We had gorgeous weather in Cleveland on Friday and I was so happy to have taken the day off to be with the kids. After a morning filled with grocery shopping and running errands with my mom, the kids went to the fishing pond together. I can't tell you how happy it made me that my daughter wanted to go with her brother. Fishing is something I always loved as a kid. Heck, any kind of outdoor fun was my thing.
When I was growing up, we lived in New Hampshire up in the White Mountains in the late 70s. We had 8 acres and an old farm house across from Forest Lake State Park Lake. It was AWESOME. I was always finding critters. I would catch field mice in the front yard, garter snakes in the back yard, and newts and frogs in an old well. The newts and frogs abounded after a rain. I couldn't wait for the rain to be light enough so that I could run into the forest and climb down into the well to find them all. My eyes wide and so filled with adventure and excitement.
I learned lots about these critters. For instance, field mice bite you with their sharp little front teeth, and may poop or pee on you. They're fast and you have to get them before they reach their hole near the boulders! Salamanders, newts and frogs are fast AND slippery, but oh so fun to seek and find. They loved the leaf covered floor of the well. And gartner snakes like to lie in the sun and can get REALLY big--long and thick. If you try to touch their tongue, they WILL bite you! When you get bit, you might just be so surprised that you whip that thing so far and fast that it hits the chicken coop with a THWAP! The most unfortunate thing about the garter snake is that they emit stink. In fact, right now I am smelling the stink of a garter snake that my son caught. He catches them every year. The one below is the first of the spring 2011 season:
Unfortunately, right now, that snake is on the loose in my house. My son wreaks of the stink from all his handling of it earlier and because his room smells of it now. We searched high and low for the snake to no avail. I have to admit that even though I know they're not dangerous, I am a bit tentative about going to bed tonight! In fact, right now, I have my feet up on the couch. I'm a little nervous about having them dangling over the opening beneath the couch. Totally irrational. I know that. I just can't help it! I will for sure be checking my sheets before I climb into bed tonight. Hope it turns up soon. What's even funnier is that the Bronx Zoo lost their King Cobra earlier this week. It was missing for 5 days. They finally found it beneath the zoo in the reptile enclosure. It's back again and no one was hurt while it was away. I hope I'll be able to say the same thing!