Our pastor came to Romans 12:13 a couple of weeks ago and since that message, everyone in the church has been doing a lot more inviting each other to dinner!
We were at one of those dinners just last week at the home of a homeschooling family from our church and had such a great time. They had a chicken coop in the back with friendly chickens who would eat grass out of our hands and several doves. Fruit trees, loads of grape vines with fresh grapes, fresh tangerines right off the tree, a bird bath fountain with an occasional visitor, and some dogs including an amazingly trained Australian Sheep Dog. We were loving it there!
I started asking the Grandfather about his yard (which is kind of unusual in this area with all the cookie-cutter homes and McMansions) and then I shared about some of the fun things we'd been doing in nature - next thing you know, he pulls out this trap and loans it to me. He said to throw it in the creek where no one will know and see what you catch!
I felt like a child all giddy to run down to the creek and try it.
So on our way home from our Nature Study Day, we headed over to a nearby creek by the hollow tree.
Since our rope was left on a neighborhood tree and gone when we went back for it, and since I had to find something to tie to the trap last minute as I was rushing out the door to Nature Study, I grabbed a ball of yarn.
I cut 6 very, very long pieces of yarn while the kids played in the tree. My thinking was I'd braid the yarn with 2 strands per section to make it strong enough. I had my daughter hold one end as I braided when a very peppy Shiba Inu came running over to us, smelling me, the kids, the chicken for the trap - he had a collar but no owner. So my daughter grabbed a piece of the chicken and told it to sit, which it obediently did, fed him the day old chicken and got hold of his collar.
I tied my ingenious handy dandy yarn rope to its collar and called the number on it while the kids walked the dog. Sure enough, it was a neighborhood dog let loose by the gardeners that morning. The grateful woman was still 45 minutes away driving home from work so she gave us her address which was right up the street and we put the dog back in its yard and headed back to set the trap. There really never is a dull moment in nature!
We put the meat in the trap, tied it closed, tied the rope to it, found a deeper pool with minnows swimming around, and threw the trap in. We then covered the rope with rocks and leaves to hide it and left it overnight. What do you think we caught in this polluted city creek?
I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the trap when we pulled it out today, but there was so much excitement, all I could do was to get the critters out. There were four crawdads in there and one big toad! My kids were yelling "Mommy! They're lobsters! We caught lobsters!"
We let the toad go because I thought the crawdads might try to eat it. The rest of them came home with us and are now in our aquarium for indefinite observation :)
Last week when all our fish died after introducing a sick fish we had bought at the local pet store, we were all really sad. This has changed our perspective. Isn't God so good?
Listen to what Comstock says about the Crayfish (which amazed us as we observed them today) in The Handbook of Nature Study.
When I look at a crayfish I envy it, so rich is it in organs with which to do all that it has to do. From the head to the tail, it is crowded with a large assortment of executive appendages. In this day of multiplicity of duties, if we poor human creatures only had the crayfish's capabilities, then might we hope to achieve what lies before us.
I couldn't help but smile and envy them right along with her.