Friday, February 18, 2011

Tales From The Watersheds - Maureen Wise, Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership Coordinator

This December has been unusually snowy and cold. We normally have a more smooth transition from chilly field work to frigid field work in major snow, so AmeriCorps member Emily Ankney had to scramble a bit to find warm field gear and adapt to the sampling changes but did so with icy smoothness. One specific sampling day at our Belden Restoration Project will be a day for the record books. Not only was it cold, but there was a lot of ice. It seems to me that Belden does not ice over quite so often as other sites but somehow it did this past month. I remember taking lots of samples from the piping system within the project in mid winter on many occasions without trouble. This sampling round though, all of the pipes had a thick layer of ice over flowing water. Had we known about the ice, we would have brought a shovel or something hard to break it up. Without such a tool, we were left to try to use rocks or our boots. Emily became an ice breaking champion in my book that day. We have a picture of her holding up a chunk of ice five inches thick! (maybe this ice is like a fisherman’s story but I’m sticking with the five inches!) She got down into the pools of water and kicked the ice with her boots, found rocks to hammer away at the ice and did whatever she could to break it up. She did all of this ice breaking as a matter of duty, something that had to be done and did so with little complaining. It was not an easy day and we were both glad for it to be over.


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