Thursday, July 10, 2014

Still Off the Grid

We're still here, still surviving--thriving--with only a dorm fridge and a cooler, and though there has been more rain and lightning, our power has stayed on. It's been another few days of quiet and relaxation. We've spent most of our time at the pond, the girls' favorite spot: feeding fish, spotting tadpoles and salamanders, fishing with long sticks for great hunks of algae, tempting frogs with long grass stalks to jump and chomp.

Today, as a kind of blessing or omen, we spotted the pond's fabled snapping turtle. We were all on the dock, tossing bits of bread in to entice the fish, when suddenly something larger, much larger, emerged from the deep. It was beautiful and terrifying, and it hovered there at the surface, its long, wrinkled legs treading water, and watched us. Then it swam serenely away, under the algae leaves. It surfaced one more time while we played, and then it was gone.

Neither Andrew nor I really believed the turtle was real. We've heard about it for years, from cousins as well as the rare passerby. Just this morning, a woman walked down our unpaved road, saw us by the pond, and called out, "See the snapping turtle yet?" It was like the Loch Ness Monster, or the Abominable Snowman: a myth, a legend. And then--there it was.

The girls had mixed feelings about seeing the turtle. Far too large and strange to be cute, it was definitely a formidable creature. "Scared, scared," Greta whimpered, cowering in my lap. Lucia also declared the turtle scary, though we reassured them both that the turtle couldn't get up onto the deck.

And tonight, another creature, or rather two: lobsters, which Andrew has boiled and picked and prepared for us to have lobster rolls by the fire pit after the girls' bedtime. Bliss.

Lots of pictures to come once we get back home this weekend.

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