Day 11: Earthquakes/Auto
with Ellen to a GORGEOUS forest … covered in moss … walking
on moss, moss hanging from trees, moss growing on plants … like
a padded cell … everywhere you look - soft, padded, green, fluffy
stuff. It caught the shafts of sunlight in bundles and tangles of luminous
brilliant green. Just fantastic!
We had to find the
biggest tree … Ellen said this area had been trashed by an earthquake
- and this strand of trees were first to grow on the devastated land.
So if we find their age - we find when a big earthquake happened. I don't
know how she knows this was the last earthquake though. Must ask.
So - we found biggest
tree - and ‘cored' it … ie stuck hollow pipe in (well
- pushed it in over 20 mins and lots of effort) and pulled out the beautiful
innards. Right from the heart of the tree.
Then we had to pull out the
‘pippy' (as Ellen calls the pipe thing). It's so hard
to do! Especially as the tree starts to swell around the pipe as soon
as it gets in, almost like the tree is starting to fix itself (just like
my body would after an infection or cut or something).
pipe goes in … tree starts to swell … have to leave pipe in
for much longer than usual/desirable … we have to struggle like
mad to pull it out. Exhausting! And bizarre to watch - I'm sure!
Two sweating, grunting women, stripping off in forest, yanking and turning
a pipe in a tree. Surreal!
Back to Whateroa River
in afternoon to get waterwheel, cradle and [prep]: River just not flowing
very fast! - gold settles at places where river goes SLOWEST. The pump
and waterwheel need place where river runs FASTEST. For the place we need
the autometer - is just at the place the river is slow. We're trying
hard to find place that would be best. The bottom line - wheel not turning
Put on some waders
to carry around the wheel … waders are just the BEST thing. Get
to stomp about in river - waist deep and stay dry. Very exciting! Call
me a small child - but gadding about in deep river is such fun.
But we have a very short space
of time to do LOADS. It's such a tough challenge. We've worked
so hard and done so much - and still seem so, so far off. All getting
quite stressed and crabby - in spite of waders ‘fun'.
Bed early - need some sleep!
Hard work by the river!