Two weeks ago I spent half a day flying a kite.
It is a pastime I am going to undertake on a more regular basis, as things have moved on significantly since the days of Peter Powell and his stunt kite which had the capacity to clear a Welsh beach with a single uncontrollable strafe as it sped sideways at many miles an hour, pointy end to the fore, a few feet from the floor.
There is some very expensive equipment available for gathering this type of data, but Cindy has worked out a cheap and cost effective way of undertaking the operation. First a snap and shoot camera is taken apart and the infrared filter removed, this is then attached to a wooden frame with elastic bands and the camera set to continuous shoot mode. A final elastic band is then added that holds the shoot button down. The camera is pointed at the horizon to focus on infinity and the frame and camera is then attached to a complicated and well thought out series of strings and pulleys that serve as a gimbal. The Kite, which has been specially made and screams stealth, is then launched and when around thirty feet high the strings pulleys wooden frame are attached and then, to quote Yazz and the Plastic Population, the only way is up.
To one thousand feet,
which is really high,
and well above some helicopters and planes, and at this point I remembered that I was supposed to contact the civil aviation authority and nearby military base, but no matter, we were up and away now and at one thousand feet the kite is dot. Ten minutes of flying over a lake in a neighbouring valley filled the SD card and provided the local Kite and Buzzard population with a new point of interest.
Drones can also be used but are an expensive alternative and won't fly as high as a kite.
The images we obtained highlighted the genesis of an algal bloom that is currently enjoying the warm weather and low water, and well done to whoever has since put a screen on the outlet from the lake to prevent large lumps of gloop continually making their way into the river.
Good luck ladies with your studies and thanks very much for a fun and informative day, and I'm sold on the idea of pictures from the air as a means of presenting evidence of environmental impact on the aquatic habit, but whether it's a kite, a drone or those Hover shoes that Blue Peter promised us back in the day,
time will tell.