Friday, March 26, 2010

Blustery few days

The winds are still sustained and gusting over 20 knots here at Pole. I have an instrument I need to calibrate atop ARO, but can not safely attempt to do so with the threat of the winds making parts of the test apparatus take flight. So, I'll wait for a window in the forecast for (probably) on Monday to sneak this in before the next storm system rolls through. Hopefully we will have a break late next week as well, so I can get on with removing some of the instruments from atop ARO that are not able to spend the winter outside.

The sastrugi are moving and reproducing with all this wind, which is making walking around station that much more difficult. Drifts windward and leeward drifts of buildings are changing rapidly. It is amazing how much deposition can happen in just a few days' time of elevated wind, not to mention how much will undoubtedly have accumulated by the time the sun comes back up.

Tonight we hold the first half of the Indiana Jones Drive-In Marathon on the big screen in the gymnasium here at Pole: "Raiders of the Lost ARK" and "The Temple of Doom". I'll be sporting my Indy togs I put together for the Halloween party last year. If you're going to go to the effort to bring a fedora to the bottom of the planet, you might as well get the most use out of it as you can, right?

Reviewing my photos, I really didn't end up with many of the final days of the sun here before it set last weekend. We've had solid overcast for days now, so who knows what colors we might have missed in the sky in the interim.

A thermonuclear sunset detonates over the ceremonial pole marker:

Atop the science wing doing pre-season checks for frost on all-sky camera domes:

Anyhow, it would be great if Mother Nature would relent and let me get on with the work I need to before it gets much darker or colder, but there is no use worrying about what I could do to change the circumstances. Things will get done when they get done.

“Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.”



Desert Tortise said...

Did you ever read Byrd's "Alone?" He talks about working on equipment in a similar windy situation.

We have mobile and reproducing, or should I say dividing to conquer autovores with our 30 MPH winds today. (Autovores are tumbleweeds. They chase cars you know. Some of them are big, some are small, but they pile up and attack your car when you least expect it....)

EthanG said...

"Alone" is one Ant. account I haven't read yet. We're lucky that the winds aren't as high here on the plateau, but get to contend with pretty low temps most of the winter. You just adapt to whatever is thrown at you, but some things (like this calibration) just have to wait for safety's sake. A window in the weather is supposed to open up Mon., so fingers crossed.

I've had "autovores" attack my car on I-70 driving home from CO on occasion. Imagine that, surplus (formerly) living things just blowing around on the ground in abundance. Craziness...

Desert Tortise said...

I just found "Innocents in the Dry Valleys" by Colin Bull and am looking forward to reading about 1950's research there.

Do be safe. We are looking forward to your descriptions of the auroras.

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