First we went to Henfaes to look at the Bangor DIVERSE plots as well as some of the other forestry research taking place on site. The weather held off with the most rain-free period since I've moved to Wales. It was sufficiently mucky so that "Wellies" (mine are quite fashionable in blue- Wellies are short for Wellington boots- see above) were still needed. After a productive discussion of proposed research for Henfaes we headed back to Bangor for continued discussions at the Feral Cat over fish and chips and beer- always a good environment for creative thinking.
The next day we began with a visit to the Rhizotron at Treborth Botanic Gardens to get more of the background information on when it was re-furbished and what type of soils are currently in the Rhizotron- a few pictures below should give you an idea of what the Rhizotron looks like. Generally speaking it is 2 meters underground with windows that allow you to sample and observe roots and soils connected with the trees (in my case) planted in each of the soil bays. It is a fantastic framework for some of my research questions. At the end of the day I was left with a large reading list, and a lot of new ideas to juggle with. It was an energizing two days, left me with that feeling of excitement that I get after conferences. So off I go, to think critically and read broadly while discerning which direction to take my research.