in height. You can tell how old a Mountain Ash tree is by measuring its diameter at about chest high. For every centimeter it is one year old.

The moss grows on the south side of the trees because it avoids the sunlight. This was surprising to us because back home it grows on the north side of trees.

Some of the trees in the rainforest are shaped like a boomerang because another tree has blocked its sunlight. It curves to find the sunlight. This movement of the tree was interesting. The aborigines would make their own tools out of trees, mollusk and kangaroo tail.

We also learned that there are lots of threats to the rainforest including people cutting trees. In just one minute about 10 regular-sized football fields of Amazon rain forest is cut down. Realizing how much forest this actually is, it seems that it could all be destroyed in a matter of years. Without our rainforest, we would have less oxygen and water…both are necessary for life. Yesterday we learned about many endangered frogs. They are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed, due to deforestation.

We walked up the Otway Fly, which was 47 meters high. We got to see a great view of the rain forest below. The rain forest gets 2 meters of rainfall a year. While in the rain forest we got to drink some of the fresh creek water. We were surprised at how clean this water was.

Our second day in Australia was successful. Although it was raining most of our time in the “rain forest” we were still able to soak up some great information along with all the water.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's up everyone. Sorry I haven't blogged for a while, I've just been so busy with baseball, school finals, and any other random stuff that keeps getting in the way! Well anyway just showing my dad how all this "high-tech"  stuff works. Cant wait for Monday night!!!! Talk to you soon.

P.S. Thanks to all of you who have blogged to me 

Amazing Australia

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wow! I cannot believe we going on this trip. Ever since my cousin went to New Zealand I have always wanted to go. It sounds like we will be staying busy with all of the amazing adventures we have planned. Some of the events that I look forward to the most are the snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, zip line, camel riding, getting to meet all the kids that will be traveling with us, and no joke the plane that we get to fly on. Good gravy the walk up snack bar, entertainment, comfort, I am at a loss for words. This is so cool! Well stay with me throughout the trip as I will be blogging all the time. You can also follow me on twitter. Peace out.