Thursday, January 7, 2010

Frozen river

We've had several days of below-freezing weather, and now folks on a blog at the Channel 3 Web site are talking about when the Ohio River froze over during the winter of 1977. I well remember the day the river froze over. The temperature fell to about minus-17 the night before.

I also remember some cold weather in the 1980s. In the winter of 1983-84, I think, the temperatures dropped way down around Christmas and stayed cold into January. In the bend at Clipper Mills, Ohio, just below Gallipolis, I stopped one day to watch the ice floes go by. What I didn't expect was to hear the crunching and grinding noises as they collided near the shore.

Well, no one expects the river to freeze. A lot of people say it's too polluted, but the simple truth is that the water isn't cold enough yet to freeze. And it probably won't be. If you all don't mind, I'm not looking forward to weather that's cold enough to freeze the Ohio River. That's just plain too cold.

Hypothermia season

I have this habit of finding places I like and getting pictures in different seasons, weather and lighting, so I've been going down to the Ohio River bank lately to get pictures of some of my favorite places in the snow.

This time of year, rocks on the bank can be slick with ice -- I almost fell today when a snow-covered rock turned out to have ice on it -- and you can slip on mud. I'm always careful to stay far enough back from the river so I don't fall in, but someday the worst could happen.

No one wants to be in the water this time of year, when the river temperature is in the 30s. Hypothermia can set in too quickly. Apparently a guy near Evansville found himself in the river. He was rescued. Story here.

The photo is of Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington WV. A lot of people get pictures of these trees when they are green or gold, but I'm trying to photograph them year-round.

Funny thing about Harris Riverfront Park. As far as I know, there's nothing there that you can see from the river that says "Huntington." I guess the park's designers and all its various managing agencies have assumed that if you can get to the park by river, you know where you are.