Friday, June 08, 2007

Spring is here and the mother suckers are back

The leaves are out. The sun is shining (while not today) and summer is on its way. With spring, in my northern climes, comes very unliked mother suckers. They are larger than the southern variety and bite (or suck) through a layer of clothe and leave huge welts on the body, so that they can go lay their eggs and produce more mother suckers. And if it isn't mother suckers, it is black flies or noseeums that are so big that you can actually seeum. And soon the horse flies will come out too. They tear the skin right off of you.

But this spring, I have discovered the other variety of mother suckers (and father suckers). I have seen this variety before and tasted them freshly smoked in the outside smoker. Very tasty for a bottom feeding, cleaning fish. But this year, I helped some of my students fish for these tasty treats. They spawn in the creek right outside my house and when they spawn, students come fishing not with fishing poles but with baseball bats, snares and nets.

So how did I, the white teacher, help out. I went wading in the creek. One student and I would walk upstream while the other would wait down stream with his net. Then we would turn around, wade downstream and try to corral the fish into the net. I, the white splasher, was highly unsuccessful. Maybe it was also because my partner in mother sucker corraling would constantly stop and pick an interesting rock from the bottom of the river to show me, which would allow the fish to swim past. So I ended up floating down the river, completely closed and shocking the rest of my students that I went swimming in the creek.