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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Sound Of Cracking Ice

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What do you do with your kids when it is like 20 degrees arctic out?

Why you go for a walk.

Our outdoor adventure started in the backyard, where the boys marveled at the ice they were finding everywhere. We spent a good portion of our early morning foray into the wonders of a frigid Mother Nature trying to figure out how thick the ice was in the creek in our backyard.

It was thick enough for the boys to stand on but began to crack when I stepped on it.

"Let's go to the lake!" said Spencer.
"And see if it is frozen."

Curious myself, I agreed to take the five minute walk over to Clark Lake but only after we retreated inside for a spell to warm up.

About an hour later, we once again bundled up to make the hike; it wasn't far by any means but shoot if wasn't freakin' cold out.

On the way the boys were thinking about all the things they could do on a frozen lake like ice skate and play hockey. It didn't matter that they didn't have skates or sticks but such is the joy of young minds.

My wife assured us all that it indeed would not be frozen, that the lake was "too deep" to freeze.

She was soon proved wrong when we walked up and saw the entire lake frozen over.

My and the boys started throwing rocks on the ice and the sound of the rocks hitting the frozen water made this odd reverberation noise.

We all just looked at each other with open eyes - it was a sound they had never heard before and one I hadn't heard in many, many years myself.

It was all we could do to get them to not run out there on the ice.

So I set out to prove a point.

I walked over to the edge of the lake and grabbed the branch of a tree and put the weight of one foot on the ice.


I put two feet on there and stomped with one... and the sound of ice cracking began to bellow out through the air. There's really no other word to chose and that one is poor at best.

Once my foot broke through the ice to make a hole to the water, the acoustics changed and from underneath the ice came an even eerie, inexplicable sound.

At that moment we saw a blue heron fly over the lake.


On the walk back we saw couple of blue birds.

"Freaky," said Cole.
"They are like brown but then when they fly away blue," he said.
"That's weird Dad!"

We went back again today, but the weather had warmed enough that the lake wasn't totally frozen.

We still threw rocks on to the frozen section and listened for that odd sound.

Like a long, steel coil unraveling is the best I can come up with to describe it.

Today was a good day.