By Steve Begnoche, Great Lakes Energy member
Two ponds near our Upper Peninsula cottage along the shore of Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay are mere puddles compared to the big lake. But they are a world unto themselves that captivate our grandchildren.
One pond is on the beach near my siblings’ cottages. It’s the outlet of a ditch between Superior Drive and adjacent woody swamps. It leaks icy-cold, tannin-stained, root beer-colored water into the bay. It’s been that way since my childhood, more than 60 years ago, when my siblings and
I spent hours catching frogs there.
It’s a favorite of my eldest granddaughter Kayleigh, who has heard grandpa’s tales of frog-hunting forays there. Kayleigh began heading to the pond when visiting us, declaring “it’s her turn” to catch frogs in it.
It took practice, patience, and persistence, but eventually, she caught a frog. It’s debatable whether the frog or Kayleigh was more surprised.
This past summer, our grandson Grayson, now 5, netted frogs in a neighbor’s pond. Grayson spent hours stalking the edges of the 8×16-foot man-made pond. Nearly choked with last year’s leaves, he raked it clean to have a better view of the frogs. Neighbor Renee was pleased with the maintenance.
Grayson came equipped with a net, to which he added a stick for a longer handle. Every time he caught a frog, he’d run to anyone in sight or on the beach to show them his catch. Then he’d run back and release the frog into the pond. Grayson enjoys Lake Superior, the bay, the beach, and fishing. This past summer, he was the frog hunter.
In a troubled world, kids find joy in ways kids always have—riveted to catching memories in the little ponds of life.