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Re: The Duck Corner

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The Duck Corner
September 27, 2010 09:33PM
A friend wanted to take her very young child out for a first hike and asked if I would go with her. We went to Yosemite Valley on Sept 20, as it's not real busy right now, and headed up to Mirror Lake. There's an intersection with the paved part and the trail that goes back toward the village and Yosemite falls, where some industrious soul has created... a duck farm.









There are more than I'm showing, even. On branches, on the narrow top ridges of boulders, on fallen logs, in a grassy area beyond the trail... elaborate ones, tall ones, short ones, all over the place. The "farm" extends another 10-20 feet to the right. Probably the work of multiple people adding on to it over time.

It's impressive in a way, don't know how long it's been there, don't know how long it will stay.... I wish we had seen a ranger to ask about it. It would take a lot of work to disperse this. Never seen anything like it before.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 28, 2010 06:31AM
Not amused.

Continually knocking this crap down in the wilderness.

Ask the ranger when you get your permit what they think.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: The Duck Corner
September 28, 2010 10:18AM
I thought about walking through swinging my poles, but that would have left a huge field of rocks. This is gonna take a wheelbarrow and a few trail crew... next time we're up there I hope the wilderness office is still open when we get to it.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 28, 2010 07:30PM
That crap has no place in a national park. I knock them down whenever I find them.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 28, 2010 07:33PM
Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 06:31AM
I went up that pass last month and didn't see them. hmmm....
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
October 01, 2010 08:15AM
Quote
AlmostThere
I went up that pass last month and didn't see them. hmmm....


Probably just stopped for a couple days while migrating along the Pacific Flyway:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Flyway
(Absolutely no trace of them when I went over Kearsarge this week.)
Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 08:21AM
OMG that's awful. I didn't see that when we went to Mirror Lake in the Spring, but we didn't go that way. That should be removed.
Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 08:34AM
On Half Dome too.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 08:49AM
Yup. I knocked a crapload down up there too.

I did ask the ranger a couple weekends ago:

"what the heck is the deal with the ducks? who puts them up?"

(reason I asked was because all along WELL DEFINED trails
you see them... and it's just ridiculous... and I was wondering
if the rangers themselves put some up or what the!?)
(also I see them in just places they are not needed.... you really
need a duck to tell you you are walking along a dry
streambed?)

His response was the same astonishment I find... he said
"yup... don't get it... there were ducks along Rafferty Creek trail"
"and for cross country... if you need ducks... you shouldn't be
off the trail"
(his words)

From Roper's "Sierra High Route" regarding Treading Lightly:
"... ducks... contribute to the establishment of new trails. Over
a period of half a century, well intentioned hikers have built
thousands of these markers to help subsequent travelers
find their way over rough sections of the High Sierra. ....
In all likelihood the ducked path is neither easier nor more direct
than numerous other routes a few score feet distant. Ducks
also detract from the wilderness experience and can lull one
into complacency. For all these reasons I recommend that
High Route backpackers dismantle ducks wherever they
are found - unless there is a very good reason for them"

bingo

An example of this is to the Diving Board... ducks all over the place.

sigh

Since I'm complaining I think it is somewhat amusing that we
get pictures of ducks and almost nothing else on here.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 09:10AM
I never trust ducks anyways. Sometimes they help guide my eye to a good route, but just like snowshoe or ski tracks in the snow, there's no guarantee that the fool ahead of you knew where they were going either. And on an established trail - that's just silly.
Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 11:20AM
godawful gross granite grafitti
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 11:41AM
Think of the extra scenery they missed while wasting time building ducks.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 07:43PM
Quote
chick-on
.....An example of this is to the Diving Board... ducks all over the place.

sigh

Since I'm complaining I think it is somewhat amusing that we
get pictures of ducks and almost nothing else on here.
These things aren't "ducks," cairn, or trail markers of any kind. They're graffiti.
Re: The Duck Corner
October 05, 2010 04:13PM
Quote
chick-on


Since I'm complaining I think it is somewhat amusing that we
get pictures of ducks and almost nothing else on here.

Almost nothing else? You post pics all the time.

I just posted a TR with a link to my gallery. Anything beyond a couple pics, I upload to my gallery - haven't figured out how to link to a single photo yet to post them elsewhere. It's generally a mess because I have a backlog of stuff to finish organizing, but I just put up last weekend's trip so my companions could get to the pics.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
October 05, 2010 04:53PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
chick-on


Since I'm complaining I think it is somewhat amusing that we
get pictures of ducks and almost nothing else on here.

Almost nothing else? You post pics all the time.

I just posted a TR with a link to my gallery. Anything beyond a couple pics, I upload to my gallery - haven't figured out how to link to a single photo yet to post them elsewhere. It's generally a mess because I have a backlog of stuff to finish organizing, but I just put up last weekend's trip so my companions could get to the pics.

Maybe this will explain the duck problem:


Re: The Duck Corner
October 05, 2010 05:09PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
chick-on


Since I'm complaining I think it is somewhat amusing that we
get pictures of ducks and almost nothing else on here.

Almost nothing else? You post pics all the time.

I just posted a TR with a link to my gallery. Anything beyond a couple pics, I upload to my gallery - haven't figured out how to link to a single photo yet to post them elsewhere. It's generally a mess because I have a backlog of stuff to finish organizing, but I just put up last weekend's trip so my companions could get to the pics.

Maybe this will explain the duck problem:



Clear as coconut milk.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
September 29, 2010 11:54AM
And all those rocks had to come from somewhere. How many spider and cubby homes were wrecked in the process?



Old Dude
Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 06:36AM
Never underestimate the arrogance of the uneducated. They are NOT ducks, they are inuksuit. From Wikipedia:
****
An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) [1] (from the Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ, plural ᐃᓄᒃᓱᐃᑦ; alternatively inukshuk in English[2] or inukhuk in Inuinnaqtun[3]) is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland. This region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks.

The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting [4] or to mark a food cache.[5] The Inupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter.[6] Varying in shape and size, the inuksuit have longtime roots in the Inuit culture.

Historically, the most common type of inuksuk is a single stone positioned in an upright manner.[7] There is some debate as to whether the appearance of human- or cross-shaped cairns developed in the Inuit culture before the arrival of European missionaries and explorers.[7] The size of some inuksuit suggest that the construction was often a communal effort.[4]

At Enukso Point on Baffin Island, there are over 100 inuksuit. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969.
****
If you google the term you will find many monumental and impressive examples still standing after hundreds or thousands of years.

You relate to the wilderness by hiking through it and camping there. How is it wrong for others to relate to it by building stone figures that emulate those built by indigenous peoples? Perhaps current builders were hoping to educate, to introduce the viewer to history, that the viewer would be curious and want to learn about them, rather than arrogantly assume there was nothing to learn, and tear them down.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 07:37AM
http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/Mather-Musings-Rockpiles.htm

By definition a Inuksuk is "used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America."



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 08:28AM
What were these people trying to teach us?



We are not alone?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: The Duck Corner
July 19, 2014 10:47AM
Quote
chick-on
What were these people trying to teach us?



We are not alone?

=======================================

I'm not always so quick to make assumptions. Primitive people THE WORLD OVER used stacked stones for various purposes, sometimes religious, sometimes astronomical.

Would we be so quick to condemn and dismantle the above, if we found out that it was constructed by a group of indians, recreating ancestral religious formations, on old ancestral grounds (which Yosemite WAS)?

I don' t know that it was, but I don't know.

I would hate to be the proud dismantler of any of the countryside stones that are part of the Stonehenge complex....which almost certainly happened.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 19, 2014 11:14AM
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/ancient-native-stone-formations-found-6960

"Like an army of minature Stonehendges, beguiling stone formations have been found in around Madison, Connecticut. The Hartford Courant reports that retired engineer and local resident Tom Paul has personally found thousands of them..........................."
Re: The Duck Corner
July 19, 2014 01:53PM
Quote
Ken M
I'm not always so quick to make assumptions. Primitive people THE WORLD OVER used stacked stones for various purposes, sometimes religious, sometimes astronomical.

Would we be so quick to condemn and dismantle the above, if we found out that it was constructed by a group of indians, recreating ancestral religious formations, on old ancestral grounds (which Yosemite WAS)?

I don' t know that it was, but I don't know.

I would hate to be the proud dismantler of any of the countryside stones that are part of the Stonehenge complex....which almost certainly happened.

I don't know. But any that weren't there a year ago are fair game for dismantling, in my estimation.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 19, 2014 04:03PM
Quote
Ken M
I'm not always so quick to make assumptions. Primitive people THE WORLD OVER used stacked stones for various purposes, sometimes religious, sometimes astronomical.

Would we be so quick to condemn and dismantle the above, if we found out that it was constructed by a group of indians, recreating ancestral religious formations, on old ancestral grounds (which Yosemite WAS)?

I don' t know that it was, but I don't know.

I would hate to be the proud dismantler of any of the countryside stones that are part of the Stonehenge complex....which almost certainly happened.
Comparing rock stacks, graffiti, to Stone Henge is like comparing Mt. Everest to an ant hill. There is no comparison. I proudly dismantle all rock stacks I can find in the Park. The local natives did not stack rocks like that, so there is no problem there.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 03:10PM
Quote
mythumpa


You relate to the wilderness by hiking through it and camping there. How is it wrong for others to relate to it by building stone figures that emulate those built by indigenous peoples?


Then learn about the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada, the Paiute and Miwok.

They didn't waste their time building these silly ducks and cairns, desecrating the Sierra in the process.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 06:50PM
Quote
mythumpa
Never underestimate the arrogance of the uneducated. They are NOT ducks, they are inuksuit. ......
We are not above the Arctic Circle so those damn things have no place here. Educate yourself about leave no trace.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 07:15PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
mythumpa
Never underestimate the arrogance of the uneducated. They are NOT ducks, they are inuksuit. ......
We are not above the Arctic Circle so those damn things have no place here. Educate yourself about leave no trace.

Wait a sec...what about those near the Arctic Circle?
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 08:02PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Wait a sec...what about those near the Arctic Circle?
I don't care. If the things aren't in Yosemite, not my problem. The Inuit can build them all they want. It's the copy cats that are the problem.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 08:53PM
Calm down. There are three types of these things.

1) Ostentatious displays. Graffiti, but of a harmless type, like chalk on the sidewalk. Knock them down, like the rangers do.

2) Markers along maintained trails, like the Four Mile Trail. Put there by small children, who think that someone might need them. Knock them down before they multiply.

3) Occasionally, to mark the route of or turnoff for an obscure use trail. Use your judgement about what to do. I don't rip down the cross country ski route markers, and there are similarly useful marker cairns that have some justification. But when they start marking parallel tracks, all but a few of them should go.

Don't blame the Native Americans, They didn't waste their time with useless cairns. If they left any in place, it was for a good reason.

In places like Nepal, the tops of mountain passes are covered with cairns, to which a visitor is expect to leave one new stone. May have religious implications.

If you care about such things, there is an amazing collection of photos here: http://www.pinterest.com/k12mtgoddess/cairns/

Nevertheless, there is no place for cairn displays in Yosemite. There is already too much visitor impact on our fragile landscape.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 16, 2014 01:19PM
Quote
chicagocwright
what about those near the Arctic Circle?

Wear a jacket!
Re: The Duck Corner
July 16, 2014 02:41PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
chicagocwright
what about those near the Arctic Circle?

Wear a jacket!

"Near" is a relative term but this past winter many in the Lower 48 needed jackets just as much as I did.

But in another 6 weeks or so we will begin sending our ducks south!
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 07:44PM
These stacked up rocks are not inuksuit and in fact these rock stacks bear no resemblance to them and they also serve no purpose. They are placed by one-off visitors that stack the rocks so as to leave a mark of their presence very much like carving initials on a tree or scratching initials on painted surfaces. Don't belittle the inuksuit by comparing them to these rock piles.



Old Dude
Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 09:23AM
As far as the duck convention at Mirror Lake...it had disappeared after the pics shown above (2010,) but it tends to reappear after each dismantling. This area used to be a parking area (for handicapped) and turn around for the shuttle bus before the flood of '97.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 15, 2014 10:10AM
HC, They were back up with a vengeance earlier this year (or late last yr) .



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: The Duck Corner
July 21, 2014 09:04AM
Yeah, I barely pay attention to them, but had newbies visit with us this year and they were wondering about them. Not nearly as fascinating as the rockslide that occurred right above us.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 06:16PM
Anyone seen the documentary that is on Netflix right now called Mile Mile and a Half about JMT? At minute 1:04 (and before) there is video of the cairns at Mirror Lake. Get advertisement to deface the park.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 06:53PM
It is the park policy that rock stacks be dismantled when found. Here is the text from a park handout. If you don't like rock stacks being torn down; take it up with the superintendent.

Yosemite National Park
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Rockpile Gardens

Millions are drawn to Yosemite each year to enjoy stunning views of natural scenery. Some visitors create unnatural additions by stacking piles of small granite rocks. These “rock gardens” expand until all rocks in an area are arranged in neat piles. These piles detract from the scenery, harm plant and animal habitat, and are inappropriate in a national park setting. Please help us take them down.
What are they?

Granite landscapes develop slowly over thousands of years. We find rocks today where glaciers, floods, and rockfall deposited them. Microhabitats form around small rocks just as meadows and forests have developed throughout the Sierra. Moving these rocks can cause several harmful impacts.

The crustal combination of algae and fungus commonly seen on Yosemite granite is called lichen. Lichen is the first step in soil formation; it breaks down granite to allow plants to gain a foothold in the thin soils. When a rock is moved and the lichen’s supply of sunlight and water is eliminated, the lichen dies. Since lichen takes decades to grow large enough to be seen with the human eye, moving even bare rocks is harmful to soil development.

Some plants grow only along the edges of rocks where soil moisture may be trapped. When a rock is moved, the surrounding soil dries out, killing the surrounding plants.

Many invertebrates depend on loose rocks for habitat. A rare species of pseudoscorpion (Parobisium yosemite), unique to Yosemite Valley, lives under rocks. There also may be more undiscovered species taking shelter under Yosemite’s granite.

Some piles have been constructed on boulders and in tree branches above five feet in height; some ground piles tower over six feet. These piles are not stable and create a serious risk, especially to small children who may accidentally knock over a pile.

Why should you help us dismantle them?

Look before you clean!
Yosemite also has many historic and prehistoric rock alignments that are important tangible links to the ancient past. The National Park Service is responsible for preserving and protecting these; in fact, disturbing or destroying them is a violation of federal law. If it is unclear whether a rock stack is modern or historic, please leave it in place.
Historic alignments are often building foundations, usually square in shape. Prehistoric alignments can be difficult to distinguish from modern constructs. They can take several forms: rock circles, usually from one to three courses high; ancient cairns or rock stacks; hunting blinds; and other linear alignments. Lichen growth is sometimes an indicator of antiquity.
Prehistoric rock ring in the wilderness – note the wooden elements, which are possible structure remnants. Many of these rings have been damaged or destroyed by visitors for campfires at adjacent backpacker rock rings.

A matter of opinion
While some may feel modern human-created rockpiles are attractive in their own way, many others feel they are visually intrusive. These piles are not appropriate for national parks. Places like Yosemite were preserved to protect natural processes and views of natural landscapes, not as showcases for freeform public art. Building a small rock pile in isolation may seem harmless, but the cumulative effects of hundreds of rockpiles have significant impacts. Please do your part to leave rocks in place to ensure that future visitors will have views of unimpaired natural landscapes. If you see collections of piles that are clearly the handiwork of today’s visitors, help us take them down.

Please do your part to help the National Park Service preserve Yosemite’s scenic landscapes.
Please dismantle and report any visitor-built rockpile gardens you encounter.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 08:08PM
Thanks, Dave, for the rules. But make sure you read them all:


"Look before you clean!

Yosemite also has many historic and prehistoric rock alignments that are important tangible links to the ancient past. The National Park Service is responsible for preserving and protecting these; in fact, disturbing or destroying them is a violation of federal law. If it is unclear whether a rock stack is modern or historic, please leave it in place.
Historic alignments are often building foundations, usually square in shape. Prehistoric alignments can be difficult to distinguish from modern constructs. They can take several forms: rock circles, usually from one to three courses high; ancient cairns or rock stacks; hunting blinds; and other linear alignments. Lichen growth is sometimes an indicator of antiquity.
Prehistoric rock ring in the wilderness – note the wooden elements, which are possible structure remnants. Many of these rings have been damaged or destroyed by visitors for campfires at adjacent backpacker rock rings."

You're gleeful advocacy of destroying everything, always, everywhere---is probably advocacy of violation of federal law. I'm sure you don't mean that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2014 08:10PM by Ken M.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 08:26PM
Quote
Ken M
Thanks, Dave, for the rules. But make sure you read them all....
I fail to understand why you would assume I had not read them all. If you have a problem with the rules, take it up with the superintendent.

Quote

You're gleeful advocacy of destroying everything, always, everywhere.....
You must have me confused with someone else. I never said, or implied, any such thing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2014 08:29PM by Dave.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 26, 2014 08:59AM
Quote
Dave
Quote
Ken M
Thanks, Dave, for the rules. But make sure you read them all....
I fail to understand why you would assume I had not read them all. If you have a problem with the rules, take it up with the superintendent.

Quote

You're gleeful advocacy of destroying everything, always, everywhere.....
You must have me confused with someone else. I never said, or implied, any such thing.


"Comparing rock stacks, graffiti, to Stone Henge is like comparing Mt. Everest to an ant hill. There is no comparison. I proudly dismantle all rock stacks I can find in the Park.

yep, there you are, stating that is your exact practice. I think you are clearly advocating the same for everyone else.

I'm sure that Native Americans must love your typifying their religious practices as anthills. I imagine that they are used to that from white boys, though.

I got no problem with the rules, as stated. But you appear to have a big problem.
Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 08:55PM
I like ducks! Especially when they quack. Or are on my plate.
avatar Re: The Duck Corner
July 25, 2014 09:18PM
Now, if you took one of these rock stacks, and piled them on top of a duck, would you have....... pressed duck?
Sorry, you can't reply to this topic. It has been closed.