Where in the hell am I?

Stories from the road, and home, by a contract archaeologist.

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Location: Texas, United States

I work out of town a lot as a contract archaeologist. Sometimes it's interesting. It can be quite funny, although probably only to other archys. Home is Austin, with my wife and our cute kitty and all of our crazy friends.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another easy day

Today was more like "real" monitoring, in that I mostly sat around in the truck doing stuff for my thesis, occasionally checking on two different drill crews. I did walk through some swamp first thing in the morning, but my waders actually do a pretty decent job of insulating against cold water. The cold also meant that any snakes would be sluggish. But I didn't see any.
Tina sent me a text around 11:30 saying that she had just almost stepped on a water moccasin, and then 5 minutes later Laura (the other person with her in Baytown right now) almost stepped on another one. Tina's apparently just moved a little, which got her attention and she screamed and ran. Laura's actually drew back its head and opened it's mouth as if to strike. I think we're all about done with swamps for now, even though it's likely to be a long, marshy summer of work.
Speaking of snakes, the snake I saw yesterday was a Broad Banded Water Snake. I don't know if it was a nice snake or not, it was really just lying there and didn't move an inch. So I guess it wasn't mean, anyway, unless you're a frog or mouse or some other prey.
Speaking of snakes and prey, I saw the coolest thing today. I was driving and noticed something reddish flailing around one of the house lots. I slowed down and noticed that it was a hawk. I was digging around trying to find my camera when he flew up a bit and I noticed that it had A SNAKE in it's talons that was still squirming. It flew maybe 50 feet further back from the road and landed, and started trying to kill the snake with its beak. By the time I found the camera, it was gone.
Raptor, snake, water...almost like the Aztec myth regarding the founding of Tenochtitlan!
Tomorrow I get to go back to Austin. I was originally hoping to get everything done today and then leave tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, the person who had the map I needed for the remaining points took today off and did not leave a map for me. So tomorrow I have to get up early, put on field clothes, pack the truck and check out, go to the 7:30 am safety meeting, and go clear 10 drill locations (probably in some overgrown shit too, but I have my fingers crossed), then I can drive home. It's all overtime at this point, so I'm okay with it (except waking up early).
Next week, I might actually get to work on some cool stuff, in a much nicer location!

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