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Not-chowder

We took a brief wade in Lake Elmore yesterday afternoon, mostly to see what fishes we could find around the dock. It had been an unusually cold week, and the water was fairly chilly, so we were quite happy to wade in as far as we could with the sun on our shoulders without actually swimming, just finding local wildlife. Seth saw some lovely blue-finned fishes with a prominent black spot next to its cheek. We think it's some kind of spotted bass, but the large black spot threw us. The fish were very invested in inspecting us though, so the only trouble we had watching them was really following the sun and avoiding glare spots. There were incredible amounts of juvenile fish in the shallows. We saw various kinds of bass and perch swirling patiently about our feet. They were cute. At least one nibbled on my toe. I was rather much hoping more would.

Also inspected under the bridge for clams, as we saw the shells of dead clams stuck in the sand all around the dock. Apparently, the clams out here aren't terribly good to eat, which is a pity. We found patches of big clams that would have made an interesting test chowder. Occasionally, I'd stand still and bubbles would rise up from hidden holes next to my foot. Some of the clams had either algae or hairy parts of themselves sticking out from their open mouths, creating rows of vicious-looking 'teeth' that made them look a little like Old Ones. I decided to walk in a bit further than Seth, who gave up early to sit on the sunny dock. My strategy for getting fully immersed largely hinged on sinking by inches, until I built up enough of a resistance to float and swim. Unfortunately, at slightly under shoulder height (hanging on to the edge of the dock), I sank my foot into a soft puddle of mud and had the weirdest sensation of something hard apparently trying to clamp around my toe. The clams had sensed my evil intent were out to get me first. The surprise had me clinging to the dock with a yelp -- I have not fully mastered calm in adversity by any stretch of the imagination.

Believing this portent to be a fluke, after all, I was in clam territory and could well have accidentally stepped on someone's house, I decided to brave sinking into the water a bit more. This turned out to be a mistake, since a couple of minutes later, out came an exploratory clam maw around my toe again. Now fully convinced they were interested in me for dinner, I joined Seth on the dock and we both safely decided that we were happy to observe the fish in their native habitat without disrupting their suburbs further. Plus, we were both waffly on swimming in the increasingly chilly water as the sun was going down.

It was thoroughly enjoyable just following the sun over the fish. I would like to do that again before we leave. Later that night, there was a campfire, and Seth showed me and the nephew how to thoroughly burn a marshmallow to maximal gooeyness. We both decided that we preferred our marshmallows browned at the tip, thanks, with a bit of wobble. (Like a pudding cat!)

I still miss the cats thoroughly. Dorian would doubtless be fascinated by the fish, and the crawdad, and more than likely the ducks. Sif would like the porch, in the week it would take her to discover the porch was safe. I look forward to kissing them on the head, somewhat less to airing out the house as soon as we get home. We fantasise that they might both join us on the bed the first night, but this is unlikely. Dorian can be convinced to knead surfaces by mimicking the motions in front of him, and he can even be convinced to do that if Sif is later added to the surface in question, but he is still a bed cat in training and cannot be convinced to stick around after lights out.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
resonant
Aug. 23rd, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
It is cute that you miss the cats so much ... I wonder if they reciprocate.
vampyrichamster
Aug. 24th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
They might. At least, I suspect the orange creature might. She has an almost Victorian fascination with pining.
feyandstrange
Aug. 24th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
In Lake Elmore, clams eat you! Yikes!

Very pretty to read about all this. Even if I am now scared of clams. :)
vampyrichamster
Aug. 24th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
I am still pondering the plucking of clams for a lovely broth. I've had wild clams I harvested myself off a beach before. The reason they aren't good to eat is probably that the muscle inside is either too small or tough, but the broth should still be good. This is entirely contingent on my willingness to work though.
feyandstrange
Aug. 24th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Double check before cooking - bivalves like clams filter water and are therefore very vulnerable to pollution, so it may be a case of not eating the clams because they're (scary mutants) full of mercury or pesticides.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )