A Moment in the Wind

26 Nov

A few weeks ago on Field Station Friday, our reward for diligently working in the apple orchard all afternoon was to take one of the Field Station kites out for a spin with the new GoPro camera. We rigged the camera to the kite string and set the timer to take pictures every five seconds. At first the wind didn’t seem to be on our side; it came in gusts and then faded out to stillness as soon as we were positioned to take flight. Finally though, after three or four unsuccessful attempts, the kite was carried up on a draft of wind. It floated, steadied, and was then lifted higher and higher.

kite1                                             Taking off.  Photo by Tara Stark

A cold front was coming in. The kite started ripping through the air, tugging on the string for more slack, wrenching with every whim of the wind. It started snowing. First snow of the year! I noticed that I had started to lose feeling in my toes.

DCIM100GOPRO                       The camera’s view of the Bechtel Environmental Classroom.

As the wind threatened to drag the kite further up than would allow us  to control it, EJ and Reid began to rein it in. They joined forces, each of them planting their feet firmly and holding the string tightly in order to resist the the kite’s strong pull. After they managed to bring it back down to a reasonable height the kite string suddenly snapped. The kite and camera fell into a thorny patch of brambles about 50 feet away. We ran to collect them, grateful that the string had failed only at the last moment. It was time to go home. The clouds had cleared and the sun was shining, even the snow had stopped. It was almost as though our adventure had never happened, our brief encounter with the world at the mercy of the wind nothing more than a day dream.

DCIM100GOPRO

-Ellena Baum, ’14
CEEDS Field Station Intern

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