riparian rap

Accidentally offending golf ladies.

West of Detroit, Michigan: Cara and I are finishing a few days of grueling work surveying a suburban creek here. It’s a wealthy place. Some of the creek runs near a golf course. It’s odd to be up to your knees in muck holding a level rod while watching people ride around on manicured grass in golf carts. We’re used to the stares we get as we climb out of the briar patches and swamps considered off limits by these folks.

But when Cara emerged from some high grass to clear its pollen from her nose in a manner that farm boys, field scientists, and bicyclists know well, the golf ladies she noticed after the fact were unfamiliar with this technique, and she thinks were seriously offended.

Cara found a buried soil, a big treat for a soils person, and besides doing a marvelous job of putting up with me and getting some very difficult work done, taught me more in a couple of hours about soils than I learned in years of classes.

We’ve had a hard time with this year’s weather completing this one, and I’m happy we’re nearly done. It’s a serious monitoring project, and we’re also recommending management for some amazing forests and wetlands that might have otherwise gone neglected.

And I got paid to take photos of wetland plants, fun. Here’s some sumac.