Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lake Tornadoes

I have something totally new to look forward to. Today we had our "Team Kid Grand Prix." It's a pine wood derby for the children's department of our church. Lot's of fun. Very cool.

And I got to meet our communities mayor. He attended and actually raced a car. (He lost, taking last place. I presented him with a roll of toilet paper with two tires glued to it to commemorate the occasion. He seemed genuinely touched.) He's a really nice guy. We spent half an hour or so chatting. He grew up here. He is mayor in a part-time way and also a fireman. He lives right on the lake. He use to pilot a chartered boat and is licensed to steer anything up to 20 tons. I don't know what boats weigh but I would think that would be a fairly substantial floating object.

I asked him what he likes best about living here. That's when he told me about a phenomenon that takes place when the lake finally begins to melt. The massive sheet of ice breaks up into ice floes. At least I think that's what he called them. You know, chunks of ice that break apart from the main ice. Anyway, when this happens it seems that you can often stand on shore and see mini-tornadoes form above the big chunks of ice. At least they look like tornadoes. He said you can watch them spin from the ice up ... well, I don't know how far up. But up.

I am not sure what to think about that. I've never heard of this, much less seen it occur. I'll have to get back to you. At least I don't have any trees here that can get torn up. Of course ... I could get sucked off of the balcony. That might be worse?