Monday, February 25, 2008

a couple days, a couple more miles

Saturday and Sunday I took a hike each day, walking around 4 miles each. I looked on Google maps to figure out a route, but the first one didn't quite compute as the "move your route" feature would not let me move my path off the main road onto the road into the State park. So, I took a different road past the archery range and down to the fishing area.

The first oddity I saw was a microphone about 3 feet off the ground, on the side of the road just after the last house, before getting to State property. It has a large metal base, with a huge cable leading to a suitcase size box chained to a utility pole, and appears to be powered by a solar panel.

On the base is a title "Aberdeen Test Range Environmental Sound Meter" which must be for a study being conducted by the U.S. Army at the "nearby" Proving Grounds. I found a 1993 study titled " Measurements of Blast Noise Propagation Over Water at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland" but that is over 10 years ago. I can't make out the phone number on the plate, so I'll need to go back [I went back - it is 410-278-8605]. Here's the base's main web page:

I pick up trash, recyclables and other detritus on most of my hikes. Usually, by the end of a weekend or week-long camping trip I have a gallon-sized plastic bag of odd novelties cast-off by society. The plastic fishing line is difficult to see in this scan, and the 2 larger pieces of hard plastic are unidentifiable, but the laser cleaning box yielded a serviceable CD/DVD case.

The audio tape is cracked and useless, and the title is probably illegible on this image, but the tunes are a commercial product from the 1999 release Esperando Un Angel by Banda Arkangel R-15.

Each 4 mile walk was just around 1 hour. Saturday was raining slightly, but Sunday was sunny. On the latter, I went around the main park loop, seeing cardinals, bluejays, and a red-headed wood pecker (I heard several others). Just before getting back on the main road, a herd of 8 or so white-tailed deer bounded away from my trail. I now have ideas for the next Scout nature hike.

No comments: