Monday, December 13, 2010

Mark your calendar

For those in the Huntington area: I’ve been penciled in for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, to give a talk about photographing the Ohio River as part of the Marshall University series “A River Runs Through Us” "Dine and Discover: The Ohio River Series". The talk will last about half an hour, and I’ll show some good photos that I’ve not put up on line for various reasons, along with some that readers of this blog or my Flicker site have seen. I’ll show a few of my family river photos, at least one of which was taken more than a hundred years ago.

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.