As I’ve often said, I don’t like cold weather. I think it’s one of the general “symptoms” of getting old. But if you’ve got a new camera that’s just sitting there on the shelf (with a new lens attached), you have to make the hard choices. Like deciding to get your ass outside. Be brave. Get out and go play in the snow and see if the new toy is really “freeze-proof”.
So off I went, in the general direction of the Lake Ontario shore and Irondequoit Bay. I hadn’t been down there since early summer and it appeared to be snowing in that direction (lake effect snow). As I headed west on Lake Road I came across the roadside memorial for Michael Chiaperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, the two first responders who were gunned down by a lunatic on Christmas Eve, 2012. They were the first to arrive at what was originally a car fire (set by the shooter) and were ambushed almost immediately. The fire then spread to a number of houses in the area, most of which burned to the ground. The memorial you see here is very close to the spot where the lives of these two young men sadly and violently ended. (Lake Ontario, by the way, is just a few feet off to the right.) I can’t imagine how difficult Christmas must have been this year for the families of these two brave men.
I then drove about another 1/2 mile west to where Lake Ontario meets Irondequoit Bay. By now the snow was intensifying and the wind was picking up a bit. Still, I decided to walk out along one of the break-walls that mark the inlet connecting the lake to the bay. As expected, the inlet itself was well on its way to freezing over (it’s not terribly deep there). It wasn’t frozen yet, however, out at the point where the lake and bay meet. So I decided to walk out to the end, discovering as I went that the walkway was ice covered in some spots. Because I was trying really hard not to slip on the ice I didn’t notice the guy in the kayak, just sitting there in the water. I was surprised when I did. I mean, what the hell was he doing out there? It didn’t exactly seem like a good day for recreational boating.
Anyway, I took a few pictures of the guy and then turned and headed back toward the parking lot. I decided I’d had enough winter for the day. A few seconds later, the snowy silence was shattered by 3 rapid shotgun blasts. My guess was that they’d come from just behind me, from the guy in the kayak. Scared the beejezus out of me.
I finally realized what was going on, though (I’m a little slow sometimes). He was hunting. Actually, I should say that they were hunting. There are two more guys on the point in front of the kayak (one is sort of visible in this picture if you look really hard). You can also see some ducks in the water and there’s a shotgun sitting in the kayak. The “target”, apparently, was the duck swimming about 10 feet in front of the kayak. It looks like the poor thing was just staring at the guy in the boat. But 3 shots? They must have wanted to make sure they got him………