My husband Caleb has possibly one of the best jobs ever. Often on a Sunday evening his swag, his backpack and his cameras are all packed up by our front door ready for the start of a new week. Come Monday he drives two or so hours north on a dirt road into Rinyirru National Park. He will work out there in the wilderness all week mapping invasive weeds, riding in helicopters, getting bogged on a quad, getting stung by wasps, and pulling off enormous leeches from all over his body - all in the name of conservation.
There's no mobile phone reception this far north. A precious quick phone call from the ranger base landline makes my day and reminds Ba'il that his papa isn't too far away. He tells me stories of his adventures and I try to block out the thought of him trudging through crocodile infested lagoons waist high in water lilies. My heart sings to know he is in his element, even though the regular distance is sometimes an incredible challenge. I'm learning to balance full time work and full time mothering cross house duties rather well.
On his return home he bears us gifts of feathers, leaves, stones, dried lotus pods or whatever he collects along his way. We celebrate his homecoming with homemade pizzas, a family movie night, cuddles on the couch and popcorn. He tells Ba'il bed time stories of his helicopter adventures and of all the different animals he saw. I sleep well that night knowing he is next to me.
His photos remind me of how lucky we are to be surrounded by this Cape York beauty. He cares for country alongside Indigenous rangers and I work with Indigenous artists to tell the stories of their country.
*Photos by Caleb Zaicz from his recent adventure to Rinyirru National Park.