The Yin and Yang of N in Streams

cold and alone in a river

Since the last sampling went so well I decided to try to sample both rock and sed today.  It is colder with air temperatures of 0C and water temperature at 3C but I went out prepared.  I had running leggings and jeans on under my waders and a running compression shirt with neoprene top on along with neoprene gloves and a hat.  On top of all that I wore a winter coat which I took off when going in the water.

Amy dropped me off into the terrifying wilderness of tech trails around 930 and I hike out to the site with my new hiking backpack.  Note, a hiking pack is far superior to a frame pack with milk crates strapped to it.  I was able to easily squat bend and duck, not that I was not doing yoga in the field…I was.  So the day was off to a great start I made fun of Amy on Twitter and did some field yoga until I hit the field site.  It was a mud pit and the river was about a foot higher than past samplings.  No matter, I sashayed (another activity I am able to do with the hiking pack) into the mud pit and started setting up; there was a nice tree I used as a coat rack but everything else was covered in icy sludge.  

After setting up I entered the icy river and collected some mud cores.  Reluctantly I submerged my hand covered in a neoprene glove. Water rushed in with a high pitched squeal (Yes I’m sure the squeal came from the water and not my mouth). Not only did the water make an undignified noise but I was not used to the higher than normal water level. As I stretched my arm as far as it could go I felt the cold unforgiving river enter my waders and wet my pants.

I finished collecting the dirt and some rock as quickly as possible quickly losing feeling in my fingers and began to set up the incubations.  It is amazing how hard it is to set up these incubations when I have no control of my fingers. I had to stop every few minutes to put on my coat and warm up. It didn’t really help. Slowly I managed to close all the chambers taking frequent breaks. 

The rest of the day was mostly the same and I have big plans for the next time I go out.  Mainly, don’t get wet.


Amy driving away leaving me in the cold unforgiving wilderness