Monday, January 11, 2010

Ice on the Ohio

Sunday, Jan. 10, I figured I had better get up West Virginia State Route 2 and get some photos of snow in farm country before it all melts later in the week. I stopped by a boat ramp on the Ohio River and saw lots of ice on the river, so a change in plans was called for.

I ran home to get the boys so they could see an ice-covered Ohio River. Now, the river wasn't frozen over the way it was in 1977. Instead, parts were covered shore to shore by thin pieces of floating ice.

The boys loved seeing all the ice, but they were most surprised by the sounds made of the pieces -- maybe an inch thick at most -- grinding and crunching against each other as they were pushed by the current.

Here, you see the amount of ice in the river just above the East End bridge at Huntington WV. Adam shot this from the back seat while we crossed the bridge. You can see the path cut by the W.H. Dickhoner, which had passed through just a few minutes earlier.

Here's the W.H. Dickhoner a little ways below the bridge.

Adam and I walked up on the 6th Street bridge while Joey watched the fun from the shore. We looked down at the ice and saw patterns like this. It made me think of a Mandelbrot fractal. That sounds like I know more than I really do. Sorry, but it comes from more than four years of writing newspaper editorials.

Here's one of the lead barges from the W.H. Dickhoner encountering the ice near the bridge. I loved the sound. It was like a car wreck in slow motion.

We went to the Ohio side of the river and found these small pieces near the shore.

On the West Virginia side, we found these dirty icicles hanging from a rock. The sand, dirt, grit and stuff were mostly on the outside of the ice.

And here's the W.T. Toutant going downriver as we were about to go home.

The strange part about all this is that I don't like winter, and I really don't like cold weather, but I can find fun in photographing it. The fact that photography has been my link to sanity during eight months of unemployment probably contributes to that.

I have several more pics I might post tomorrow.