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duccio shared how he puts remembrances in the little single-serving vodka bottles that you can find dotting the landscape (at least around here), and he even sent me one, with a crow label. Meanwhile, oiktirmos shared about a school project he recalls, messages in bottles, but set afloat in the air, via balloon, to find out about air currents. A friend in town here remembers doing similar with her students.

I've been collecting the little bottles, with the idea of hosting my book group for a message-in-a-bottle party. We could decorate the bottles with glitter and shiny things (so that if people see them, they won't dismiss them as just rubbish), and then each person could put a message in. I could have balloons ready--they could take the balloons with them, or they could launch from my house.

I thought I should test this, though. So first I decorated some bottles:

Then I thought I'd launch one. But to my chagrin, one balloon is not enough to lift a bottle:

Nor are two:

But ahhhh, magic three:

I went to a park next to an organic farm to launch that bottle:

Where are the balloons in this third photo? Click through to the full size--not enabled for the other photos--and look in the bottom third of the picture, near the center

There was not much wind, and the bottle and balloons rose straight up. My teacher friend said that one of her class's bottles made it to Spain, but I somehow imagine this one falling straight back down to earth, maybe to be retrieved by one of the farmers, or by a kid playing in the park.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
I was notified by LJ that you had mentioned me in this post.

THIS! is ultra cool. I'm going to have to think of other methods of dispersing my messages and pictures then simply leaving them around. I can imagine people seeing them in the sky, starting to descend after some of the gas escapes, and chasing them. They're surely going to know they are not trash if the balloons are still semi-full. How about if someone saw one and it came down and landed in their hand like a butterfly.
May. 2nd, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
How about if someone saw one and it came down and landed in their hand like a butterfly.

That's such a beautiful image--I'd like to draw that.
May. 2nd, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
That's such a cool idea.

I'm surprised it only took three.
May. 2nd, 2015 10:23 pm (UTC)
The two mylar ones were kind of old (i.e., the helium wasn't fresh). I think it might only take two balloons that were newly filled.
May. 2nd, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC)
Those bottles must be tiny... What will normally happen is that the balloon will reach a certain altitude and then burst, so the trick is to weight them just enough that they don't go too high. Also, you really don't want them going over the sea as burst balloons are apparently irresistible to turtles. :(
May. 2nd, 2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
I know balloons are bad (though I didn't know they were bad for sea turtles--I only know that balloon fragments are a menace to birds). I really hope my balloons don't hurt any turtles :(
May. 2nd, 2015 09:22 pm (UTC)
That is a tiiiiny speck on the third photo. Message in a bottle by sea and by air. ;)
May. 2nd, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
Yes! As below, so above; as above, so below :-)
May. 2nd, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
On its way to Timor-Leste.
Very Ben Franklin of you.
(Ben was a Leonardo of experiments before their time. A vastly underrated scientist.)
May. 2nd, 2015 10:31 pm (UTC)

Just hoping the balloons don't cause too much problem for wildlife--it would be ideal if was discovered as duccio suggests.
May. 2nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
I hope it carries across the sea!
May. 3rd, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
That would be wild!
May. 2nd, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
so very cool!
May. 3rd, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
It was fun to do ^_^
May. 3rd, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
I went to a park next to an organic farm to launch that bottle

May. 3rd, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)
No trees for it to get tangled up in--a big wide area. It was great. You can tell the sky was wide.
May. 3rd, 2015 06:45 am (UTC)
:) You could look At wind pAtterns to workout where it's likeliest to hAve gone.
May. 3rd, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed! I have numerous charts of sea currents but none of air currents!
May. 3rd, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
I sent a message in balloon in... I think 4th grade, and it made it to Plainville (which is kind of west of where I sent it from). Had the letter that the lady who found it (Kathy Beers, I think), for a while...
May. 3rd, 2015 04:37 pm (UTC)
That's great!

Did you guys use special balloons (were they weather balloons? not sure what makes a weather balloon a weather balloon, but...)
May. 3rd, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
Nah, it was just a balloon. I think mine was orange? I wanted red, but there were only a couple red ones, and I was near the back of the line.
May. 5th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC)
Excellent spin on messages in a bottle!
May. 13th, 2015 12:23 pm (UTC)

I have a whole collection of decorated bottles now, that a few members of my book group and I made. I'm going to give them to the members who weren't able to attend, and I'll use the extras myself.

fancy bottles
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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