John Fitzpatrick, Robert McCurdy
Placement of ARU #10. Includes ambiance of area and unidentified voices.
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
27 Jan 2002
LouisianaSt. Tammany County
- Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge
- 30.5475 -89.793889
- 49:07 - 1:27:33
- SONY TCD-D8
DPA 4060 omni mics.
DAT 20 (Sun Stereo 1) log
Sunday Stereo 1 of 2 January 27 2002
Spaced DPA omnis direct into D8 DAT
Starting along Oil Well Road, appx 2 miles south of old Rt 11, and heading west into the Pearl River WMA. With John Fitzpatrick, Curt, Steve, Rob of Cornell U team, plus Chris Joyce and Flawn Williams of NPR. Tape ends at selected tree site, then rest of this walk is on DAT 21.
01 00001 slate stereo tape, mention there's also a wireless tape running (those will be DATs 18 and 19, stereos are 20 and 21)
at road, footsteps on gravel, birds, distant voices
00120 nice bird in clear with distant voices
00235 footsteps and voices, back in cars to move to different park spot
02 00320 slate moving car
03 00330 out of car at next location, zippers and other packing sounds, distant train whistle (about three miles west)
04 00440 John, looking at map: we're about here, want to walk south of west, heading 240, yeah, first few feet at least dry, it's almost due west, aiming for a zone down here, aim it about 260.
00720 Curt demos GPS for Rob. (Rob is feeling ill, but is taking on Chris Clark's former duties as Chris has returned to Ithaca.) Beeps of two GPSs and conversations. Curt finally gives Rob a simpler GPS with a compass. Mark this location Oil Well One. More instructions. Sound of rolling up map.
01100 Steve: with three GPS units we'd better get back!
Take one water jug, leave lunch, this is the longest hike we'll do today right?
01230 John: how many items can a PhD take into the woods anyway? (I work with John placing his wireless mike)
01347 John lists what he's carrying on hike: video camcorder, Leatherman tool, GPS, binoculars, camera (35mm film), maps, compass, Cornell Lab of Ornithology hat. Boxers or briefs? Boxers. Wouldn't want to see an IBW without my Cornell hat. (change John's mike position again.)
01510 talk of Rob's body ailments. Don't push yourself. Steve is carrying pack with battery.
01628 John: OK Let's head out. We're doing 260 degrees, just a hair south of west. Footsteps start. Their footsteps recede until 01740. Then I start walking.
01845 good ambi footsteps in shallow water to 01920, then back to woods
01940 more water walking, some debris hits mike, splashy walking to 02100
02130 more water, with voices and multiple walkers to 02150
02210 walking through water, multiple walkers , to 02250
02400 I get Curt to turn my water bottle in pack for less audible sloshing, then more walking through water but with irrelevant conversation Rob and Curt
02540 good section of active water walking with distant voices
02750 good branch cracking with active sloshy walking
02810 reach first deep water. Flawn you go first, if you sink we'll go around. (I was only one with chest waders.)
02910 John: GPS beep, One point four inches. Let's see whether we can do this. I wouldn't set up here. Curt: Don't want to wade on the outside of a bend. Should be better here. Do you have electronics in that bag? It goes down, it's deep. Fan out and find a crossing.
03100 walking noise along bank, distant sloshing.
03200 John: I don't really want to get wet over my waist¿if we can avoid it. (more walking.)
03255 good footsteps in medium water, slower than before.
03330 John: it's up to but not beyond crotch. Shouts:What do you guys have? Distant voices say they're already across, we go up to join them. Faster walking through water, then dry walk.
03510 percussive splashing single walker in water
03550 water steps and distant voices, crotch deep OK for me, good slow wading, John offmike says looks good, feels great, good wading efx , splashing out other side
03715 John: waist deep in the big muddy, big fool says to push on! Do you have the measuring tape? Measures circumference of big 9' water oak tree at chest height, one way to gauge age of forest. Choose the largest trees in ther region, get measurements from those. (walk on.)
04050 I wade into deep water, get still, then have others pass me right to left, they recede into forest ambi
05 04150 I wade out , slate previous water scene, and catch up with others
04630 John talks cautiously of Rob's not feeling well: he's a strong kid¿ they measure a willow oak. Steve does barred owl call in distance. Fitz describes longtime standardized way to measure trees. Carolina wrens are happy today. Hear phoebe too. John and Curt discuss different phoebe calls. They recede into ambience.
04830 Birds, one gunshot far distance, more bird ambi
06 04910 I move on after moment of ambi, slate previous sound,
07 04950 shut down but restart so I can hear myself walk
05050 arriving at more big water, Curt: 880 meters, two point four inches, 4.75 inches to the mile. John: figure out how to cross this, it's our big challenge. We've come about halfway. Two inches, that's four tenths of a mile, 700 meters. Roll up map. Need to cross without soaking up the electronics, the reason we came here.
05340 good voices and wading sounds, Curt says you guys are gonna get your boxers wet
05450 Steve: Listen to my voice go higher! Does close-miked owl calls, first one distorts, second is OK.
05550 Chris goes in deeper than his hip waders, they fill up, he comes out and empties his waders¿John says "I'm on my tiptoes¿the boxers are definitely wet now"
05730 they realize they forgot CD playback device, so they'll have to do their own calls for ARU test . 600 meters to go. Sorta parallels this drainage.
05920 start walking sounds again, some wet, some dry
10015 good solo wading sounds, distant voices, John: eh, the brambles now, this looks horrible, distant pileated calls
10230 footsteps recede into ambi, then I walk on
10340 footsteps, barred owl imitations, quiet for a moment, another call, John ID's birds they hear responding (barely audible on stereo but should be OK on his wireless)
10520 footsteps resume
10548 Curt: looks pretty¿not all gray either¿.good scrapes on mike going through brush
10640 It's gotta be fordable. Steve or John goes an owl hoot.
10705 STEVE: SO WE COULD'VE DRIVEN HERE? We just came out of brush onto an abandoned logging road. Quiet ambi as John and others look at map JF: we'rer at the edge of the map here. We're just hitting this big piece of water. Flowing right to left. If we go up a hair¿no way is this road marked on this map. Follow the road for a while north of west. This is nice cypress tupelo bottomland. Steve tries to wade across, quickly changes his mind. This would be nice to cross, but fortunately we don't HAVE to cross it. Probably edge of an old logging concession. Older trees on other side.
11100 walking again, then stop, let's count independently what birds we've heard. 5 pileateds¿others. I walk off for ambi, voices grow distant, meet up with Rob and Curt.
11220 good distant owl imitation, then Rob and Curt discuss best place to cross this water. This is a pretty established channel, they may have augmented for the road.
11340 Curt: those gunshots will serve as good synchronizer points for the recorders.
Looking at big tree across the water, JF estimates 500 years old. They walk off, recede into very quiet ambi, a few crow calls around 11520
11605 end ambi, I walk on to catch up with others, footsteps from various perspectives, whistling rub of neoprene wader legs
11740 wading into water sounds, just a little tributary, back out quickly, more footsteps recede to quiet ambi with distant voices and crows
11840 my steps
12035 my steps with distant imitation owl calls, real crows
12210 Curt: I think the channel's on the far side, don't you Steve? Sounds of doffing pack. Groans. It gets deeper. Good water sounds, you might make it but it's gonna be waist deep. More steps.
12434 JF offmike: that's the woods we're after. (should be good on wireless tape.)
12500 Curt to JF: You want a watermark on you? It's just under your armpit. It's gorgeous over there. JF: That's fabulous stuff. This could be a place to just put it. We can listen 300-400 meters into it¿wish we could get over there. Curt: I'll take the pack off and just see.
12700 footsteps and imitation owl call.
12730 JF: Steve let's come up this way. Rob: there shouldn't be this kind of flow. Water is turning around. Steps.
12910 JF: that water is going back east. Our desired direction is that way. Want to keep going around this bend, but does need to cross this piece of water. This splits, big water over there.
13040 JF: I'm starting to think about putting it here. Try one more time just plotting our location. (Curt is offmike, out in the water), gonna stand here waiting for you to decide.
13150 walking, stop, unfurl laminated map "JF gonna line the map up with the compass here¿OK¿we set out on 260, set out from there, we have come¿we shouldn't be anywhere close to there. Do you have one point two kilometers? 110¿can't be. There's two inches, there's four¿gotta be somewhere up in here. Car there, we put ourselves here¿the drainage coverage is simply not correct here. We're seeing reality and someone else traced something different. Not bad as approximations, but can't rely on them. We like visually the woods down there, we've hit a barrier, let's put it here. We're not gonna cross, we're gonna put it here.
13640 offmike Steve and Curt, JF, Chris. "I feel like a walking Radio Shack."
13740 JF: at this point I've picked the best place¿we'll hear anything calling from in here. Is this a slough or a bayou? Bayou. Discuss pronunciations. JF offmike: Let's get to business, we got an ARU to put up here.
08 13930 Footsteps, heading back, slate location
14127 JF: Oh man, is that what you've been carrying? (helping Steve with heavy pack with battery). This is gonna be ARU10. GPS beeps. JF: Pileated woodpecker calling away. Curt starts sawing off small limbs from chosen tree, good sound in clear. Curt: we don't have our river guide telling us how high the water could get here. We could gain two feet just by moving to that tree there. Though it'd be easier to get this thing up high if you stand on that. (Airplane starts to be audible overhead.)
14410 change to a different tree, Curt starts sawing again, this is an ironwood tree, tougher, they're killing these trees off to promote growth of other trees. More good sawing FX.
Curt: partly we want to remove perches because we don't want a bird right next to this microphone blasting us out.
14608 nice FX of breaking deadwood to use as step, airplane overhead though
14700 Curt: do you have an extra strap here? Sawing continues, plane fades away.
Distant owl: real or Steve? Closer sawing sound, then good branch breaking sounds.
Curt: hold this while I stand on it? OK, thanks. Leave a little knob. More sawing. Chris asks Curt why he's sawing. Curt: two reasons. One, we don't want vegetation that would blow and create noise. Second, we don't want a perch for a bird, or a crevice for an insect to set up housekeeping, it would deafen us, keep us from hearing something we want to hear. Tough wood. I may need it. OK Rob, hand me something to put up here? Here's your bungee. Twice around the tree.
15202 got any one-around-the- tree bungees? Here you go. Oh that's a good one, pretty firm.You have the serial cable? Yep. Let's move that up a little bit. That is on there. Plug in, it's self polarizing so it goes in. Got it.
15440(Chris mentions the wireless DAT has cut off, it's finished a tape and is rewinding, I change that tape, do quick test, slate for wireless tape.)
15740 Silence for initial quick recording test of ARU, OK, great, thanks.
Prepare to change this tape
09 15820 slate end of Sun Stereo Tape 1 of 1 (DAT 20)
Placement of ARU #10.