We took little Mack fishing for the first time on his 6th birthday, last May. He loved it. We all had such a good time, in fact, that we decided that we needed to do more fishing, not just on special birthday trips . . . but the summer went so fast that we didn’t go fishing again even once!
So when Mack started talking about fishing on his birthday this year, oh, I think it was in February (and his birthday in May!) I decided that I was going to make plenty of fishing opportunities happen this summer, even if it means learning to filet the fish, myself. (How hard can it be?) Carpe diem! Seize the fishing pole, baby!
So this year, we planned an overnight camping trip to celebrate little Mack’s 7th birthday, and we packed up tents and fishing poles and birthday cake and live bait and we went. Fishing and camping. It was grand. Here are some pictures from our weekend.
We set up camp at a beautiful little lake not far from us, with not many people around–but plenty of geese.
Timothy does a nice job of starting a fire, then he tries to dart out of the picture. Gotcha, Timothy! He’s just home from his own camping trip with his buddies, and he’s not moving as quickly as he usually would.
It’s a beautiful evening to be outside by the lake. This is my favorite time of day, when the sun dips low and turns everything golden and rosy and you feel that delicious fatigue from a day well-spent . . . . and you look forward to the night lying on the hard ground . . . in a tent . . . with super-noisy geese by the hundreds, if not thousands, honking–honking–honking–right outside your tent . . . .wait . . .
My sister Anne, her son Davey and hubby Dave enjoy the fire as the sun goes down. We heard a lot of coyotes as we sat by the fire, and also a bobcat, and (of course) the aforementioned (and cursed) geese. We had a hurried supper of hot dogs and beans and fruit, and then we have happy birthday cake and ice cream, and little Mack gets down to business . . . opening his presents!
A Swiss army knife is the present that Mack has been pining for for years. I wrote about my dilemma in deciding when I could give this gift to him in my blog post right here.
I’m still not sure what the magic age is, at which you should trust your son (or daughter) with a pocket knife. All I know is I don’t think I could have denied him this treasure for another year. I’ve been hearing about how much he wants (nay, needs) a pocket knife on a daily, moaning basis for some time now. Is 7 too tender of an age for a boy to have his own knife? (If it is, I don’t want to hear it.)
At breakfast time, little Mack promply went to the cooler, found himself a hot dog left over from last night’s hurried supper, and roasted it for his breakfast. It was his birthday . . . what could I say?
We throw back the babies. This little bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) has spiney dorsal fins, like all bluegills do, and which I am attempting to hold down with my hand. I don’t relish having my hand impaled by this baby fish, and I toss him back, carefully. Grow up, little baby fish, and I will come back and catch you later . . .deal?
Amalia and I sit for a few minutes without a nibble, so she pulls out her copy of Ogden Nash poems that she has been reading, and begins to read aloud to me. I could spend the rest of the morning like this, I think, Ogden Nash is so entertaining and my daughter is so charming, but the fish start biting again, all at once. We decide that the fish want to hear more Ogden Nash.
Amalia had to throw this one back, but it was fun to catch.
The weather is changing, with the wind picking up and dark clouds blowing in. It’s time to pack up, so I make a fire to cook our lunch, while everybody else begins to collapse tents and fold up sleeping bags.
It all goes pretty fast when you’ve got an eye on a storm blowing in.
A shore lunch–just-caught fish, fried for just a few minutes, and served so hot that you can barely eat them–sometimes is just the thing!
Little Mack pronounced his happy-birthday camping trip a wondrous success, and he wants to do another one, soon. Soon.
We’ll talk about that, son, perhaps after your mama has forgotten about those noisy geese . . .
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