I have survived my first foray into forestry, and it did not kill me – success! In forestry, we assess (wander for hours through the thick forest) the area that is to be ‘harvested’ (such a nice way to say clear-cut) and used to make various products, in this case the trees will become paper, tons and tons of newspaper. Each section is referred to as a cut block, thus in my mind, this meant they would be rather block shaped. Not so. Indeed, these cut blocks are of varying sizes and are shaped like giant amoebas. Looking at them for too long on the map I felt like they are some sort of ink blot test – yesterday’s block looked like a rabbit, today we looked at a clam, and… well… a rather phallic looking one.
We have some LiDAR of the areas we were looking at, which gives us some vague ideas of where the decent topography in the blocks will be – high, level places with good views near water would have been nice places to make a camp, so these are the places we try to find and test.
But of course the LiDAR is deceptive and misleading and it does not always tell us what is actually going on on the ground – that’s why we have the fun of stumbling through the forest. This is also were goat legs would come in really, really handy. We scampered up and down so many steep hills, only to go back up and down more of them! I have short legs and deadfall can be high. My goal was to look less at where I was going and more at the landscape as a whole, but it seems that every time I tried that I was poked in the eye by a twig – it would appear that this landscape-looking thing requires a fine balance I have yet to achieve.
We only found one flake out of all the testing that we did – it’s still a bit of a hit-or-miss kind of game. However, to keep ourselves amused were on the lookout for ‘dead things of the forest’ – we’re archaeologists, we’re allowed to be morbidly curious without seeming totally warped, right? We came across a surprising number of bones here and there throughout our travels, so we would try to identify what it was and how old, and sometimes how it died (today’s deer looks to have fallen victim to a wolf).
As an added bonus for this bit of work, it seemed to rain on us continuously. Thus, tomorrow’s day of travel will include a small sojourn to go boot shopping. I would really enjoy a pair of boots that don’t give in to dampness within the first hour, and which become my personal little swimming pools by the end of the day. The trouble is that I have small feet and work boots are made for bigger toes than mine. Wish me luck though!