— post by Daniel, field school student
The forecast for overnight Wednesday included chances of strong to straight-line winds, hail, and possible tornadoes. With this in mind, we took as many precautions as possible when closing up the site for the night. Our normal routine is to cover each unit with 4mm-thick black contractor plastic, weighted down around the edges with rocks. On Wednesday afternoon, we stacked overturned 5 gallon buckets, three high, and made of each cover a tent which, we hoped, would divert rain water into the surrounding grass.
Unfortunately, our efforts were no match for Mother Nature. The rain came down too fast, and upon our arrival the next day, it became abundantly clear that today we were to receive a new kind of education. Black tarps were strewn about the yellow field and overturned floating buckets were moored against the sides of practically every unit; this was a discouraging sight.
Nevertheless, we formed lines and made short work of bailing water.
As more rain began to fall, it was obvious that there would be no shoveling today.
This is not to say there was a lack of work. On the contrary, there was quite a lot to be done; namely, washing the very artifacts we had been gathering and filing into small bags over the course of nearly four weeks. It was satisfying to see that our ability to discern true artifact from naturally-occurring rocks was much improved from our first week.
We are hoping for sunshine and no rain on Friday…we are having visitors to the site and we want to show them more than mud pits!