Thursday, February 18, 2016

APRS and Satellite Imagery

After parking my mobile at the junction of highway 68 and the Powderface Trail located in Sibbald flats part of Kananaskis Country located along the eastern slope of the Alberta Rockies, I set out to explore the network of beaver dams and lodges located on Sibbald creek and shoot a few photos.

There are at least 4 Beaver lodges that I was able to count from where I had parked my mobile, and in the past I always wanted to get closer to them, but during the summer months, the series of beaver dams located on Sibbald creek backs water up flooding most of the area making it difficult to get around without getting wet.

I thought this would be a good time to check them out, as everything is frozen hard allowing me to meander around with my camera and shoot a few pics while getting up close to the various beaver lodges located behind the various dams located there.
While I meandered around this wetland that is still in the icy grip of winter, I was carrying my D72 and laid waypoints throughout the 2 hours I spent exploring and shooting photos..
I had my mobile - VE6AB-9 set up to digipeat the beacons sent by my Kenwood D72 - VE6AB-7 that I was carrying with me. 
With the D710A mounted in my mobile doing the heavy lifting, and because I could hear the Pigeon Mountain digi directly on my D72, I was getting confirmation back that my beacons were being received and uploaded to on the Internet.
I have the path settings on both my D710A and my D72 set for VE6AB,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, and with these path settings, as well as my D710A set to insert the call for my mobile VE6AB-9 in the packet-string, my VE6AB-9 was being confirmed as the first digi,
In case you are wondering as to why I have VE6AB inserted in the path settings, this is to keep my mobile digi from digipeating other aprs stations heard nearby with WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, path settings, as I only want my devices to be digipeated by my mobile parked nearby.

Although Beavers actually are classified as a rodent and people may think of them as pests depending where they locate, they are very cool when it comes to building their dams and lodges.
A minimum water level of 0.6 to 0.9 metres (2.0 to 3.0 ft) is required to keep the underwater entrance to beaver lodges from being blocked by ice during the winter. In lakes, rivers and large streams with deep enough water, beavers may not build dams and instead live in bank burrows and lodges. If the water is not deep enough to keep beavers safe from predators and their lodge entrances ice-free, beavers build dams as seen in my insert photos.

Beavers start construction by diverting the stream to lessen the water's flow pressure. Branches and logs are then driven into the mud of the stream bed to form a base. Then sticks, bark, rocks, mud, grass, leaves, masses of plants, and anything else available, are used to build the superstructure. The average height of a dam is about 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) with an average depth of water behind the dam of 1.2 to 1.8 meters.

 If there is not enough depth for getting around beneath the ice, the beavers will form channels in the bottom of the creek allowing for that. The thickness of the dam is often around 1 m or more. The length depends on the stream width, but averages about 4.5 m long.
Beavers vary the type of dam built and how they build it, according to the speed of water on the stream. In slow-moving water, they build a straight dam, whereas in fast-moving water they tend to be curved.

Spillways and passageways are built into the dam to allow excess water to drain off without damaging it. Dams are generally built wider at the base and the top is usually tilted upstream to resist the force of the current. Beavers can transport their own weight in material as they drag logs along mudslides and float them through canals to get them in place. Once the dam has flooded enough area to the proper depth to form a protective moat for the lodge, beavers begin construction on the lodge.

Still, as I worked my way around and from one side of the creek to the other, I had to be careful around the dams proper, as there was open water, and the ice was not to be trusted when crossing from one side to the other.

In the end I came away better informed as to the construction and layout of the various beaver dams and lodges located here in Sibbald Flats part of Kananaskis Country.
In fact I will now return in the spring or summer to shoot photos of beavers swimming about in their ponds, and I will bring my waders.

Spillway located at one end of the beaver dam

NOTE....All images expand

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