Rock On!

“Wait a second, that wasn’t there a few hours ago…what’s going on?”

I was puzzled. I had snapped a few photos along the waterfront in the morning. When an opportunity arose, I returned to the riverfront in the afternoon with a different lens. No matter way for me to kill time than to take photos! I hoped to catch a heron in flight again.


Yet, I hadn’t spotted this pile of balanced rocks when I took a picture of the pump house along my path earlier. Compare the first morning photo with the second afternoon photo.



What was up with the rocks? I ‘d noticed similar groupings of rocks in another area.





As I stooped to focus my camera on the stack of rocks, a man walking his dog commented,”It’s rather interesting how they’re balanced, isn’t it? I don’t know how he does it. And, when does he do it? I heard his name is Dan or Doug, a man in his thirties.”

I’ve heard of guerrilla gardening, whereby gardeners plant and tend to flowers or vegetables in secrecy—usually at night—to make a public area more attractive. Were the rock piles the work of a guerrilla artist? Is that even a term? Someone who’s composing Mother Nature’s rock arrangement into a more artistic form?

It made me chuckle. Far better than spray painting graffiti on train cars. Here’s pics of balanced rocks and sticks I came across in Windsor at the waterfront.



I wondered if the artist used crazy glue to keep the rocks and pieces of wood together. Or if the piece of art lasted only until the next storm blew them away.

I decided to look up rock balancing to see what I could learn.

Cairns is the term for deliberately stacked rocks. Cairns have been used since ancient times as either a memorial or a landmark. They were used before lighthouses came into being.

I was shocked at what I discovered next. Apparently there are some grumpy people who want rock balancing abolished. They claim it interferes with their right to view an unblemished beautiful landscape. They also think the cairns misdirect people on trails. That hikers will become lost!

Others take the “Mother Nature” approach; they feel every time a rock is lifted, an animal loses its potential home as it might want to burrow under that specific rock. Plus, lifting the rocks results in erosion of the soil. Still other disgruntled people think the cairns are considered “prayer stone stacks”. They ask, “Why can’t the artists just say a prayer instead?”

What do these unhappy people want the rest of us non-cairn builders to do? Well, they want us to kick the rock piles and dismantle them. Really? I think there’s plenty of rocks for little critters to hide under…and far larger rocks that can’t be lifted easily.



I think maybe instead of a nature walk to de-stress, they might want to consider going to the gym if they feel an urge to kick something apart. But, that’s just me. We have to live together and get along.

I’m just going to continue to chuckle whenever I see a cairn. And, I wonder if one of the multitude of dog walkers is actually the mystery artist building them. If he’s watching us review his artwork!

Guerrilla artwork, that’s what I’m calling it. As I sought out more cairns on my little walk along the river, I came upon a four foot by four foot area of corn in the midst of the wildflower area of the riverfront park …guerrilla gardening!



9 thoughts on “Rock On!

  1. Great post and photos! Right away the Ren Cen across the river grabbed me. Michigan is forever in my blood but life in Nevada is sweet. I lived in Amhurstburg in the 1980’s, love Canada! 🇨🇦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I love the idea of guerrilla art — and gardening. A few years ago a local artist planted individual pampas grass stalks on a sandbank in the harbour just by the motorway. It looked amazing (especially at high tide) and because of the location was seen by thousands of people. He was told by the Council to take it down because — wait for it — he used the wrong sort of pampas grass. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

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