Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Snappy Comeback

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger. It's been over two weeks since my last post, so here you go, a nice big fat one with lots of action!

The most exciting thing around here lately has been the invasion of the snapping turtles. Apparently this happens every year here, they are coming up on the lawn to bury eggs hither and yon. They spend hours digging up the not so grassy areas of the lawn, trying to secure a safe hatching place for their spawn. This big mamma was the first, and I spent quite a bit of time filming her from the safety of the living room. Lesley and Leah carefully made their way up to it for a closer look. I love that the beast still had the mossy duckweedy green stuff all over it from the river (which is quite some distance away.) She stayed out digging holes till well after dark. We had a very nice rainbow that same evening. It came after the supposed thunderstorm that never was.

Leah and I had gone fishing earlier that afternoon as well. I take the kids out now and then and we take turns casting the line out trying not to hook ourselves in the process. Quinn especially has a wicked cast, and the hook often comes right back at you.

We don't expect to catch anything as I've been using a cheap little rubber fake worm thing that has got to be extremely unappealing even to a clammy old fish. I guess I should say that I don't expect to catch anything. The point of the exercise for me is to get out in the canoe and have a bit of down time. The kids of course, often don't see things the same way as me however, so doesn't Leah catch the biggest damn fish after only about 10 casts. Now you have to understand, I don't want to catch fish, I won't use worms partly because it's gross, but also because what the hell am I going to do if we catch something? I can count the amount of fish I've caught on about one finger, so I really don't have any experience in catching and more importantly releasing fish.

It turned out OK though, Leah had the fish reeled right up in no time, and I scooped it out, deftly removed the hook, and held it in the water a second or two before it jerked away and was off safely. I wish I had brought the camera along to show you how big it was, but with Leah's apparent luck, we'll be able to catch another similar one sometime soon.

So now back to the original story about the current amphibian landing, or as I like to call it, T-day.

This morning as I was preparing to bring up about 30 billion buckets of water from the river for the veggie garden I noticed the cat stalking the compost pile. I've pulled the cat out of the garden several times while he was trying to separate some small creatures head from it's body. Usually a mole or chipmunk, or maybe a small rabbit. I stopped to watch Baxter (the cat) sniff and paw at a small opening of the heap, and noticed what I assumed was a mole retreating back into the pile of dirt and grass. Then about a third of the pile shifted. The cat and I both jumped, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. This was either a very big mole, or else an entire family of them. I scooped up the cat and took him into the house, grabbed a pitchfork and started to uncover the mystery guest. Sure enough, a giant snapping turtle was in there.
I carefully excavated around her while the kids took turn snapping photos. (no pun intended)Then I slowly slipped the shovel underneath her. She was not happy.
I then quickly but carefully carried her out of the garden.And placed her safely on the other side of the fence.
A fence by the way, that was supposed to keep out rabbits, but can't seem to keep out this brute. I may need to re-evaluate my anti-pest methods.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. The snapper promptly headed for home after we all left her alone.
(not even so much as a thank you I might add) I did find quite a few spots in the garden where fresh earth had been turned over, so now we just need to wait a few weeks till all the babies are hatched and they take over the garden. *sigh* From what I've heard this turtle phase will only last a couple of weeks, then we won't see them again till next year. In the meantime the kids have been warned to stay away from the waters edge. Too bad the cat won't heed the same warning

One last photo which I thought was appropriate given the dinosaur like invaders of late. Here is a shot of what could be the sun setting on a primordial swamp. No wait, it's just my backyard.