Sunday, January 22, 2023

Winter Field Work

I have developed a preference for geology field work in the winter. Geology field work in western Washington State is generally pretty easy. The hardest challenge in western Washington is the thick vegetation. If you do not like smashing through brush, western Washington off trail field work is not the place for you. In the winter the vegetation is less dense with leaves off of the deciduous trees and bushes. However, Himalayan blackberries with their long canes and thorns still present a problem. On a recent excursion to a slide complex my initial thought was navigating on the slide complex might be limited due to the thick blackberry growth over much of the slide area. However, as I made my way onto the slide I realized the mid December heavy snow followed by freezing rain at the site had flattened down the much of the blackberries making my traverses on the slide complex much easier than initially anticipated. 

I still had to high step a bit to get over the blackberries but it was much easier than if done at another time of year. 

I caught another break with winter weather making my traverse easier after a couple of days steady temperatures well below freezing and before a big snow. I muddy slog with mid shin water and muck. I had been across the same area before. Though the site looked very wet the freeze allowed for easy walking across the frozen mud and frozen ponded water.

The weather does not always work out but, there are the other added benefits: no bugs, easier to see where water has been flowing, and not much worry about dehydration.    




No comments: