July 2008 Archives

24 hours of madness

I decided that I needed to know what happens in a deep pool in the stream. Not just what happens, but what happens throughout the day, and in 5 different locations: the inlet, the outlet, 4 meters deep, 1.75 meters deep and 40cm deep. I managed to get almost three hours of sleep in-between sampling. Base camp: setting up the tent Honestly, I was afraid of the dark. It was very dark, very, very dark. There are cougars, and bears. I had three strategies for cougar/bear defense:
  1. Light, and more light. I used a lantern and a headlamp. The lantern formed a bubble of safety around me, and acted as a beacon, so I knew where to land the kayak.
  2. noise - I whistled, and I sang. Oddly enough, the only song I could think of was Neil Young's "Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)"
  3. Scent marking. Yeah, every time I had to pee I helped build an invisible barrier. Maybe.
Of course, the kayak felt like the safest place to be, but there was no way I was going to try to take a nap on it. night kayaking 6am: first light. Between 4am and 6am I went from being able to see the milky way, to not needing a headlamp. dawn This is the Geopump, I use it to suck water up from the depths. I think it's kind of cute. pumping Morning on the stream is beautiful, but then so are all the other times of day. I would know, I was there. morning light Evening upstream. This is the boardwalk to Walker Meadow, just upstream of my pool. morning light 10pm. The last sampling. As I'm heading out bats swoop down in front of the kayak skimming the surface of the water for insects. morning light --------

Into the Jungle [updated]

I helped with the fish survey yesterday. The fish survey is an effort to understand where steelhead salmon are, how many of them, how big, and what they eat. We hiked an hour up Elder to Misery, which wasn't entirely miserable. A lot of the trail wasn't really a trail, some people like to call it a deer path, but that's a lie. I can't imagine deer using the path. We had to scamper over and under trees, pull away branches covered in spiderwebs, and hop across boulders. It felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie, totally covered in cob webs and collecting little bugs like they were worth their weight in gold. And they'll probably cost much more than their weight in gold to analyze.

self portrait at misery far upper elder

Electro-fishing is electro-awesome! The light was getting low, but this really was an action sport. I'm thinking about getting one and starting a magazine, "Recreational Electro-fisher." Electro-fishing uses a battery and transformer to send pulses of current into the water. You use a wand (anode), and a braided steel wire (cathode) trails behind. The pulses of current between the anode and cathode send the fish into convulsions, and they often swim towards the anode, where you scoop them up with a net. Fish are unharmed when used correctly.

electro-awesome --------

Ferry to Kingston

Ferry Ride to Kingston (Washington) As long as you're going to leave your research site in the middle of nowhere for a week, you might as well have your lovely girlfriend meet you. Everyone took a week off to escape the wildfire smoke that has been smothering us for the last three weeks. I made it to Seattle, where my generous friends have been hosting me. Em and I decided to borrow a car and head to Port Townsend on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. After waiting in a very long line of cars for more than an hour we got to board the ferry to Kingston. From Kingston it was an hour to Port Townsend where we ate some lunch and visited Fort Warden State Park, AKA where "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed. --------


Sol Food The only way to fly, is after lunch at Sol Food. --------

Stream life

Stream Eggs I found these eggs in the stream while I was incubating some bags of leaves. I have no idea what they are, but they were pretty. --------

Get the big picture on the wildfires

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/07/californias_continuing_fires.html Seventeen gorgeous pictures of the fires and fighting efforts across California. --------

An Oasis

This little plant is a morning oasis. The tiny hairlike trichomes covering the leaves collect dew and support a little community of insects. --------

Oops! Did I dye the river red?

I dumped 5ml (about two teaspoons) of 20% Rhodamine WT into Jack of Hearts stream. It was awesome. The stream turned red and pink. Don't worry though, Rhodamine WT is designed and EPA approved for this purpose. It's just that I used about 10x too much.

Field Day

I helped Jim deploy a bunch of pvc chambers filled with bug poop into Elder last week. It was a long day, and one of the first days the smoke was really bad. We worked all afternoon, and into the evening. Stream cooled beer was our incentive to keep working after the first couple of hours.
Did I mention it was smoky?

Did I mention it was smoky? To our eyes the sun was a bright red ball of fire, and a sure sign the apocalypse was near.


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This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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