Skipping Stones, Throwing Rocks – When The River Freezes

I had no idea that Stone Skipping was a competitive sport. If you doubt this claim,  then head on over to the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping and Gerplunking Website!

Most people know what Stone Skipping is, but may not have heard about Gerplunking. “Gerplunk” – the sound a that a rock makes when it hits a body of water!

children fall ice

In 2009, winter weather arrived before we could close up the cabin. The water lines froze, making the shut down a challenge.  But a wonderful thing had happened at the lake and on the side channels of the river. A fairly thick layer of ice formed on the water, but there was also a large air pocket separating the ice from the water. Nature had created a drum, of sorts. We all spent a few hours skipping rocks over the ice. They made such an interesting series of sounds  as they bounced along the surface – “pock, tickety tock, tock, tock, tock, tock…” We counted the tock sounds, just as we would have counted the skips if they had been on water.

Of course, the grandchildren had to try to break the ice by heaving larger and larger rocks! Now and then they were rewarded with a satisfying “gerplunk”!

frozenElsewhere in the resort, immense icicles had formed on the trees from the spray of the water from the fountains.

frozenEvery little puddle of water had frozen into wonderful lacy creations, some so fragile they shattered with the least pressure.

It was a magical week-end – pock, tickety tock, tock, tock, tock…

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30 comments

  1. Hi,
    I had no idea that skipping stones was a sport, I think that’s great. I’m not very good at it at all but I have fun giving it a go. 😀

    I love the way the ice has formed on the tree, it looks magical, who knew ice would form that way.

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  2. “Gerplunking” gotta love the fun sport. Maybe it’ll become an Olympic event. It’d be a darn sight more interesting to watch than some of their sports. 😉
    Great photos. It looks so dreadfully cold, yet so magically beautiful. 🙂

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  3. Nature holds so many magical moments for us, doesn’t it? I enjoy reading someone’s observations who notices. Beautiful picture of the icy pattern on fallen leaves. I was just captivated by a similar ice formation while out walking yesterday here in Colorado. Thanks for sharing the gerplunking adventure. Love to add to my vocabulary.

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  4. Hey there….great post.
    My dad and brothers taught me to skip rocks when I was a kid. It was fun looking for the nice smooth flat stones.
    Your photos are amazing.

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  5. Well of course, stone skipping was a Herculean Sport among all of us siblings and cousins, with the winner getting bragging rights. I think I’d like the ice-skipping better. Not sure why? I can see the stone longer? I tried to take a photo of a child at a local deli looking out the window at the snow yesterday. Too many shadows to get all the elements. It gave me such respect for your photos.

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    • Thanks Barb – Yes, the bragging rights were important! Skipping stones on ice quickly evolved into more of a game of bocce ball!
      I have lots of photos of my kids and grandchildren I would like to put on my blog, but I am pretty cautious about posting people pictures!

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    • Hi Katz – No, the ice was just the result of an early freeze when there was still lots of water puddles and the water fountains were still running! We don’t often have the conditions that lead to a real ice storm.

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