It's been a Big Week for Big Chuck. He's been working on a tree icing experiment simulating ice storm damage to trees, similar to the big ice storm that happened in Quebec and the eastern provinces in 1998. I was on site for a few days and helped him with different aspects of the projects. Yes, you may now call me a jr. scientist.
The basic concept was to use a watering system to simulate rain and build up ice on the tree's branches until they broke. The tree was already set to be removed because of a building project on the site, so rather than being cut down to make way for new development, it died in the name of science.
Once sufficient ice built up and branches began to break, Big Chuck and his team took measurements of the branches to determine the weight of the ice that caused them to break. In a natural event the ice melts before scientists can reach the forest, due to blocked roads and downed power lines.
After spending days outside under the "freezing rain" Big Chuck would come home with clothing that was literally frozen. And I suffered a small cut on my hand too. We're pretty tough in this family.
Have a warm and toasty weekend,