Monday, December 13, 2010

Ice in the creek

Thursday morning while I was out and about, I saw some ice at the mouth of a small tributary of the Ohio River, and I got to thinking about a wider tributary nearby. That stream has a public park at is mouth, so I could do some checking without worrying about trespassing. I went there, climbed through some rough spots and found what I was looking for: ice from shore to shore.

The ice was thin, but it was there. It had some interesting straight-line cracks perpendicular to the current and shore but parallel to the river.  Other cracks formed an "M".

While I was looking at some trees backlit by the sun – low in the sky – I heard a bird or a small animal nearby. I scanned the shore but saw nothing. I heard it again, and again. The third time I realized it wasn’t a critter I heard but the sheets of ice snapping, cracking and popping as they ground against one another.

Then the Stephen T went by pushing one barge, and the wake came up the mouth of the creek. The cracking and grinding grew louder. It’s a sound I can’t describe. If I go ice hunting again, I’ll have to bring along an audio recorder.

And that was my excitement for the day.

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