Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dancing on strings: Part 2

Friends, if you had been on Water Street in Woods Hole, Massachusetts today, you would have seen a tall figure in an orange fleece and gray rain pants. She would have been carrying all sorts of random tools - a power drill, ropes, electrical tape, a long wooden beam. She would have disappeared into the side door of the Redfield laboratory several times, each time reappearing to carry her supplies across the parking lot and deposit them on a floating platform in Eel Pond. You would have watched her with curiosity as you sipped your coffee on the porch of the café across the street, wondering what in the world this woman could be doing. You would have seen her lay on her belly on the floating platform, scoot around on her knees, close her eyes in thought. Perhaps she was practicing a new form of yoga, you would have joked to nobody in particular. 

And then finally, she would have emerged from the stately brick building carrying two large gray PVC sheets with ropes attached to each corner. You would have seen her lower the sheets into the water one by one and attach the ropes to cleats and nails on the dock. She would have laid on her belly one last time, peaking under the platform to make sure everything was in place. Then, standing finally, she would have dusted off her hands, gathered her supplies, and headed back inside. 

Sipping your coffee, you would have noticed someone else joining you on the porch. You would have idly gestured to the dock and remarked that they had missed the show. Must be a scientist or something, you would have said.

And you would have been right.

Today, I installed my succession experiment at a second location, Eel Pond.
I'll visit the two locations in alternating weeks throughout the spring and summer
to learn how and why dock fouling communities change over time.

No comments:

Post a Comment