We made a date with a friend and her boy to go eeling at one of our local streams. The day dawned clear and bright and spirits were high walking the bush paths to get there. Jed was excited for them to arrive so we used the time to pack an 'adventure bag' for each boy. Test pots to take stream samples, rope, magnifying glass etc. They loved that. Then as a stroke of last minute brilliance i threw in two wooden swords. Who knew such valient knights roamed these parts?!
Great stuff...the stream runs alongside a big grassy clearing in the bush - the perfect place for kids imaginations to run riot and so for the mama's to do some much needed catching up.
And success! We caught an eel. There were only two little ones about today and i managed to net one. We popped it into the bucket to observe. Jed was very much into touching it. The eel meanwhile was intent on escape and very almost did climb the sides of the bucket. When we were done looking we tipped the bucket slightly and it climbed out by itself and made its way back to the stream. Fascinating to watch.
Did you know they swim all the way back to Tonga ( for those in the northern hemisphere thats a pacific island quite far from here) to spawn? Then come all the way back to their territories streams? When i was a kid you used to see them sometimes crossing roads or fields. Amazing creatures.
Sadly, these days i never see the big metre and a half ones that were common back then. Chemical residues from pesticides and fertilisers washing into streams must play a part in that.
Two boys quietly fishing (i tied organic ham onto a piece of string and had a stick to hold onto - no hooks involved)...a beautiful thing.
A few days earlier i had taken Jed to a park in Auckland where there are hundreds of eels in a stream there.