Julie v. Wildlife, Lake Edition

I think I saw one of these on our trip. And yes, it was trying to kill me.

Here is a list of some of the wildlife I battled while we were on our trip. I would like to point out that I did not flake out one single time during any of this, although there is now a locked room in my subconscious which contains a tiny little me, shrieking “EWWWWWWWW GET IT OFF ME GET IT OFF ME GET IT OFF ME!!!!!!” at the top of her lungs.

1. Fishing– on our first day there I was treated to the joy of putting grubs on fishing rods. Turns out that grubs kind of disintegrate when you apply too much pressure, by the way, rubbing themselves indelibly into your skin. We did switch to nightcrawlers– squirmy and bloody business, that. Also, I took all the fish off the hooks, unflinchingly, without even putting into play my brother’s trick of slapping the fish so that it stops trying to flop out of your hand. The awesome thing about this activity was that, every time someone hooked something, Dave and I would yell, “Fish on! Fish on!!!” in the style of Jeremy Wade from River Monsters. (For some reason, I can’t embed it, but here’s a link to a teaser for his show.) The less-than-awesome thing about this activity was that, when it was my turn to get in the water and teach the kids to waterski, the boat would pull away with the child on skis, leaving me alone in the middle of the lake to ponder what kind of freshwater monsters were swimming around my feet.

2. And by the way, also on our first day there, a snake came swimming gaily along the dock, then slipped into some kind of drain pipe in the concrete wall. I think it was a giant anaconda but I can’t be sure.

3. Okay, so then the older kids found a hot pink caterpillar on a branch and brought it to me. I was all, “Oh, this is so cool guys! Let’s take a photo! No, it won’t survive if we try to keep it– let’s put it back into nature where we found it!” And all the while I was trying to save it from ending its life in an empty plastic jug with some grass in the bottom, this ungrateful thing was rearing back and baring its poison-filled whatever at me.

4. Humongous dead carp. Floating towards Addie J and me in the water. (An aside: I still don’t really understand why there’s no such thing as a trophy carp? I mean, cuz they’re really big?)

5. Spiders. I found spiders crawling on me so many times that I ceased to freak out. I was just like, “Oh, here’s another black widow trying to kill me,” and brushed it off. I think they were subjecting me to a therapy exercise called Repeated Exposure Treatment, actually. I fully expect them to come at me hard some time in the next week or so, try to finish me off while my guard is down.

And a special shout-out to Greg, who actually swam under the dock to get a bucket that Addie J had dropped. He had to cross through a barrier of cobwebs, then engage in hand-to-hand combat with a bunch of angry bluegill to even get to the bucket. And DON’T FORGET THE SNAKE WE SAW A DAY EARLIER. I would have said ( and in fact did say), “Forget it. Nature has claimed that bucket. I’ll buy you guys another one,” but Greg tracked it down and brought it back. I’m still shuddering and I wasn’t even down there.

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