This week at Davis: 4 August 2017

This week at Davis we're taking back our station after the last blizzard and enjoying the winter skies.

Station update (The reclamation of Davis)

General

This week we took back the station! If you look at last week’s stories, and pictures you would see the sheer tonnage of snow that blanketed the place. Walking around now you wouldn’t recognise the place. I am not entirely sure where they put it all but the station looks like a station again. In areas where the snow refuses to be tamed, snow stair construction is being elevated to the level of artistry.

Weather wise I think Davis is trying to say sorry to us for what it did last week. It has been clear skies and warm days. The sun is really back now with it actually feeling a little like daytime. The sun rises and sets have been really good of late, and we are having to close blinds again because of glare from the setting sun. I have been caught in a stairwell trying to work out why the light was so yellow, until I realised it was the sunset coming through the skylight rather than a new light globe. It’s nice.

Social life

Last week saw 'Spicks and Specks' visit Davis. Weeks of quiet plotting between Bryce and Kerryn gave us three teams, buzzers and great food. There was much enthusiasm for the buzzers! Band trivia was tightly controlled due to a previous group performance, which our host described as abysmal. Apparently our knowledge base is not wide. I still feel that the fact the album had 1989 written on it, made it reasonable to assume that it was published that year. Public opinion at the time did not support this. And for the record it was, 'Under the bridge', not a turtle. Still a spectacular night, Middle Table forever!

The band is going strong, with an ever increasing collection of songs. A recent addition of '13th question method' has gone off and is sure to be a crowd favourite (at current count this is still less members in the band than out, so we can claim a crowd).

The board game 'Settlers of Catan' is being taken to new heights of strategy, mind games, and trash talking. It is now perfectly reasonable to descend into slander over dice rolls and tile shuffles. It’s all about the wheat!

Training

The infrastructure group got involved in some medical training this week. Seeing the great effort by Macca (credit given where credit due, but never for Casey), a plot was hatched to add a touch of realism to a first aid refresher.

With some googling of make-up tips (oh the things you get to learn as doctor), dental wax, and the kind assistance of Tony (aka victim). A completely unplanned happenstance saw Tony injured and stuck in a rather difficult spot. The team did great though and safely had him assessed, unstuck, and his wounds dressed.

For those interesting in making their own blood:

Kerryn’s bloody brew

2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce
2 cups of sugar syrup
Red food colouring

Thanks all, I hope you have had a great week.

Ralph (Doctor)

Ice on the window that has patterns that make it look like a fern or flower.
Ice flowers in the lounge window.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Blizzed machinery out on the snow at sunset.
Blizzed machinery at sunset.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Sunset colours highlighting sculptured snow in our snow dune.
Sunset colours highlighting sculptured snow in our snow dune.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
A pink sunset over our newly forming sea-ice off station.
A pink sunset over our newly forming sea-ice off station.
(Photo: Kirsten le Mar)
Auroras are seen behind the snow clearing machinery.
After a day of clearing snow.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Piles of cleared snow with an aurora.
Piles of cleared snow with an aurora.
(Photo: Barry Becker)

The effects of the sun

The sun returned above the horizon for the first time on July 10th. It was a special time on station as it meant we were coming out of winter.

Since that day the sun has been elusive, rising and falling behind a thick layer of cloud which has persisted over Davis. We knew it was there as we could see the overcast celestial dome lighten from the inky black mornings to a dull grey day.

During the last week the cloud has (mostly) finally cleared, enabling us to see the amazing landscape, physically changed by the persistent and insistent snow, winds and blizzard conditions.

With the return of the sun, we have been re–acquainted with the effects of this life giving orb. These can be seen from the grandiose, spectacular colour of sunrise and sunset. Also with the return of clear nights we have seen some wonderful dynamic flowing auroras.

It also has had an effect on the minute scale with reflection and refraction in the ice crystals.

Thank goodness film is cheap?

Barry B1 (Senior Met Observer)

Barry's shadow is seen against the boat shed. There is pink light on the snow surrounding the building.
A selfie with sunset colours.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Nacreous cloud, which has a polarised looking sheen, is seen over station.
Nacreous cloud over station.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Nacreous cloud with its polarised colour, over the satellite dome.
Nacreous cloud with its polarised colour, over the satellite dome.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
Polar stratospheric cloud at sunset, giving the sky a pretty purple and orange colour.
Polar stratospheric cloud at sunset.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
An aurora with a shooting star.
An aurora with a shooting star.
(Photo: Barry Becker)
The Davis sign with an aurora.
The Davis sign with an aurora.
(Photo: Barry Becker)