With summer in full effect we were ready to get to the creek. The plans had been in the making for almost a week. We arrived to an empty park, found a picnic table and threw down the blanket. Next to arrive my sister and her kids. Then my parents with two of my nieces and nephews.
It took a matter of seconds for the kids to make their way into the water. The creek is a diamond in the rough. A gem of a place that few know about. It has a rope swing, a bridge, a small playground and lots of wildlife.
Little girl at first stayed in the shallow playing with a bucket and water wheel. While the older kids went time and again off the rope swing. They played on the old merry-go-round. They went hunting for frogs.
I decided I wanted to check out the creek for a good spot to hide a cache so I went further down away from the action. That is when I spotted it. A huge fish. For the size of the creek it was gigantic. I went back to home base and picked up the net and 5 gallon bucket. I was determined I was going to catch it. My dad doubted my prowess. But looking for adventure I set off with one of the nephews as back-up. We spotted him right away and I eased into the water. Taking one look at my net I knew it was too small for him so I sent my boy back to get another bucket. While he was gone I brought the net up to his tail and he moved a little up stream. I repositioned the net, waited for the boy and waited and waited. So I decided I would see what I could do with the net. I swooped in and made my catch. He went to thrashing. I went to steadying the net. Since I was a small butterfly net it came off the rod. Freed from my control he settled right back on the bottom, still completely in the net and unable to escape. My son finally arrived with the extra bucket which was WAY TOO small for the fish so we took the frog out of the 5 gallon bucket and brought that into the water to scoop him out. He was so big he did not even fit in the 5 gallon bucket. I worked him around a bit until he was in. Then we began our victory march back to show the others. Only it was really heavy so I had my nephew carry it. He carried it for a bit then a guy that was at the park with his family brought it in the rest of the way. He declared it a carp. Not good eating but good bragging. I figure he was about 2 feet long. After everyone got a look at him he released him back into the creek and he swam away. Not too far at first so my dad got a couple pictures of him in the water. So I caught me a big one!
It was around this time that some of the bigger kids let little girl have a try on the rope swing. She's pretty gutsy. She went right out and then my 6 year old niece would pick her up off the rope and take her to shallower water. After many times of this we realized that she could touch so we encouraged her to put her feet down herself. At first she was not so sure of this idea and it took some coaxing. She had it pretty good with the whole carry me like a princess thing. Finally she realized she could touch and she felt so big. She went again and again and again and again. Until we made her stop to warm up.
We spent six hours at the creek yesterday. It was picture perfect. Almost too good to be true. No toilet paper in the porta-potty, back to reality.