Today I went out into “the field” to find one of my instruments (The Fluxgate Magnetometer, managed by some folks back at Lucent in New Jersey). After visiting several sets of flags, I found what I was looking for, as indicated by some writing on one of the flags (one of my more brilliant ideas from the beginning of the summer). It was pretty uneventful. The instrument was slightly out of level, so I took a couple of pictures, turned a few knobs until it was level, then took another picture. Kind of boring, really. But, as I was wondering around the grounds of the South Pole, I had our new 10-22 mm wide-angle lens, and I took the opportunity to take some shots with it. That part was fun.
It’s starting to get cold. Well, -20 in the summer was pretty cold if you were out long enough. I mean, when’s the last time you went outside when it was -20 and said “Hmmm, not too bad out today.” Heck, when was the last time you went outside when it was -20, period. Anyway, today, it’s -58 with a wind chill of -96. That cools you off, right quick. And it’s only going to get colder. Both Lynette and I have beefed up to our heavier pair of glove liners (some that we got before we left the States, as suggested by a previous Polie), which we wear under our mittens. They’re not extreme cold weather gloves, but they’d keep your hands warm while you brushed off the snow on your car, and until the car started getting warm. But, today, I took my mittens off, grabbed the camera from under my parka and snapped a few pictures, put the camera back under my parka, then put my mittens back on. They were probably out of my mitten (in which my hands were fine) for less than two minutes, and already my hands were numb with cold.
Another interesting thing that happens is that metal gets cold (duh). But, it gets cold fast. I store the camera under my parka while I’m walking around, to keep it warm so that the battery doesn’t freeze up. While I was taking a picture, less than 30 seconds after taking it out of my parka, I noticed a burning sensation on my nose. Well, my nose happened to be touching part of the camera, which was already painfully cold. Crazy stuff. Touching metal outside is a big no-no, which seems obvious, but its almost as bad a touching the metal of a pot of boiling water, and will give you frost bite and a big blister if you touch it for longer than a second or two. You’d be surprised how surprising it is. Anyway, here’s a few pictures that I took with our new wide angle lense.