Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Major field day

   Our second field site, Black Hawk Creek, was a lot different from our first one, Duck Creek, in that it offered plenty of shade, lower and shorter banks, a slower current, a more easily distinguishable outline, and less depth. That is not to say that it was perfect, however, the more shade also meant that the lighting for the cameras was a little off and it also apparently happened to have more bugs than Duck Creek since I found a tick on me the first time I walked down to the creek, although I never found another one after again, and I also discovered a leech on my toe after wading through the creek barefoot for a couple of minutes. I wore my sandals the whole time after that, and again never found another. So you could say it was a pretty good day even though I never found any at the previous creek, nor did anyone else get one at any of the creeks to my knowledge; so I most be attractive to them in some way, besides the biting flies which were attracted to everyone.
   I must say though that it was pretty enjoyable being outside all day, even though most of it was spent standing up to your waist in stream water, which oddly started to heat up gradually over the course of the day, even though the sun was dying down and the creek was mostly covered by trees. With the creek being almost completely covered by trees the temperature wasn't at all that unbearable, regardless of the high humidity. But I don't think that these two maintenance workers had it as good since they had to work on top of the bridge in the direct sunlight, repairing the guards that prevent vehicles from entering the bridge. Apparently someone had driven over them and had completely rendered them useless, until the workers came out to bolt them down again. The damage can be easily seen on the sign that explicitly states no vehicles beyond this point in that it is completely bent into an odd shape with the corners warped and the paint cracked all over the sign. I would just like to see the damage on the vehicle that happened to run into it.
   With that lunch was awesome since we had Subway and because I haven't had Subway for months now, so it tasted pretty good getting the taste of it back. The order of methods that we tested out is as follows and I must say was pretty time consuming: 3D stereo images with Michelle, she mounted both cameras onto a plate with  was mounted onto a tripod which she then went down the stream taking two pictures at once in an attempt to build a 3D image where you look through a pair of blue and red glasses to get the illusion of an 3D image; Photosynth photos with myself and Kyle, where we walked/stumbled down the stream taking a myriad of photos along the way to try to get the software to construct a accurate point cloud from the photos; GPS photos with Susa, she took numerous photos of the bank and their subsequent GPS coordinates to try to figure out a way to acquire the stream outline based on the exact location of the photograph and it's location relative to the others; the square method which involved everyone, where we lined up a big 8x8 square along the stream to try to get a program that Kyle, Susa, and Forrest have been developing that will pick out the four corners of the square to aid it in doing perspective correction with the photographs taken; Cross-sectional non-photo method with Michelle, Kyle, and myself, we lined up nine big red and white poles in the middle of the stream spaced fifteen feet apart with a string connecting them to serve as a guideline when we lined up a tape measure perpendicularly too the string extending out to both banks where we took the measurements at three foot intervals along the string to obtain a rough outline of the stream; finally the last method and consequently the last non-photo method was the triangulation method with Forrest and Susa, they took random measurements using two tape measures in a triangle form also attached to the aforementioned poles used in the previous method to triangulate the points along the stream to try to also obtain a rough outline of the stream by knowing the measurements of both tapes and moving them accordingly along the axis of the pole keeping a triangle shape.
   In the end after almost a twelve hour day of field work we accomplished all that we had set out to do and felt tired, but rewarded with all of our hard work and an unknown reward of ice cream at Whitey's ice cream. Yum.

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