I had arrived with big expectations and a head torch, but reality soon crept in. Firstly, lava stone is the most painful rock to kneel on, no question. It even hurts, picking up a rock. After half an hour of fruitless searching, I found a singlespringtail, a juvenile Neelus murinus.
With a condition like Morgellons, apart from the usual evils lined up, like aliens, vaccines, government nanotechnology, the Illuminati and the devil, Collembola have become one of the main culprits behind any bout of frenzied itching and crawling sensations.
Within a few days of arriving, beneath the tree ferns at St Columba Falls in the east of Tasmania, I'd found and photographed my first Adelphoderia regina, a juvenile, complete with those bizarre neck organs. They were unmistakable. I also saw my first Acanthanura, the genus of famous Australian 'giant' springtails and got a leech in my eye. That was a great day.
On noise and the dislike of handshakes and rice pudding.
Franz Josef has one of the most accessible glaciers in NZ, the other being Fox Glacier, a few miles beyond. Climate change is pushing the glaciers back at an incredible and saddening rate. If it continues to melt, within thirty years, there may not be any glaciers left at all.
On macro photography, the digital revolution and flower headbands.
I'm often asked- Andy, where can I get my very own Collembola? Do they make good pets? Do they hum as they stroll along? And do they even know how adorably cute they look?
Unfortunately, science doesn't know the answers to these questions yet.
On how I succeeded in finding two of the UK's rarest species of Collembola. And a new one too...
Passion and the Springtail. A discussion...
On how I left and how it's been so far.