Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On the Ice

Heading Out

Our neighbor, Mike, loves to fish.  He has been wanting to show Amabel and Ellen his ice shanty—waiting to find the perch (or for the perch to find him).  And early this week we got a phone call: the fish had arrived!  We all suited up and ventured out on the ice (for those interested, we were out on North Lake Leelanau).

The Shanty

Mike

It was late afternoon and the light was fading behind already thick clouds.  But deep below, in the hole inside the shanty, the water was a vibrant glowing green (hard to describe and even harder to photograph).  The girls were enthralled looking down into the water—twelve feet deep—watching the fish coming and going.  We completely lost track of time, cozy in the little house, gazing down into the world beneath the frozen surface.  Nearly three hours later we emerged from Mike's shanty with a bucket full of perch.

Vibrant Water

Ellen Peeking Out

Well, the bucket wasn't exactly full, but we did catch nineteen fish.  And, my, how the girls were pleased when we spread them all out on the ice to have a closer look!

The Catch

Perch

E's Fish

It's hard for me to express how much this means to me—that our neighbor is willing to share his love for fishing with the girls.  (Maybe it has something to do with my own fond memories of fishing years ago with my older brother?!)  Experiencing the lake this way in winter was so unexpectedly wonderful.  And to have a friend share his enthusiasm with such generosity of spirit—it was a tremendous adventure, just right for the girls.  

To top it all off, after we all arrived home, Mike showed Amabel and Ellen how to fillet and clean the fish.  And Paula invited us into their warm and toasty home for a perch dinner!

Handful!

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