Friday, April 30, 2010

Field conditions - crappy

I enjoy sitting inside in a climate controlled environment (like, say, this Starbucks, sipping my organic apple juice) so much more during field season, because unlike most people archaeologists are dependent on the weather for much of their comfort and happiness during the day.

I forget this on the off season, and when I am trapped inside on a nice day I look outside, sigh, and think about being outside.I forget that field work is never scheduled for nice days. Even days which look nice are in fact deceptive, because there is no such thing as a perfect weather day for the field.

But first, as promised, a picture of our lovely sleeping arrangements here in Bismarck:


It is actually kind of nice in the car because it is protected from the weather, you can lock the doors, and it doesn't have that weird tent smell which I hate (and Leland loves, both for the same reason: it brings back memories of sleeping in a tent). Our sleeping bags are soft, flannel "Adam and Eve" bags that zip together, so it even feels like having real blankets.

Anyway, field conditions. It is always "too" something to be outside. Monday, for example, it was too snowy. Also too lightening-y. And so we did not go out on Monday.

Tuesday, too foggy:We are supposed to be following this car, by the way.

Wednesday, too windy:
Not pictured: gale force winds. It's hard to take a picture of wind, ok?

Wednesday had winds of about 40-50 miles per hour. We know it wasn't higher than 55 mph, because they have to turn off the windmills at that point or the wind destroys them, and the windmills were still going. But you know how it feels when you're going about 50 on the highway and you stick your hand out the window? It felt like that. But your entire body is out the window. And then walk through fields looking for artifacts. I was a little concerned I might be blown to Canada.

Oh, and we were doing survey for windmills for a wind farm. Cue the jokes! "Why would anyone want to put a wind farm out here, anyway?" hahahahaha so hilarious Leland.

Thursday, not so bad! But of course we did not go out on Thursday.

Friday, too rainy:Please don't make me get out of the car!

If it's not one of the above, it's something else - too hot, too dry, too muddy, and I think you get the picture.

And, the ultimate fallback here in North Dakota...TOO FLAT!

Sometimes it is hard to work up any excitement to go out in the field.

Leland, full of excitement.

All right, this was taken at the end of the day, even we do not drink before going into the field, but I am confident that he is thinking about the next day's work.

But every once in a while, the weather is perfect for about five minutes, and I remember how incredibly lucky I am to be out here, not in an office, doing the job I've been wanting to do since I was in junior high. And I get to do it with my favorite person in the world! Suddenly, then, the weather doesn't bother me as much any more.

... at least, until it starts to rain again...

1 comment:

  1. hehe at least you are not in the rainforest, where it is nice and toasty warm all the time, but unfortunately, very, very rainy about 85% of the time... and some of that rain coincides with windy storms that can blow huge trees on top of your head (actually, I really ENJOY those days/hours because it's in excuse to stay at the field station and take a break--it's not safe to be in the forest during those heavy storms).

    and, you only get to internet on the rare days you can give up a whole day and have transportation to town...

    but then, i guess I get warmth and lots of monkeys and other interesting animals, so i have nothing to complain about...