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Windy white pine climb

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:34 pm
by AndrewJoslin
I recently videotaped a climb on a white pine in eastern Massachusetts. Purpose of the climb beyond the enjoyment of going into the woods and getting some time aloft was to document my technical processes climbing a white pine. As it turned out it was quite a windy day and the video captured some of what it's like high in a conifer with strong gusts. Tree is a single trunk that divides approximately at 35' into three leaders, each of which reaches up into the 105-110' range. This is typical height range for mature white pine in a grove within 5-7 miles of the coast. A few that close to the ocean get over 120' but not many.

https://vimeo.com/41220504
(pardon the poor sound quality)

Interesting dead limb structure, looks like a witches broom, it's at the end of a long down curving limb. There's another limb sprouting out the witches broom which arcs up and is quite long. Looking at it in the tree it took me a little bit to figure out what was what, at first it didn't look like it was connected to the tree. I wish I could've seen the witches broom while it was still alive.

Click on image to see its original size

Base of the trunk (believe it's in the 11' CBH range, have temporarily misplaced my measuring record book)

Click on image to see its original size

Crown view

Click on image to see its original size

Nice old American beech nearby

Click on image to see its original size

-AJ

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:10 am
by Bart Bouricius
Cool video Andrew, I think I was doing tree work on the same day here in Western MA, some good gusts. I noticed what might have been another witches broom in the video as well , if you look carefully. I remember there is a tree in the woods behind my house where the top of an eight inch diameter pine was one witches broom. I wonder if it is still alive. I will have to check.

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 12:56 pm
by michael gatonska
Hey Andrew- awesome!- I really liked those views from when you eventually reached the top, and some really nice gusts. You could actually hear them before you even began the climb...

Are you using a GoPro camera? I could not really tell from the photograph on vimeo; the video quality was excellent. It sounded like a built in condensor mic?

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:39 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Glad you enjoyed that Michael. You know... you mentioned in one of your soundscape posts that listeners should use headphones to fully appreciate the sounds you captured. I took that to heart and listed to the windy pine climb through some nice speakers and realized how much I'd been missing just listening to my laptops onboard speakers. Really made a huge difference, I almost felt like I was back in the tree.

To your camera question, I attached a mini ballhead to my bike helmet and attached my Sony HD video camera to the ballhead. It's a little unwieldy, especially because the LCD viewfinder has to be open while taping and I often bang it into branches which flip the LCD close and shut the camera off. The mike is built in and I've semi-permanently attached an improvised windscreen over the mike on the front of the camera. The batteries died in the video camera near the top of the tree so I taped the last segment with my iPhone, the mike is much noisier, no wind blocker. I've hesitated on picking up a goPro, don't want to spend the money, and I find it a bit too wide angle, maybe that can be modified.
-AJ

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:56 pm
by michael gatonska
Andrew-
Maybe we can spend a day (or two) and collaborate on this? just a thought - a bit of filming of your techniques and process of climbing (which maybe I could film you with some bits of your commentary!) of getting up into the canopy, and then a bit of sound recording while we are up there? Does your Sony camera have an external mic input? If not, I am sure we can manage something.

This way you wont have the camera on your helmet; at least not all the time - and we could actually map out creative process from bottom to top for both ends, if this sounds to you like we could get some descent end results?

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:05 pm
by AndrewJoslin
michael gatonska wrote:Andrew-
Maybe we can spend a day (or two) and collaborate on this? just a thought - a bit of filming of your techniques and process of climbing (which maybe I could film you with some bits of your commentary!) of getting up into the canopy, and then a bit of sound recording while we are up there? Does your Sony camera have an external mic input? If not, I am sure we can manage something.

This way you wont have the camera on your helmet; at least not all the time - and we could actually map out creative process from bottom to top for both ends, if this sounds like we could get some descent resutls?
That sounds good. Unfortunately no external mic jack on the camera. At any rate we should climb again and see what we can come up with. Maybe a week from this Friday or whenever your schedule allows. So many layers of birdsong in woods now, a new element to work with.

Also I think a tree hammock needs to be installed for recording upper canopy sounds so you can be comfortable/quiet while the mic is running, we can set that up.
-AJ

Re: Windy white pine climb

Posted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:27 pm
by michael gatonska
Sounds good Andrew!
I am leaving on 5/13 but will be back east on the 16th, so lets plan a out a climb for after then. I will send you an email...