Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fishy Smarts... Fishy Tails - A Good Sunday

Watering day today, and its grey, cool and misty when I wake.
How did I know before I even opened my eyes?
A fluffy tail complete with raindrops and a wet cat-nose in the face let me know before I realized it was morning. She is very determined to be fed these mornings, is our Washington.
So, it was a good day to catch up on the housework, do the inside things, and perhaps take a wander. The boys were restless, so they wandered off to meet friends at the bridge around the corner to take in some fishing. The Avon isnt well known for its fishing. Its Whitebaiting maybe, but not in the past year or 18months, due to silt, sewerage and other nasties that poured in. Its ok, we wont be baiting our hooks and eating our catch...
Its just for the experience of doing something interesting and inexpensive, and the kids love it.

So off they go, theres a few regular fisher-guys who hang out on the bridge too, and Mr 11 is the youngest by far. The tales are colourful - almost as colourful as the language, but if you can get past that, its interesting to hear the Fishy Tales.
What made great sport, was a huge rainbow trout swimming below.

Fishy Smarts 
The Grandaddy, they reckon. The Guardian of the smaller fishes, I say. He wasnt being caught by anyone! In fact, he seemed to throw the smaller fish in front of him so they were caught in his stead.
Its obvious theyre all keen on the dangling bait but this fish has got to a very nice size by not being tempted, and again today, it seemed to use its innate sense of which pieces of bread werent on hooks to eat, very nicely Thank You, and escaped anyones hook! It will live to taunt exasperated fishermen another day. ( And to be killed when we catch it tomorrow says a very keen young Fisherman from behind me!) We also see big eels and tiny bait fish under the water, so there is plenty of life left in the Avon River, despite people saying otherwise.

Fishy Tails
The yellow-eyed mullet run in and out with the tides - we live in tidal Avonside, and the Avon goes in and out daily, swelling as the tide fills, and the boys hook the mullet on small hooks and sinkers, with bread for bait. Its exciting, when, from standing up on the Bridge, you see them nibbling your bait below... nibble, take and there you have them. They hit hard when theyre hungry and are taken up onto the bridge easily by the kids.

We dont eat these fish, they do however, provide a nutritious feed for our cats, and the guts/heads/fins etc are excellent in the garden. My new rose today got the benefits, a bucket of fish buried deep alongside its roots.

How will we make ends meet if our society changes?
What skills will our children need, that we have ourselves forgotten? This is why I have no objection to taking my children fishing - of course, theyre of an age where they can take themselves, but sometimes as parents, we need to make sure they are provided with the wherewithall to do these things easily... Learning is best done when its fun, before the need is there. Fishing experience is an excellent skill to have here in NZ because our landscape lends itself to us being able to use it for fishing for food.

So, for us its been a really Good Sunday. The Bestest Day of My Life, Miss 5 told me as we wandered home. So - Whats next?
Im in the process of planting out the cabbages and broccoli for Winter, sowing parsnip seed, and watching the pumpkins swell. I cant wait for the beets to do their thing, and I have potatoes to dig soon. The garlic has dried nicely, and the tomatoes are changing colour daily - slow, but getting there! Life is good.
I hope with fingers xed that Ive got it right for some continual harvesting later in the year, as with the climate changes, the good weather is pitifully absent, and we may incur some losses.

Heres hoping things in your garden are growing nicely, with abundance.
Love and Blessings
E Butterfly

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