Friday, 23 November 2012

Sun, sea and sequestration......

.... says Scott. The late November storm blew through over night. Today the sun, low in the southern sky, was picking out the Blakemoor windfarm blades as they appeared to thresh the winter rooks out of the trees around Queen Elizabeth park. At Hauxley the oblique rays picked out every shade of gold at the experimental ponds. Dave and Scott have excavated the pond from which we sliced out the sections of sediment earlier in November. The slabs of clay topped with a thick crust of organic debris and black mud, which they removed, are now being ground down in the lab to measure the trapped carbon. Scott will be monitoring the newly cleared pond to record the productivity and accumulating detritus from the very beginning of the pond’s new life. We ended up as an incarnation of some medieval farming scene, puddling the clay on the base of the pond flat in a squidgy tap dance,  to create as neat and precise a volume as we can. The next storm is on the horizon, the pond is likely to fill up in any downpour. In the first spring after the ponds were  dug in Autumn 1994 they choked with snaggled clumps of Stoneworts (Chara), often called 'Quarry Weed' because it appears quickly in new, bare wetlands. I am keen to see if ecology repeats itself or the newly cleared pond develops along a novel path.

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