Category Archives: Humor

Field Notes: How far should one go?

When surveyors are searching for a corner monument, a deed, or an unrecorded plat, they are always asking themselves, “How far should I go to find this?” These searches always raise a conundrum, because, as the theory goes, not finding something does not prove that it does not exist, but only by finding something can...

Careful Where You Step

Any surveyor who has spent more than a few days in the field knows insects, reptiles, and other critters that exist in the wild can ruin your day. Yellowjackets and other stinging bees are some of the more common causes of pain for surveyors in the eastern United States, but venomous snakes are the critters we worry most about encountering.  I think...

Farmer Accidentally Changes France-Belgium Border

Usually one country moving into another country’s territory is a huge geopolitical deal, often followed by military action. But when a Belgium farmer accidentally moved his country’s border into French territory, everyone just had a good laugh about it. The farmer was apparently annoyed by the boundary stone as he plowed his field, so he...

Dis-Located: America’s Two Feet

Buried in the October 5 edition of the Federal Register — the daily publication that meticulously and officially records the minutiae of the federal government — was the notice “Depreciation of the United States Survey Foot.”  Since 1893 the U.S Survey Foot has been one of the standards by which surveyors plot the country. But we’ve...

Life Lessons in Surveying

In my Field Notes installments the past few years, I have often written from personal experience, partly to share, but also to stimulate the thoughts and memories of our readers. This will be no different, except these are experiences that have extended to life, in general. Early in my career, well it was a summer...

Field Notes Silver Survey

A Silver Survey in My Golden Years

This summer I had the joy of experiencing the best boundary retracement “job” of my 40-year surveying career, and it came about quite by accident. For most of my life I’ve had the privilege of visiting a cabin on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains owned by the family of a childhood friend....