Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Up t' Camp

We spent Labor Day weekend, as is our tradition, at C's ex-stepmother's camp.

We had MUCH warmer weather than last year (I remember wearing jeans and a fleece all weekend last year...brr!).


At one point, E decided to go for a paddle. Our host securely hitched one end of a long coil of yellow rope to the dock, and E took off. Unfortunately, no one had checked to see if the other end was secured to the bow line.

"Come back!" We called.

"I'm going to Ten Pound Island!" E yelled back, and paddled off across the pond.

His boat drifted landward not far down the shore, and M hopped aboard and paddled him safely home.

Then the two of them headed off to Ten Pound Island all on their own, while C and Z headed out fishing in another part of the pond.


While paddling was E's theme for the weekend, fishing was Z's. He caught two largemouth bass and, apparently, a pickerel (though that one got away).

I tried to not get too hysterical about Z and E eating the mercury-laden fish, but I'm afraid I didn't do too well. At any rate, they didn't consume a whole lot. Either they felt my negative vibe, or it just didn't taste as good as they had dreamed. How can we live in a world where it's not safe for a child to eat a fish he caught himself?


M doesn't fish anymore. He used to love it, and then he gave it up, just like that.
Maybe I freaked him out about the lead in fishing line (we only use lead-free tackle, though). Or maybe it's because of the mercury in the fish (though his dad spilled the beans on that one las summer). Or maybe it was the tale of the boy who got a hook in his eyeball (though that was only to get them to wear sunglasses while fishing).

When we were there earlier this summer, he was trying to help his brother un-hook a sunfish and started crying, "It's hurting it." He can be very sensitive. I told him that my co-worker's husband, who is a fisheries biologist, says those kind of fish (bass and sunfish) have cartilaginous mouths and you can't hurt them, but it didn't stick.

I myself don't see the appeal of fishing at all (seems like an enormous pain in the keister, what with all the lost sinkers and snagged bottoms and fish you have to unhook and then what? Release? Or kill, gut, cook, eat?), but he used to love it, and it makes me sad that he has no interest at all now, not least of all because it diminishes my hopes of one day C taking all of the boys on a week-long fishing trip some day.

How did he spend his weekend? Mostly reading. Which reminds me a lot of someone I know. And now that he and I finally have something in common, I want to pull him out of himself and into the world.


And me? I swam, chased dragonflies, doodled in my journal, knitted, read.

We all visited this amazing floating bog in another, adjacent pond.


I had never been on one of these before. The ground, which is, I guess, just layers and layers of peat left over from right after the glaciers melted (geomorphologists out there, correct me if I'm wrong). 


It's covered in this soft, spongy moss (grandma C told us the names of some of them, including the bright red one, but I forget), pitcher plants and cranberries. 


 Your feet sink in an inch or two into the warm water that saturates the moss. It was an incredible, strange place, and I could have stayed there all day, chasing dragonflies (and probably getting sucked under to turn into a Bog Woman for someone to uncover in 10,000 years).


E built a couple of fairy houses right before we left, which was super sweet. I'm not sure how many such things are left in these big boys of six. I get more and more clingy to each childish expression, as if it might be the last.


And everyone survived the dockside sparklers, with only very minor burns (I swear they're not my idea).


I made this little "sketchery" (thanks, Rachel, for the term) the evening after we got home, while C and I watched a movie (I had intended to do it while on our trip, but I though I'd forgotten the fabric...only it turned out it was only crumpled up inside a giant tangled wad of embroidery floss). I think I was trying for something like this, but didn't quite hit the mark. Z wanted me to add a pickerel, but it turned out the only space available made him sort of leaping out of the water or something (and later Z informed me that its beak isn't long enough). Anyway, it was fun to do. I'm not sure what I'll do with all these sketcheries once I amass a few. I thought perhaps of binding them in a soft book, like a stitched nature journal.

Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day. Solidarity!

2 comments:

Mountain Grandma said...

The floating bog looks like a really cool thing to see!! It does sound weird walking on something so squishy though. You and J were fishing on the Crystal, in Aug of Sept, so the water was very low. Pop & I were at the campsite. We heard you screaming and laughing so we said either you caught a fish or fell in so we went to check. It was a fish or two. Anyway you had them for dinner that night. Great memories!

Jaimie said...

Wow, so much interesting stuff here. The bog sounds insane--I'd be all over that. I love the sketchery-embroidery, and I really love the rainbow hammock.

I saw myself so much in your comments about M's reluctance to fish. I feel such an internal battle when it comes to sharing this kind of info with my kids. On the one hand, I want them to be informed and make healthy decisions (and understand why we don't do certain things, like eat mercury-laden fish or buy very many pre-packaged foods), but on the other hand...I want them to be kids. I feel like by the time I get a handle on determining what to tell and what to wait on, my kids are going to be grown and out of the house.

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