Columbus Day Fishing Expedition

October 10, 2011

Reuben and Max resting, Hartford

For a very long time, my boys have been clamoring to go fishing. Today, with marvelous weather and no work, seemed the perfect opportunity. We went to Target in the morning and purchased two rods (one of which, happily, was called “The Ugly Stik” [sic]), then came home, where the boys dug worms out of the garden dirt while I made lunch. Then we made for my favorite location on the Connecticut, the railroad bridge at the north end of Riverfront Park in Hartford.

The fishing was, frankly, lackluster. I don’t know what the boys expected, but they soon found out what I already knew: it is basically boring. It’s a contemplative activity, if we can call it an activity at all, because really it’s an excuse to sit outdoors quietly near water. But four- and seven-year-olds are, as a general rule, nonplussed by the quiet contemplation of nature, and both were quickly grousing about the lack of action.

Luckily, just then, Reuben caught a fish:

Reuben beholds his catch

He seems calm in this picture, but when he was reeling the line in and saw that he actually had a fish, he started to whoop and holler and jump and down, and I thought he might pitch himself off the damn bridge. (The fish was about five inches long, and was tossed back to the river after being handled with great curiosity by both children.)

After that, nibbles were scarce, but there were other highlights. First, somewhat frighteningly, an actual train engine came across the bridge, something I have never witnessed in the four years I’ve been going there. We learned that the walkway beside the tracks gets very very narrow when a train comes by, but we stood with our backs against the railing and we were OK.

Then, we got a long and close-up look at a hawk, who was perched about ten feet up on a water treatment building near the bridge:


We followed that with a stroll down the tracks to the trainyard, which yielded many attractions, both natural and man-made:


Not so hasty, Grasshopper

Train wheels


Max does a balance beam routine at the trainyard

Finally, sun-baked and tired, I labored slowly home with the boys on the back of my bicycle, and we all settled in for a bath, a movie, and copious, restorative doses of lemonade.


One Response to “Columbus Day Fishing Expedition”

  1. Alice said

    Ach, Josh – great pictures. Wonderful.

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