New Zealand 2003 travel blog

Infiltrometer in action

Tim and John watch bubbles

John earns his keep

A very early start today as there was a full day of fieldwork to be done before Tim caught his flight later. We arrived at the site by 8am and already the sun was warming the air.

The plan today was to measure infiltration rates of the soil (i.e. how fast the water disappears into the soil from the surface) in various different parts of the catchment area using a set of steel rings and plastic tubes and lots of water. It was quite a relaxing piece of fieldwork, just measuring water levels on a tube every minute or so while soaking up the rays. To make it more exciting we occasionally added a blue dye to the water and then dug up the soil afterwards to see where the water had gone. If water had gone down very quickly, then this often meant it had gone down a wormhole (a real one that is, not a cosmic distortion in the time-space continuum).

We repeated these tests all the way down the hill and the day soon passed, all of us realising that we were getting quite burnt by the sun so we drove back in to town and Tim got ready to leave for Auckland and his flight.

Although we were quite tired, Kate and I dragged ourselves into Hamilton to forage for food and drink and stopped off for a beer at another Loaded Hog. We are beginning to spot that there is a penchant in New Zealand to name bars and restaurants after distressed or unfortunate animals: Loaded Hog; Ruptured Duck; Grumpy Mole etc. We finally chose somewhere to eat called Iguana, but were disappointed that it was neither disembowelled or moody in any way. The food was good though.

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