Where’s Waynie?

By - Wayne Linklater 24/04/2013


me as wallyMy daughter, Zoerita Jacks, was born in early February. During my 10 weeks parental leave, I had plans to at least keep writing and posting on this and my other blog. Politics and ecology, of course, do not sleep either. But the impossibility of daily routines with newborns and preparations to move the family for eight months sabbatical at UC-Berkeley soaked up all fragments of free time. And also, parental “leave” – hilarious – was punctuated by the usual university works, like post-graduate students’ thesis deadlines and research contract milestones, that sealed the fate of aspirations for writing.

Zoerita JacksBut that is all behind me. With gorgeous new smiling daughter, we arrived yesterday in The Bay. I am on sabbatical at last! Zoerita woke me early and I packed her for a dawn stroll to induce her next deep sleep and allow her mother to sleep. This part of Oakland, California, with its treed streets, birds and hillside views is restful – especially at dawn while people slumber. I also spent my last sabbatical here conducting surveys of household attitudes and beliefs about biodiversity and making bird counts at dawn throughout the East Bay to test hypotheses about our relationships with wildlife in urban landscapes – work that post-graduate students, John Parker and Jennifer Vinton, duplicated in Wellington, N.Z. I hope to write and publish about that work while I am here. I also hope to write most of a book about feral horses, informed by mine and colleagues work with New Zealand’s Kaimanawa horses: http://perissodactyla.wordpress.com/.

Though not writing posts, or perhaps because I have not been writing them, I am congested with ideas that have abandoned polite and tidy mental queues for a mad crush at the gates of articulation. I am not sure where to start. But start soon I will. I have promised, afterall, to finish a series on wildlife rehab and large exotic animals, especially elephant, in NZ zoos. I’d also like to complete advocating for integrating the 3Rs of enviromental policy and continue my series on domestic cats and their management for wildlife. My research groups work to develop a super-lure for New Zealand’s pest mammals will also make these pages since we just finished a well-attended symposium on the topic. I am sure too there will be other ecological debates in the forefront of New Zealand’s news. I am contemplating a piece about how the wider community, including business, interpret and use the language of ecology. And I expect my visit to California will motivate other intersting topics in polit-ecol science.

Bunny Foo foo and blogFor the moment I have passed-off the sleeping babe to my wife – the dawn stroll worked a dream. I have claimed a coffee from the fresh pot and woken my first daughter, Anneles, for breakfast. As I write Anneles is serving me, and her rabbit Bunny Foo Foo, imaginery tea. Its good to be back.

I will be posting again soon…

but first…

Anneles has asked me if we can make pink lemonade from the enormous number of lemons on Grandpa’s tree and a water melon sweet with the Californian summer…