Tis the season of the wolf – mating season to be precise! Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘doggy style’ (ohhh she went there!), and hopefully some interesting social interactions between our wolves (besides the obvious!). Interactions that involve a lot of communicative signalling among pack members – signalling that mediates important social behaviours, upholds social hierarchies and maintains strong social bonds – signalling that hopefully involves many facial expressions!! But, there is only one way to find out, and that is to go observe our wolves and collect some data…..I’m hungry like a wolf for data now! Especially after getting the first chapter of my thesis written in one draft!! (A celebration in itself!!).
So, I’m all kitted out in my sexy camouflage army gear…….‘cos that’s how I role with the big dawgs (get it? Big dogs?….wolves! Haha!). On a serious note though, surplus army clothing does make for excellent fieldwork clothes – warm and dry, and a fraction of the price!……and everyone thinks you’re a military official, a member of the SAS on a special forces mission!! Very cool…..essentially I am on a mission though – a data collection mission, fraught with dangerous enemies that seek to disarm me in the field (such as bad weather, or wolves that may decide they do not want a camera pointed at them….), but, my field kit is packed and I am ready for battle!
A good field kit for any empirical behavioural ecologists should include absolute essentials, such as cameras and tripods, laptops, external HDDs for backing up data, first aid kits……a batch of delicious oat and raisin cookies baked by Courtney!! You know, essential, they errr……keep up morale and energy reserves……and they won’t last long in the hands of this cookie monster! (she types with a mouthful of cookie goodness…..nom nom nom).
The only thing missing from this militant affair is the wolves, and it has been far too long since I last saw my boy Pukak. So, to the frontline I proceed, armed with a notebook and pencil, into the warzone where I shall fight the good fight! Defeat all enemies and make my mark. For today is a good day to research some wolf behaviour!!
Lets move out Marines!! Hoorah!!!