Thursday, October 9, 2008
Bobbing Bottles in an Autumn River
Yesterday the kids and I walked and rode bikes out to the river. My daughter had just read about Matthew Maury, the father of oceanography from the 1850s and his research to chart the paths of the seas. Maury's method was to drop bottles into the oceans, then note where they turned up later, learning more about ocean currents, wind patterns, etc.
Not being by a sea, the kids and I decided to track river currents. We rolled up notes into clean plastic bottles. Then, after romping in the river for twenty minutes or so and splashing in the shallow water, the kids unleashed their bottles, wondering who would find them and call us, and where the bottles would turn up.
Baby D and I watched the wind blow the tree tops around, and took turns bravely dipping our toes into the cold autumn water.
Edit: We heard back from someone who found one of our bobbing bottles! It had gotten several miles away. One mystery: it looked as if it had gone against the current?? How is that possible? Still probing that mystery on the maps.... Perhaps there is another smaller stream that we are not seeing on the map that connects that area.