Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Science, What's a Dirtberg?

After a few days of rain and wind, the day started in the upper 20's, calm and foggy. The fog cleared before I got into the canoe. I'm making a compass transit map today. So, from key spots around the bay, I stop and take compass bearings of other key spots (tips of islands, points, directions of shorelines, etc.) If possible, I get out and pace off distances between points. Then, if I have connected all of the dots, I can sit down and make a reasonably accurate map. This is exactly what the earlier explorers did - although, they were faster and more practiced than I. The birds are calm today. The wintering contingent is still here although there are more mergansers in the bay, which I think is a result of stormy weather. One eagle was back near its nest in the NE corner. There were a lot of people out today enjoying the weather, which is always good to see. The lake is full up or nearly so. Today's photo is taken from the center of one of the boggy west islands that I often refer to. In mid winter this is above water. And, there is one of the mysterious dirtbergs out in the bay today. Every once in a while, a big piece of bogstuff breaks off (from the bottom of the lake - not the edge) and drifts around in the lake. It's marked with a bright buoy, which is a good idea because the above water area is about 20 x 15 feet and just like an iceberg, most of the dirtberg is below water. Maybe I'll measure it later. Maybe no one has ever studied the physics of the dirtberg. Maybe I could get a PhD in messing about in canoes by writing a thesis on dirtbergs. Forunately, my canoe is unsinkable. I paddled south down Lake Washington to take-out. It was over 50F by that time. Several people stopped me to ask about my canoe-cart.

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