Saturday, June 25, 2011

Broken Lines and Breakfast for Birds

My husband, daughter and I woke up early this morning, packed up my truck and headed off to Spencer Lake for an impromptu fishing trip. We picked up some nightcrawlers along the way, unloaded our gear and got down to the important business of relaxing and enjoying ourselves. My daughter was the first, and only, person to catch a fish all day.
 It was a windy, cool and overcast morning, and each time I cast my hook into the lake the choppy little waves carried my line right back to me in a matter of minutes. While my frustration was beginning to mount, I noticed a large bird flying towards me, seeming to blow in on the clouds as it circled past me and came to rest on the opposite bank of the little inlet I'd been angling in.

Slowly the bird, a Great Blue Heron, crept into the water, where it stood and peered intently into the choppy murk. I lost all interest in my fishing was transfixed; it's not often I get a chance to so closely observe such a large and beautiful creature in its natural habitat. As I silently looked on, the majestic bird patiently crept further into the lake until, in one sudden and graceful motion, it stretched out its bill into the water to snatch out a rather large, wriggling bass and carried it off into the brush on the bank. The whole act of watching this bird catch his breakfast was at once violent and moving and left me awed and breathless. I sat for a moment, feeling blessed for having been able to see a small sampling of life in the wild. Turning back to my fishing pole, I noticed my hook had gotten hopeless ensnared in the weeds. After a few minutes struggle, I had freed it and the heron had moved on as well. At least it was having better luck than I was.

I headed back to grab my coffee and find another place to fish and discovered a curious visitor when I arrived.
My daughter picked it up and carried it around for a little while, naming and playing with it the way children do with wild things that seem like they might be friendly. I cast my line in another part of the lake, got my line tangled in some rocks beneath the surface, and called my husband over to help me free it. Then I moved again, choosing another spot I thought looked still enough for the fish to bite. After just a few minutes, my bobber disappeared beneath the surface. In the excitement of the moment, I pulled too hard and the line snapped, sending my hook, line and bobber down into the depths with the rocks I had mistaken for a biting fish.
My daughter had grown weary of fishing and said the caterpillar had bitten her and she was regretting having named it, so we left my husband to fish and went for a walk down the path. Here are a few of the other things we found as we explored:

After a short jaunt where we found lots of insects and geese and some very cool seed pods, we found my husband, wrapped up our fishing trip and got on with our Saturday.

Although the pictures don't really do it justice, it's been a very long time since I've felt so surrounded in peace, beauty and tranquility. Even though my fishing trip was far from a smashing success, it was an excellent chance to combat the Nature Deficit Disorder that's been defining my busy life lately. I feel inspired and refreshed and all it cost was some fishing line, a hook, a bobber and a few hours of my time. Thanks to a heron and some insects, I remembered why I love it here and that it's important to slow down and notice the little things.
Wishing you a week full of small, inspirational moments.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I love your writing....makes me want to run to the hardware store, get a fishing license (has been way, way too long since I fished!) pack my cooler and go! Thanks for the inspiration!