What the what?
Spotted Saturday afternoon by a pair of dog-walking eagle watchers at Lawrence Park: an odd little circle of branches with an X of branches in the middle, about 8 feet across, and punctuated at the four corners where the X meets the circle with hollowed out coconuts.
No candles, no entrails, no blood, animal or otherwise. Nothing to indicate any dark intent.
And hey, coconuts are going for about a buck 98 at Walmart, so no big expenditure, either.
Sauk Valley Media's Facebook posting Saturday afternoon seeking information drew nearly 20,000 looks by early Sunday afternoon, and more than a handful of speculations, but no one who took responsibility for the symbolic sticks.
Among the guesses:
Circle (quartered). The sacred circle filled with a cross, four equal lines pointing from the center to the spirits of the north, east, south, and west – or to the basic element: earth, water, air, and fire. In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the medicine wheel and plays a vital part in major spiritual rituals. Churches have used variations of the same popular shape, usually calling it the Celtic cross. – Connie J Hambley Polhill
Pagan ritual for the the spring equinox, which is March 20. Good! I hope it works, as we desperately need spring! – Michelle Henning-Halverson
It is St. Patrick's time, so it must be the Celtic cross. The leprechauns did it, of course. Wee little people ... tee hee. – Kim Saiter
This was obviously made by Hawaiian video game players. It's the Super Smash Brothers logo! – Kevin Harshman
Doug Jacobs over at the Sterling Park Department hadn't seen it Saturday, and had no idea what it could be. Neither had Sterling city or Whiteside County law officers. No calls about anyone dancing in the park, naked or otherwise.
Someone or ones went to more than a wee bit o' trouble to lay out this circle. Inquiring minds want to know why.
Got any ideas? Fee free to post 'em on our Facebook page.