"Only one who has learned much can fully appreciate his ignorance. He knows so well the limits of his knowledge and how much lies waiting to be learned."
There was a wet snow falling on me as I stood high on the rocks along the bank of the river.
Earlier I had been to a sandwich shop and found out from a fisherman that they were putting up the nets to catch the alewives. For some reason I thought they did that in May, not in April. My curiosity was peeked and I drove over to walk the paths high above the water with my camera around my neck and protectively tucked into my coat.
I am not a people person but I have a longing to learn new things. Gaining knowledge of something drives me, I think that is why I love the outdoors and wildlife so much.
As I stood watching, I thought to myself "Who in their right mind would stand in the cold and be this excited?" I glanced up the river and saw two fishermen hanging nets. They were dressed like lobsterman in boots, hats and warm clothing. It was very interesting to me to see how much work it was for them to hang and secure their equipment. Mind you it was wet, overcast, and snowing.
To the left of me I heard some younger boys come down another path. They were carrying small hand held nets, smoking cigarettes and dressed in jeans, unzipped jackets, baseball hats, and all weather boots.
They put down their gear and came my way. After a nice conversation they informed me that they were fishing "blind." Which meant they couldnt see the fish. Apparently they drag their hand held nets in and out of the water to get whatever they can catch.
I asked them questions. They explained that the alewives run mostly during high tide. The fishermen usually come to gather their haul during low tide. Sometimes they stay throughout the day, checking and adjusting their gear.
After they left I kneeled down on a rock and drew my camera out, using it like binoculars. I focused up and down the river. It was pretty cool taking a closer look at all the netting on both sides of the banks. I felt wound up with anticipation, imaging how the river anglers must be feeling too, preparing for their season. It's a tough way to make a living. In a way it's an honor for me to witness, as the wife of a seafaring husband. Like my husband, these men work hard, they likely sacrifice long hours to get the job done. Like my husband who is an engineer, these fishermen work with their hands. There is no glory and no glamour. It's dirty, it's messy, and it requires concentration and quick thinking. I so admire those who I like to say are, "working for a living."
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