I was up and out dark and early this morning. Early rising has never been one of my strong points. My purpose was to be in place to take a salt marsh photo just after sunrise. Our graphics director had asked me for my help on a brochure she is producing. We had some heavy rain last night so I was a little concerned about the weather. But when the alarm went off at 5:00, I looked outside and saw stars in the sky, so I hoped for the best.
I was in place on the Diamond Causeway at 6:10 a.m. and waited for the sun to rise and the light to spill over into the salt marsh. Here is the resulting picture. It isn’t art, but I’m pretty happy with it.
One of the many things I really like about my job is that, from time to time, I get to do things fun or interesting. Research cruises or trips to isolated barrier islands are two examples. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go along on a cool helicopter ride.
The science purpose of the helicopter was to observe a study looking at water flow through a salt marsh. A concentrated die was dumped into the water and then the flow of the dye was observed and measured.
Releasing the concentrated red dye.
The helicopter was a Robinson R-22. It is a fairly small four-seater with the doors all off.
As I sat in the back-right seat and looked past my shoulder, there was nothing but air. We climbed to 3,000 feet to get a wide view
Skidaway Island at the bottom and Wassaw Island on the horizon.
You can really see how the dye moves through the marsh.
and then zoomed down across the marsh at around 100 feet.
Part of the science team in a small boat.
All told, the flight was only around 25 minutes, but it sure made my day.
Today, it just another day in the office. Oh well, real life returns.
Posted in Life, Oceanography, Photography, Research, Science, Scientific Research
Tagged fun, helicopter, Photography, r-22, Research, robinson, salt marsh, Science, science research
I was back out in the field again this morning taking more pictures of the same project that I was working on last week. This is a geology project. What they are trying to do is to “drill” out core samples of the marsh material to determine the depth of the earlier ice-age era marsh surface. Fun, huh?
This is what it looks like. (This was early in the day, so everyone is still fairly clean.)
It’s called a Vibracore. That vertical pipe is 20 feet long and the device hooked to hit causes it to vibrate and slowly sink down into the marsh, collecting a core sample for later analysis.
I don’t mind going out and taking pictures. I was only out there for a couple of hours. I don’t envy the rest of the science crew who stayed out all day. It was hot, humid and buggy, and the labor was an awfully lot like work. As I indicated in an earlier post, the ground there is also about eight inches of sucking muck. I fell only once. I tried to take a step backward but the marsh muck wouldn’t let go of my foot. No damage. I was wearing a pair of rubberized overall-pants so my clothes actually stayed clean. One of the crew helped me up. (Placing your hands down to push yourself backup doesn’t work well. Your hands just sink to your elbows so you get no push-off. Also, your hands and arms are covered with the lovely, black, stinking muck, which is great when you have an expensive camera to operate. It’s always better if someone can give you a hand.) I got to return the favor to the same crew member later. Nice to know I’m not the only klutz on he crew.
There was one cool thing I had never encountered before – snapping shrimp. (not my photo)I didn’t see any, but I heard them. When you are quiet you can here them snapping. It’s a very audible popping sound all around you. Pretty neat.
Posted in Life, Marine Science, Oceanography, Photography, Science, Scientific Research, Uncategorized
Tagged geology, Photography, salt marsh, Science, vibracore