Caution – this post contains a large helping of satire and irony.
Okay, I think I’m already on record here as saying that the joy and beauty of ice fishing eludes me. I do not ridicule others for loving it, or at least I didn’t until this past weekend. Now, I have to admit I’m more comfortable with the notion of passing at least some little bit of judgment on those who suit up, trudge out onto a lake the size and depth of Erie, onto ice whose exact thickness and strength is not truly known to them, to sit in a tent (or sometimes exposed to whatever the elements may hurl at them) and dangle as fishing line into the icy depths for hours (and I do mean hours) on end. Hence the title of this post, which really works better if you say it out loud.
Those of you who don't live in the North American news area may not have heard that 134 ice fishers had to be rescued last Saturday, so here's an except from the news (italics are mine)
The ice sheet broke free Saturday morning, floating away from the Ohio shoreline.Fishermen had apparently used wooden pallets to create a bridge to get past a crack and farther onto the lake, the Toledo Blade reported. The National Weather Service said ice on western sections of the lake is up to 2 feet thick. But with temperatures rising above freezing, the ice started to crack and wind gusting to 35 mph began pushing the slab offshore.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the ice floe broke free at about 10:45 a.m.The Coast Guard said several ships and helicopters were sent to rescue people.Bratton called what happened Saturday "just idiotic" because he said the fishermen didn't know how to read the ice. And he said it was not unexpected.The Ohio Division of Wildlife said it warns fishermen every year that there's no such thing as "safe ice."
I have to say, if there’s a gap and open water, and you’re laying down plywood to get across it, “reading the ice” probably isn’t going to help you. Tragically, one person lost his life in this adventure turned misadventure, and I will take a break from my satire to say that I have total sympathy for that family’s terrible loss. But (satire back on) I’m also betting that this story ends up at least a runner-up in this year’s Darwin Awards. And the seafood counter in A&P is looking better than ever.
P.S. The photo shows how much the lake changed in 2 days of sun and warm temperatures. The blue isn't exactly open water, but I wouldn't venture out, though quite a few did. (click to enlarge)
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.