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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for January 19th, 2022

Corner Mark

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It was a warm day yesterday, with plenty of sunshine. Today, the other shoe drops. A fresh dose of Arctic air is dipping into our region for a few days. Taking advantage of yesterday’s pleasant weather, we took a leisurely stroll around the property with Delilah. This, after the dog and I awoke from an afternoon nap, blanketed by the glorious rays blazing through the glass of the back doors to the deck.

As our walk approached the northeast corner of our property, my balanced stone cairn denoting the landmark stood out vividly in the bright sunlight.

It is far from a permanent stack. We walk the perimeter trails daily and I am fastidious about picking up the rocks if they have tumbled, so there is a general impression of it being a constant marker.

The stack is close enough to the road that snow rolling off the plow blade of the township truck can topple the top few rocks. The base is a combination of multiple big rocks, so that tends to buffer from any dramatic impact of the ground heaving as it freezes and thaws.

In fact, it seems like the harder the freeze, the less the rocks appear to shift. Maybe they all share a similar enough makeup that there is little difference in temperature coefficient.

Otherwise, it is likely that vibrations from a heavy truck rumbling past could knock some rocks down. Occasionally, a big wind will tip them when it hits at just the right angle.

Ultimately, most of the balanced rocks around our property succumb to the push-off when a bird perched on the pinnacle decides to take flight.

Something about one of those laws of physics.

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Written by johnwhays

January 19, 2022 at 7:00 am