Sunday, August 26, 2018

We Have a Winner!

The August 10th SlowBoat "What IS It?" quiz asked you to explain why the walls underneath a bridge would be decorated with chains that don't hold anything in place. (See photo at right.)

And we have a winner! Professional engineer (and number one brother) Scott Berger correctly explained that these chains function like the downspout on a rain gutter, helping to drain water off the surface of the bridge.

Scott writes: "Water [running off the deck of the bridge] comes down the hole at the top and runs down the chain. It is held on by surface tension."

(Maybe the water stains were a giveaway?)

Another Puzzler to Ponder

OK, cats and kittens, here's a couple more quizzical photos to entertain you.

This one is not a contest . . .  It's something that had ME saying. "What the HECK is it?" 

The ID of THIS critter is not the quiz question!
We were just past Schuylerville on the Champlain Canal, floating along under sunny skies past little waterfront camps and stretches of woodland. Suddenly, we heard the unmistakable racket of an upset raptor.

Scanning the treeline, we got a great look at a young bald eagle, perched and shrieking his head off. "Wonder what's got him so agitated?" I pondered.

Kicked Out of the Nest?

I started looking around at the nearby trees and spotted a big, messy nest.  So, maybe this was a fledgling, bummed to be out on his own?

I snapped some photos and thought no further of the moment . . . till that night, when I was downloading and sorting the day's images.

Here's what caught my attention:

I could see a man standing in the nest. Do you see him? Khaki shorts and dark shirt?

No WONDER the bird was shrieking! My mind started racing. 

  • Was this a legitimate wildlife biologist, tagging nestlings? 
  • Was it a poacher, trying to capture a bird?
  • Should I call the local wildlife officers? Report what I'd seen? Could it possibly make a difference?

Then I looked even closer.

For just a moment there, I was Thomas, the photographer in Blow Up, accidentally recording a crime. 

But . . . .

Optical illusion! It was just the play of light and shade on the tree trunk.

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