Things have been crazy busy here at F6. Stream team is busy with our usual routine of sampling and gauging all of the Fryxell Basin, Bonney Basin, and Hoare Basin streams in a week. We have had a bunch of visitors at F6 which has been a bunch of fun, but things can get crowded at times. We had some folks (worm herders as they are affectionately known) last weekend that are studying soil microbes (nematodes). And this week we had some geologists, and some scientists studying aerosolized (airborne) microbes. As someone put it, walking around F6 is like playing that puzzle game where you only have one open space, and you slide the little blocks around to get them to fit. My solution has been to wake up at 5 AM so I can have the hut to myself with excellent internet access.
We have also been having some weird weather. It has generally been warm and the stream flows have picked up to maybe three quarters of where they were around Thanksgiving. There has been a lot in the way of fog and clouds which has limited the helicopter flights. This has given us some necessary exercise to work off the hundreds of cookies consumed at Lake Hoare. Last weekend in Renee's cookie lab a peanut butter, chocolate chip, bacon cookie was created. These are the ultimate field snack filled with calories, protein, and goodness.
This week we have been busy closing all of the gauge boxes for the season. This means we grab the data storage module from the gauge box that has been collecting data all summer, and swap it with a a blank one to record the rest of the fall and into the winter. Then we survey the elevations of our instruments and control structures to make sure things haven't moved since the beginning of the season (things do move because of the constant freeze thaw cycle of the ground). Finally we put a ratchet strap around the gauge box to secure the doors during the winter storms and we wish them luck!
A couple weekends ago we got a chance on Sunday to head out and hike the Matterhorn which was a fantastic hike with a killer view.
|View from the top of the Matterhorn looking towards the McMurdo Sound. That is Lake Fryxell at the end of the valley.|
|View looking up the Garwood River towards the Royal Society Range.|
Last weekend we got out on Sunday to do the Classic Nussbaum Riegel hike. It is a fairly mellow day filled with amazing hiking. Definitely will be included in my book of top hikes to do in the Taylor Valley.
|View looking up the valley towards the Taylor Glacier.|
|Looking up the valley under a ventifact. My dad liked the photo I took of this spot last year, so I tried to recreate it.|
|View from F6 towards the Canada Glacier.|