Thank you to everyone who entered the ‘name the species on the ESA 2018 bag design’ competition. Many high-quality entries were received, and I was most impressed with the species ID skills of the entrants. Special mentions go to:

  • Eve Hayden and Gregg Muller for recognizing mulga (Acacia aneura)
  • Gregg Muller for not only spotting a mistletoe on the ironbark tree, but also suggesting a species name. Sorry Gregg, I have no idea what species it was, and had forgotten it was there until I received your entry!
  • Quinn and Belinda Daly for being the only entrants who recognized the Blue Tang (a fish, not a fizzy drink).
  • Denise for being the only entrant to recognize the trevally.
  • Rowena and Graham for IDing the mangrove down to species level – the red mangrove or Rhizophora stylosa.
  • And to Annette Hamilton for not only being the only person to recognize Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla), but also for inventing a new species: ‘A very happy sun nosed dolphin.’

But there were two entries that eclipsed all others with a whopping 28 points each….
These joint winners are Louise Nicholas and Sarah Way. Woohoo! Well done! Each of you will receive a copy of Stories from the Wildworld.

I was very impressed that Louise recognised a white-breasted woodswallow from my very simple drawing, and that Sarah was the only person to nail the Moorish Idol (one of my favourite fish).

The ESA 2018 conference bag design

Here’s the complete species list for the ESA 2018 bag design:

Top left corner:
Night Parrot
Spinifex Triodia sp.
Mulga Acacia anuera
Brigalow Acacia harpophylla
Queensland Bottle Tree Brachychiton rupestris
Hoop Pine Araucaria cunninghamii
Grey Ironbark Eucalyptus siderophloia
Watkin’s Fig Ficus watkinsiana (1 point for strangler fig)
Southern Cassowary
Queensland Fan Palm Licuala ramsayi
Swamp Banksia Banksia robur
Christmas Bells Blandfordia grandiflora
Red Mangrove Rhizophora stylosa

Flying critters (left to right):
Rainbow Lorikeet
White-breasted Woodswallow
Pacific Baza (Crested Hawk also accepted)
Noisy Miner
White-bellied Sea Eagle
Richmond Birdwing Butterfly
Australian White Ibis (Sacred Ibis also accepted)
Grey-headed Flying-Fox
Powerful Owl
Shorebirds (half a point)
Microbats (half a point)
Dragonfly (half a point)
Bee (half a point)

Aquatic critters (left to right):
Queensland Lungfish (Lungfish gets 1 point)
Red-finned Blue-Eye
Mary River Turtle
Blue Tang
Corals (half a point)
Barrier Reef Anemone Fish (half a point for clownfish)
Humpback Whale
Green Turtle
Beaked Coral Fish
Silver Batfish
Trumpet Fish
Grey Nurse Shark
Australian Snubfin Dolphin
Surf Parrotfish
Six-banded Angelfish
Blue-streak Cleaner Wrasse
Moorish Idol
Moray Eel
Giant Clam Tridacna sp.
Estuarine Crocodile

And only 3 entries guessed correctly that the wiggly pattern through the centre of the design was inspired by an aerial view of the Brisbane River.

I had a very lovely time nature journaling yesterday morning at Woonoongoora / Binna Burra. The ink sketches and notes on the above spread took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete. Adding colour took another hour (see picture below).
I felt very calm after spending this time looking/listening/sensing closely, but all senses feel sharpened and the wondrous complexity of the rainforest has been brought to life once more. I keep seeing more and more amazing things that could be added. But the journal is closed, and I say goodbye until the next session.