Saturday, December 12, 2009

Put 'Em on Ice

For the first time in a week, it was bearable to be outside for any length of time yesterday. In the morning when I left for work, I felt there might be reason to hope since it was 10 F out (the same temperature as the high from the day before.) and sure enough, by my lunch break it was approaching 20 F. I headed outside to see the sun and breath some fresh air and to maybe catch sight of some of the bald eagles that have come into town for the winter.

So here I am walking along the riverfront trail, enjoying being outside for a change and some movement across the river catches my attention. Inexplicably, there's a guy walking around on the river, really close to the edge of the ice. This ought to be interesting, I thought to myself, so I stopped to watch.

Then this guy picks up a good sized river rock and chucks it waaaaaay up in the air and watches it smack back down onto the ice. He then walks out to the rock, picks it up and does it again, and again, and each time the rock falls a little further out onto the river, he walks a little further out on the ice. I decide that I've had enough when I see him throwing the rock onto the ice that is slightly submerged under the water. Call me crazy, but I think when water is flowing over the ice it should be a good indicator that you shouldn't step there, regardless of what the rock says.

Through the wonders of Photoshop, I have highlighted the thrown rock for you to see.

So I'm walking back towards work and start to notice that there are other river rocks scattered here and there on top of the ice in the river. This means that other people (or maybe just this one obsessed guy?) have been performing this same act all up and down the area! Why have I never seen anyone doing this before? I mean, my office is right on the river with a wall of windows facing it and I'm always peeking out the window looking for eagles in the winter; you'd think that I'd have noticed this before.

And why are they doing this? To fish? Sure, the river has trout in it, but there are so many open areas you could just as easily dangle your hook directly into the river rather than going to the bother of drilling a hole in the ice.

I will let you know if I ever find an answer.


Heather said...

How bizarre!!! I really hope you are able to find out the reasoning behind this behavior - I'd love to hear it!

Steve Willson said...

Gabrielle - Thanks for visiting my Blue Jay Barrens blog. I'm also waiting to find my first trilobite fossil.

I don't know what the man on the ice might be thinking. Maybe if he was thinking, he wouldn't be out there throwing the rock. When my daughter and I are puzzled by someone's odd behavior, she likes to say "Maybe they're just stupid."