18 January, 2000
I spent all morning working on the computer. Ugh! I had let things get out of control and I paid for it all morning. I did get a lot accomplished though. After lunch I accepted an invitation by the "sound guys," Doug Quin and Steve Dunbar to go to Christy Cove. They were interested in the terns, kelp gulls, and skuas in the area.
While Doug and Steve got down to the business of recording, I went for a hike so as not to be a distraction. I would have been
wonderful to have the climbing skills of a mountain goat, because the terrain was nothing but rocks, baby! The rocks were substrate for several lichen species, thick patches of moss, and short tufts of
hair grass. Watching my every move from above was a flock of terns, somewhat irritated with me for being there. I have recently learned that is just their disposition, so I didn't take it personally.
As I hiked further away from Doug and his recordings, I walked into a beautiful inlet with water as smooth as glass. A magnificent glacial wall provided a snug backdrop for this wonderful spot. Across the inlet was a large hill teaming with terns. Ever so often something would set them off and the terns would fly from their perch in
unison, as if on cue, and call out to one another. The glacier in the background provided a sounding board for their calls and it produced a wonderful echo. That was pretty cool!! (I must remember
to tell Doug about it). On my descent back to the boat I saw the most unusually colored ponds that gathered in the craters made amongst the rocks. The water surface was purple! That's right, it was purple. I am including a picture for you. After enthusiastically asking folks around station,it seems it is elephant seal excrement! Or is it? We are going to take a sample and let you know this weekend.....
I also wanted to mention that fact that my students at Montwood High School,in El Paso, TX, are monitoring the foraging patterns of 7 different Adelie penguins from Humble Island. I am sending them
weekly data on each of the 7 birds from Bill Fraser's data set. If you are a teacher, and would like to parcticipate in this project, I will be glad to email you the information, pictures, and data each week. Just email me and let me know.
Also, I wanted to let you know that Doug has a wonderful web site that chronicles his work and adventure at Palmer. He is a great
story teller and his pictures are awesome. It is found at http://www.antarctica2000.net. Enjoy!
Talk to you soon!
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