Sunday, September 16, 2007

Putney field trip

Friday I stayed over at Antioch because of a morning field trip excursion to Putney Vermont. Admittedly, despite being woken up by a cat louder than a rooster, I got more sleep than I had any previous thursday night. I woke up and drove to Putney, with kind of sketchy directions given to me last night after having a few beers. So I got to the town just fine, but I didn't know where I had to go.

A few windy roads later, I didn't care that I was lost, because I saw some *beautiful* spiderwebs hanging out in fields from the morning dew and fog. So beautiful, I can't even describe. But I couldn't stop to photograph them, I had to go to the site. Later I passed schist (see picture) with oxidized iron ore in it, gleaming brilliantly in the morning sun.

Our class walked around forests and glacial delta deposits, digging up dirt and feeling it, tromping around in forests and looking at dominant species. One of the most memorable moments was coming to clay deposits - which had rivers of pure clay - exactly what you would use to "throw" a pot. I played with this in my hand for several minutes, forming a ball, and wondering about the awesome power of glacial waters and deltas that allowed the sediment to sort so perfectly.

The picture to the right is of a glacial runoff stream - the sediments there were dropped by melting glaciers and the stream was carved out by water melting in rushing rapids - slowed, of course, today, but it is still obvious that there is glacial history.

I didn't want to leave this powerful place - but I had to return to Keene for my later classes. I think I may return to Putney with my camera on another morning - it was so beautiful I cannot accurately describe it.

I took a few pictures on the field trip - of a few trees I'd never seen. I saw both an adult, natural sycamore tree, and an American Elm. The Elm is almost non-existant in New England because of Dutch Elm disease, so it was awesome to see one. My picture of the Elm wasn't fantastic, but the one on the left here is the Sycamore - it looks totally "wrong" in the forest it was in - a big, smooth white trunk and a height that dwarfed everything else in the canopy. Very cool.

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