My colleague Hamish offered to take a Belgian PhD student on a field trip to Aramoana, a beautiful site at the mouth of Otago Harbour (about 27K North of Dunedin) that is directly opposite the end of the Otago Peninsula. So of course I begged to tag along -- which meant completing the field-work induction course. (I am now stuffed with useless knowledge about what to do if I become hopelessly lost in a NZ forest or my van slides off the road into a bay). Anyway, it was a gorgeously warm and sunny day, and for my sake, the field work was combined with a search for the NZ clam tua tua and for cockles. The tua tua proved elusive, and unlike the cockles, which are in shallow bay waters, finding them requires immersion in the (frigid) sea. The fog also rolled in just as we started. But it was a wonderful outing, and we at least returned with a supply of cockles.
Beginning to dig for cockles on the mud flats.
Showing a tua tua clam (shell)
Plenty of tua tua shells -- but where are the live ones?
The fog rolls in ....
A Portuguese man-of-war! One of several we encountered on the beach.
Hamish and I emerging from sea, soaking wet and sadly sans tua tua.