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The rain cometh and the worm rise (with a little help): Manaus Day 7 last day in the field

Well today was the last day in the field for me and I was rearing to go and complete control sites for the dark soil sites we had done on Day 2 (crop and new (ish) secondary forest.  Being saturday we flew out of Manaus without the now customary traffic issue and raced to the site.  We first had to call at the local ‘farmers’ house  to check all was alright for us to dig ….at what a view welcomed us.

View_before_rainBut not for long…..after the essential go-pro selfie of the team (Luis will post later) and just as we were we going to leave, the old farmer who was sitting mending his nets got up and simply says “chuva” (rain) and goes in doors. And then it rained…and yes its the same view 5 minutes later.

th_rain_cometh4_viewAlthough the speed in which the rain arrived was tremendous, the hospitality of the locals is such that (a little damp) we were invited into there house and served coffee – Brazilians are the best. We were there for quiet for time. As it rained:

the_rain_coneth3And rained.

The_rain_cometh2About 40 minutes later we emerged as it had sort of stopped (just normal british rain not Amazonian  down-poor).  We drove (floated) to site and found that the tracks were so water logged that we had to hike the gear in.  It was immediately obvious that working in the ‘corn’ field was out as the soil had lots of clay and the mud just stuck to your boots. So we moved into the forest area – another 500 meters with all the kit through dense ‘brush’. We set up camp and dug the first hole – and it just filled with water.

A_wet_holeTime for a re-think.

We decided to have a day ‘qualitative’ sampling – trying to get a sample of the giant earthworm and seeing what other samples we could find.

So we returned to the site of the giant earthworm poo and my ‘failure’ to get a full length specimen and with three very determined assistance, Thibaut, Herlon and George we set about opening up some large holes and pouring in Formalin. Here’s the result of our labour – and its still missing ~10 cm of tail !!


Every one else was getting into the swing – here’s two quiet frightening ants.

Ant_nightmare2 ant_nightmare1

And some termite nests:



and more wildlifeother_criters

but collecting ‘square’ earthworms by the banks of the solimoes brought out the passion for earthworms we all share – led by George – here’s a video of man in his elements.

What a privilege to be with the experts and see all the creatures at home – like watching the best Attenborough but….just real.

I will leave today knowing that I spent good money on my boots…..


Now off to Belem….