Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Data: Before the ice




I am looking at an excel spreadsheet as the numbers disappear into lines.

Trendlines showing a huge spike of lead in the snow of Mount Hood. Where is it coming from?
I am hooked.

Otherwise, the July meltwater is dilute and boring.

Elution. The only end to pollution is dilution, or if you are a temperate glacier elution. The leaching of solutes in the early meltseason.

There was little snow on Mount Hood last year...yet the hippies were still skiing. I miss the hippies.
I dug a snowpit with some friends from Portland that ended with a watery layer a meter down. This year it is already dumping- my friend Dave emailed with a ski report. Oh, that I would love to tele--- and sciencewise, I would love to collect some fresh snow wearing a clean suit. X-file gear.My snowpit will be 3 times as deep. My arms 3 times more tired. My data 3 times more interesting? I'm not sure about that- but it would make a nice comparison. Fresh cold snow, not altered by melt. Holding its seasonal secrets.

I feel my skin grow dry and tight as winter approaches. I read that Charlize Theron used rubbing alcohol on her face for Monster- to create leathery skin. I feel the tightening now as an omen for the coming aridity. The McMurdo Dry Valleys may be the driest, coldest place on earth. And no alcohol can imitate that. What will it feel like to be in that strange place once again?

1 comment:

prairiedog said...

Oh Canada! Don't you worry for one more minute about puckering skin at McMurdo. Have you forgotten already the incredible moisturization available to you in a beautiful jar--the blissful pink intense hydrating cream your pink-thinkin' Pink-Cadillac-wanna-be-drivin' mamasita let you try in Tahoe when the air was so dry your eyebrows had static? Help is on it's way!