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Film Diary / 09.10.2013

The latest email exchange with mollusc expert John Stanisic, who has identified the various snails I have filmed, concluded on a most interesting note this morning. I had sent him 3 nocturnal frames of Semi-slugs on September 27 to which I received a reply yesterday, confirming one identification and requesting further information on the other frames which he stated were both of the same species. I promptly replied, telling him that I had filmed the two in Palm Grove National Park, the first in November 2011, the second in March 2012. Whereat he quickly responded with the identification. He had momentarily forgotten that I only film on Tamborine Mountain. On googling the species, Cucularion parkini (Semi-slug 2 on page 2 of the Night Life album) I found out that it was discovered by John in The Knoll National Park on Tamborine Mountain and written up in 1998, the year I began my video biodiversity artwork. I then sent John a congratulatory email and asked if the mollusc had been found anywhere else since. Which brings us to this morning’s email in which John declared that our sightings were the only others recorded. A true, only on the mountain and nowhere else… Read Complete Text

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Film Diary / 04.10.2013

It was third time lucky after filming was postponed from Wednesday to Thursday and then to Friday. Insects were to the fore in The Knoll National Park and little else, due to a strong, cool wind brought about by a change in the weather. First there were 3 moths on a leaf, two of them mating and oblivious to the effects of the breeze. Dan found a small insect with a greater ratio of body length to antennae length than any I recall filming. I ended up with surreal shots of disembodied antennae waving in vegetation. Amanda found a Net-casting Spider at a good angle for filming. The wind blew the net in and out of focus. Anxious to show Amanda one of our famous male Harvestmen we searched every inch of their rocky habitat to no avail. We did see a less spectacular female on the move and I filmed a Harvestman new to us which Dan found in our search. This was a fitting conclusion to our 90th night shoot of the series.

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Other / 02.10.2013

Today I went to the State Library to sign the Deed of Gift, thereby formally entrusting my archive to its care, and concluding negotiations dating back to 2005. The Deed needs to be signed by a senior Library executive. Once that is done, I will receive my copy of the document. I also handed over the releases signed by the interviewees and a revised script that had not been among the items taken away by Gavin Bannerman and Zenovia Pappas when they came to my place on the 21st of September.

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Film Diary / 25.09.2013

For a combination of reasons, among which was un-Spring-like weather, we did not start our night filming season until the 14th of November last year. Happily Spring has carried on from the warm and sunny August, the first in years, so we enjoyed our first night shoot of the new season. And we were richly rewarded by the abundance of possums in MacDonald National Park, which had been worst hit of all the parks by ex cyclone Oswald and had taken months to reopen. We saw Ring-tail Possums at the park entrance. The first creature I filmed was another Brown Huntsman, but Dan, who is a spider expert, pointed out that its distinctive banding indicated that it had just moulted. Then, I filmed a female Short-eared Brushtail Possum, close to the path and beautifully placed for the camera, with a youngster in its pouch. Deep into the park, we came across another Short-eared, this one with its young on its back, again, beautifully positioned for filming. Finally, close to the end of the circuit, Dan saw a rodent at the junction of the base of a tree trunk and its ground roots, with nowhere to go, allowing me to film… Read Complete Text

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Film Diary / 22.09.2013

On my walk I was brought up short by the sight of an Eastern Water Dragon sunning itself on a rock which becomes submerged after heavy rain forms a pond in an otherwise dry creek bed which it was today. I returned with my camera but the metallic sound of my tripod on footpath, alarmed the reptile, which promptly dropped over the edge of the rock. I set up the camera and waited. I was just explaining what I was after to a couple I know who were strolling past with their dogs, when I caught sight of the Water Dragon clinging to the side of the rock. It didn’t budge and I filmed away. Unfortunately it was alarmed by another passerby and the filming came to an abrupt end.

PS Although I saw it the next day, a doctor’s appointment prevented me from returning with my camera until the day after, by which time it had apparently moved on, because I did not see it again.

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Website / 16.09.2013

Today I emailed my second Newsletter to 10 subscribers 3 days after emailing my first to 7 subscribers. Today’s email concerned the 3 latest videos. Given that we have only uploaded 37 of the 100+ short, grant aided videos and the completion date is December 15, I expect to be informing subscribers of many videos being uploaded at a time in the next little while. The first Newsletter concerned a new Gallery page.

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Other / 07.09.2013

This evening I showed friends the 30 minute loop Steve and I have put together, minus sound, for the Addition 6 exhibition. It combines still frames and videos in what is a pleasing and dynamic presentation. It was well received, as it had been the previous weekend when I showed it to family. The sound will be minimal, but atmospheric. I feel I am onto something.

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Website / 01.09.2013

Today the new look website went live after a year of hard work, twists and turns, aggravation, trauma, moments of triumph and hundreds of emails between me and the site developers. This process has resulted in a site which is a testament to their skill and ingenuity in retaining the beautiful design and structure of the original as much as possible while introducing major new elements. These emphasize the site’s main function which is to be informative and educational. Just as vital, are the features which allow me to take on the role of webmaster.

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Website / 22.08.2013

My website’s first entry is dated 16 December 2005. The site architect was Clive Tempest and its designer and webmaster Christina Dreesen. From its first appearance, the site was captured for Australia’s national web archive and has been recaptured every two years. The structure and scope of the site remained unchanged until its new incarnation was completed on 22  August 20013, thanks to the IT skills of Ben Sinclair and Andrew Nagy.

New are:

  • SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE, find out when new videos and Gallery Pages are added to the site.
  • ALBUM PAGES, devoted to a single subject such as Moths, Fungi, Birds
  • BLOG CATEGORIES, to make the blog more reader-friendly.
  • VIDEOS, every video on my Vimeo pages appears on the site’s Videos page.
  • TEN additional GALLERY PAGES.

Equally important to the visible changes are the features which enable me to be the webmaster and generate all content (other than the videos, which will continue to be uploaded by Steve Guttormsen), plus XML data files for the Encyclopaedia of Life (EOL).

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Other / 21.08.2013

Gavin Bannerman and his colleague Zenovia Pappas duly kept their appointment at my place and we went through the associated papers which all refer to the SD footage. They departed with a document box of folders about ¾ full. The equivalent ‘paperwork’ for the HD footage, which the Library has already, is all digital. It remains for me to draft a statement covering the presentation of the interviews on their own. My concern is that should this happen, it must be clearly made known that the interviews are peripheral to a project devoted to biodiversity. Once the wording is agreed, I shall go to the library to sign the Deed of Gift.