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This week at work we were collecting the spring round of samples to assess the impact of the stormwater drains on the lake. This involves taking samples of the sediment at the drain outlets as well as collecting samples of invertebrates that can be found in the water. It's a lovely job to be doing on a nice sunny early summer day.

This morning we started out at the first site we visited with someone from the communications department coming down to take photos of us in our waders with our nets, since they're currently on a push to collect more photos to use in various documents. Some kids that were visiting the lake on their way through town with their family were quite interested in what we were doing, and I managed not to panic too much when they kept asking me questions that I wasn't quite sure how to answer at a small-children level.

The next site was the Boat Harbour, where rather than a nice shore to walk down there were a few steps down and then a careful lowering down into the water, which was about waist-height on me - if my feet were positioned correctly on the stony bottom. Suffice it to say that trying to stand on an uneven lake floor while wielding a net on a long pole to collect invertebrates is harder than I thought it would be, and I eventually misjudged a step and ended up with quite a bit of water in my waders.

And then! The next site was a bit of a walk from the closest point where we could park the ute, and we forgot to carry the pole that we had used at the previous site to collect the sediment sample. So there we were, at a stormwater outlet in a bit over a metre of water, and we needed to collect a sample from in front of it. Our arms weren't long enough to scoop from the bottom! And my bottom half was already fairly soaked from the water that got into my waders at the previous site. So I just took off my waders, socks and t-shirt and dived in in my jeans and singlet top :) The water was lovely, just the perfect temperature, and I was able to sit in the sun for the next 30 minutes while we examined our samples for invertebrates and dry off a little bit. The worst bit was that I had no shoes and had to climb a bank with some blackberry bushes growing on it to get back to the ute afterwards.

And then I stayed at the lab for the afternoon while the others went out again, wearing just my lab coat and t-shirt while my clothes dried outside :D
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March 2012

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