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Mystery Photo

Do you know what is responsible for the two parallel lines that run diagonally across the bottom of this photograph?  If so, enter your comment on the Naturally Curious blog.  Scroll down and click on “Comments.” Hint: there are numerous clues in photo.  Answer will be revealed on Wednesday’s (1/8/20) blog post.  (Photo by Mike Hebb)

51 responses

  1. Ted Bolton

    Ducks coming in for a landing!

    January 6, 2020 at 8:49 am

  2. Mary Jo Carlsen

    Beaver dragging branch on ice?

    January 6, 2020 at 8:52 am

  3. Sue j

    I’m guessing tree branches above the pond

    January 6, 2020 at 8:56 am

  4. Chuck B

    Ducks taking off on ice covered pond.

    January 6, 2020 at 9:02 am

  5. Wendy Wilson

    A pine cone or rock blown across the ice while there was a light dusting of snow? Or maybe a beaver dragging it’s tail?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:04 am

  6. Alice

    A Meadow vole family on a sled?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:08 am

    • Laurie Spry

      I like this one!

      January 6, 2020 at 9:36 am

    • Jo

      Ha ha ha… Stuart Little & his family!

      January 6, 2020 at 11:25 am

  7. susantcloutier

    Perhaps an old ice crack that formed and then got covered with a new rainfall that froze on top of the pond and the crack. Another similar covered crack is in the distance running another direction.

    January 6, 2020 at 9:08 am

  8. Kathy Schillemat

    I concur with Mary. Beaver dragging a stick across the ice. I can’t tell, but is that scat on the ice?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:09 am

  9. kai

    is it a thermal crack?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:23 am

  10. Nancy

    Maybe a beaver is dragging an antler across the ice.

    January 6, 2020 at 9:24 am

  11. Roseanne Saalfield

    The start of a cross country ski race.

    January 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

  12. ted Bolton

    Ducks/geese making a landing?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:29 am

  13. Laurie Spry

    Liking the beaver idea but there would have to have been open water somewhere…all those other marks in the snowier part could be more drags. Replenishing underwater pantry!

    January 6, 2020 at 9:38 am

  14. Charline


    January 6, 2020 at 9:38 am

  15. ann robbins

    geese making a landing on the ice

    January 6, 2020 at 9:46 am

  16. Linda Shelvey

    Acorn rolled by wind across soft ice?

    January 6, 2020 at 9:48 am

  17. Hmmm. I’ve been thinking that he other marks in the snowier part were wind-related, and that maybe those unclear items could be pebbles. So I’ve been trying to think of how pebbles could have moved/been dragged, in a more or less parallel fashion, across the ice to create those lines; OR what could have been blown in a likewise fashion. Needless to say, I have not come up with a good explanation yet. Not sure I concur with any of the possibilities posed so far, by my fellow intrigued detectives and Mary Holland fans. I’ll keep checking on people’s thoughts…

    January 6, 2020 at 9:53 am

  18. Ducks or geese landing on frozen lake.

    January 6, 2020 at 9:59 am

  19. Luke

    It looks like the top of a crack and the bottom of the crack seen through the clear ice. They are offset because of the ice thickness

    January 6, 2020 at 10:00 am

  20. Sam

    Well, Goose landing strips at the top, goose poop in the middle, and my guess for the diagonal scratch is a goose claw mark. Made from a goose dragging its claw while being dragged away by a predator.

    January 6, 2020 at 10:26 am

  21. Lisa H

    An Ermine or a Mink?

    January 6, 2020 at 10:28 am

  22. Martha Cochran

    I think it is canadian geese taking off from a lake. THeir wing tips make the parallel lines. There is poop left by them when they sat on the ice.

    January 6, 2020 at 11:07 am

    • Jo

      Intriguing… I’m inclined to wonder if it is geese or other water fowl landing, dragging toes behind like landing gear?

      January 6, 2020 at 11:28 am

  23. don mccabe

    Stress cracks due to drop in temperature. If not that, then a pirate otter dragging his peg leg.

    January 6, 2020 at 11:07 am

  24. Betsy Hawes

    Geese or other large birds landing on the ice.

    January 6, 2020 at 11:15 am

  25. david putnam


    January 6, 2020 at 11:28 am

  26. Tom Nadeau

    Wind-blown branch from on oak tree overhanging water’s edge. There appears to be acorns scattered and a few leaves stuck to the ice.

    January 6, 2020 at 11:53 am

  27. Canada Geese? At least I think I see their poo! But they wouldn’t do that! I like the Beaver one! ❤

    January 6, 2020 at 12:22 pm

  28. Susan

    A beaver with one double bladed skate. Or Harvey?

    January 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm

  29. A skater (parallel tracks) coasting through a flock of geese (nibble marks and scat on ice) who then all took off (dark trails in background of light snow cleared by flapping wings/running feet). It’s hard to make out the details—for instance, I wonder what the distance is between the scratch marks and whether it’s consistent. What is the color/shape/consistency of scat?
    Fun game trying to link “numerous clues”.

    January 6, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    • hellomolly

      This gets my vote for most creative answer!

      January 6, 2020 at 3:13 pm

  30. Su

    A small child’s first time skating…wearing only one of their double blade beginners skates because they were afraid to wear both

    January 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm

  31. Betsey Holland

    Guesses from my second grade class:
    -a trail of frog eggs
    -a beaver dragging wood
    -birds skimming across
    -a basilisk lizard running across the ice!
    -an eel
    -first-time skater
    (we see poop and are veryyyyyy excited about it!)

    January 6, 2020 at 1:34 pm

  32. Jerry Schoen

    Pond ice will crack and shift in plates, probably the ice equivalent to tectonic forces. When cracks open up, water will seep up into the ice and freeze, separating the two plates further. I have seen cracks form such patterns, sometimes offset vertically as well as horizontally as much as an inch or possibly two. The action that produces these cracks is my favorite winter sound – sometimes a dull boom (especially if the ice is snow covered) sometimes a sharp report, and when the ice is thin enough, a tinkling sound.

    January 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

  33. Ed Stockman

    Wind generated ice expansion.

    January 6, 2020 at 2:05 pm

  34. Betsey Holland

    More guesses:
    -Bear going after a fish and dragging two claws
    -Bird not knowing there was ice and landing on the ice
    -A squirrel performing a disney on ice performance for the other forest creatures

    January 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

  35. Lynne Woodard

    Sliding otter claws?

    January 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm

  36. hellomolly

    Wow, challenging! I’m guessing they are the scratch marks made by a rock that got blown across the ice. The rock would have to have 2 points of contact with the ice. Are those rocks or leaves on the ice? And what the heck made the lines in the snow in the upper part of the photo????

    January 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm

  37. Mary Hillsgrove

    Is it leaves blowing across the ice.

    January 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm

  38. John Groelau

    I’ve spent many hours on the ice fishing. I thinks its my brother on his trainning skates being hauled off by the game warden.

    January 6, 2020 at 4:44 pm

  39. Jon Binhammer

    No idea, but it looks like Lake Morey!

    January 6, 2020 at 4:45 pm

  40. Bill On The Hill

    A pair of safety cracks that froze in place after an extreme temperature drop…
    Skid marks from a miniature ice fisherman’s sled?
    Wind driven rocks…

    Very heavy stones are known to get blown across deserts, leaving behind their trails, so I’ll go with the rocks theory… :~)

    January 6, 2020 at 5:37 pm

  41. ann bove


    January 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm

  42. Johannah Powell


    January 6, 2020 at 9:49 pm

  43. Marc Connelly

    either someone came in for a landing or its Sasquatch skating

    January 7, 2020 at 12:17 am

  44. Michael

    otters frolicking

    January 7, 2020 at 10:44 am

  45. Nelson Anderson

    I ‘m thinking nothing could be pushed hard enough, consistently to make dragging scratch marks in ice – so must be cracks due to water pressure from beneath as ice freezes.

    January 7, 2020 at 11:35 am

  46. Ducks putting their landing gear down but unable to stop quickly on the ice.

    January 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

  47. Martha Cochran

    I amend my post to be ducks coming in for landing, too!

    January 7, 2020 at 7:21 pm

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