In a word, my life at the moment is hectic. But I don’t mind at all, because I thrive on action. And what’s keeping me busy at the moment is also a lot of fun.
There’s my Master’s research for one. I’m in the thick of fieldwork, planning what seems like an endless number of trips to islands to catch birds. After spending long nights waiting for them to come back to land, it’s straight into the lab to process the samples I get. And then straight on to the computer to input the data. And then back out again for the next round. I love it. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, because soon I’ll be busy writing it all up.
I’m also getting out a lot to photograph seabirds in the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a hotspot for seabird diversity, but what strikes me most is the sheer number of birds out there. On the doorstep of New Zealand’s biggest city, it seems bizarre to have just so many seabirds out on the water. But they’re there. And they’re often quite co-operative for photos.
Getting out into the gulf is my equivalent of relaxation at the moment. It involves getting up (in the dark, sometimes) to get on a boat, survey for seabirds, and do other bits and pieces of research with the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust. It’s usually a long day, but it’s always a lot of fun. And I usually get straight on to the computer when I get home to go through images. There’s not a lot of time for sleep (although I’ve had the occasional nap on the boat en route to somewhere!).
But I’d rather be packing as much in to every second as possible. Actual downtime tends to stagnate my inspiration, and I end up in a photographic rut. It happened earlier this year, and I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things now. It’s a constant balancing act between research and photography, but that’s a game I’ve been playing for going on six years now. It’s just the blog writing that occasionally gets done last-minute!
Apparently my motto is “Go hard or go home.” I haven’t been home much recently. It’s fantastic.