Saturday, April 14, 2007

Notes on the last

I just wanted to mention one or two things about my post: Easter at Helms Deep.

1. I seem to have consistenty misspelled "Butler" by swapping the t and the l.
2. My Grandfather, Malcom V. Prouting, bought Messy from the bank long before it went to his sons.
3.A note on my description of travelling upstream to find some water (Priority1. Get the dog some water);
The terrain that the Alma flows across and through once it leaves the gully is ancient gravel river bed. The land was formed by glacier, then claimed by glacial and snow-fed rivers. This is why the Rangitata is known as a braided riverbed. It is free to wind about and make its own path across the wide flat valley floor, and carves new 'streams' each year as it floods with the spring melt. Where the Alma emerges from the mountains to the side it has shifted its own fair share of broken down greywacke rock and built up a high causeway of gravel that follows its path from the mouth of the gully out to the Rangitata. You could see how high this was in the pictures, we had to scramble down one bank and the stream has since eaten into its own creation another level again.

When we aproached the Alma from the side, following a rough hunters track, and made our way up onto the causeway, we discovered old stream bed but no water. None. The place was as dry as a lizard's back. But only a few metres upstream, say 50m, there was a trickle of beautiful clear snow-fed water. And another 50-100m up the stream the water was rushing so fast and deep I could only wade through in places (and you saw how high my 'gumboots' were) and the dog didn't want to attempt it at all.
The madly rushing water upstream was gradually soaked in through the gravel until it was running underground and would have come out into the Rangitata again somewhere lower.

Now isn't that amazing???

7 comments:

simon said...

YES 100% AMAZING!!! frankly its a beautiful place to grow up in!

TCA said...

A stunning geomorphological phenomina. It reminds me of my uni days mapping a pro glacial outwash plain and using a plane table to fix the position of glacial morraines or tillite as we called the large irregular shaped ridges of deposited rock and sediment.

You could take some great field trips in that area!

Ju's little sister said...

TCA - people have!
It is so easy to point out (to someone who didn't even pay attention in School Cert Geo) where the top of the glacier came to and also where it dumped the morraine when it melted. Though the current Messy Stn is mostly mountain, The Tui Stn is made up of river flat and morraine. TI is so wonderful to see so clearly how our land was shaped.

Maalie said...

Are there still Tuis at the Tui Station?

Ju's little sister said...

Hi Maalie,
Please do not be deceived. The Tui Station is not named after the bird, but the plant.

I had never seen a Tui in my life until I moved to the North Island with work.

Tui (or tui-tui) is another pronounciation of the toi-toi bush which can be found growing around most streams in the area.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

The first time I remember seeing tuis (and bellbirds) was in the South Island. My uncle had a farm in a remote West Coast area with lots of native bush surrounding it. Lots of tuis to be seen and heard.

Ju's little sister said...

That's actually quite interesting! And mildly ironic I suppose.