Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seine thoughts

Went seining yesterday with my brother and my niece, dragging our net along the edge of the Delaware Bay looking for whatever.

We found lady crabs, spearing, a croaker fry, lots of comb jellies, a  blue claw, a few hermit crabs, and a horseshoe crab molt.

We were looking for nothing in particular, and we found it. A few kids and their parents joined us--looking for nothing in particular trumps searching for something specific on a fine August afternoon.

School starts again in a couple of weeks.

Schedules. Bells. Curricula. Because that's the way it's done.Because it's efficient. Because it's orderly. Because we have to. Because we need control.

It's not how we learn, though, and never has been.

Several children felt the wiggling of minnows in their hands yesterday, the weight of warm, gooey comb jellies, the snip of crotchety crabs. It's unlikely they will seine in school, even in biology class.

And that's a shame.

You can get a decent  4x8' seine net and a pair of oak poles for about $30.
It will outlast the laptop you bought your child last week.
If taken care of properly, it might even outlast you.

The woodcarving from Sea Fishing by John Bickerdyke, 1895

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