Sunday, October 21, 2012
I'm Glad I'm Not a Salmon
Wait, what? What on earth does a salmon have to do with infertility? Today, EVERYTHING.
Today was a lovely fall day. Despite a really hot and really dry (and then at times really wet) summer, we have the most vibrant fall colors I've seen in a long time. It's gorgeous. So Bryce and I went for a walk today in a nearby nature park to enjoy the foliage and warmish fall day and get some exercise. We are lucky to have trails with waterfalls and marshes and woods within walking distance to our house. It was good to get out, because I have been (if you haven't guessed it already from recent posts) having a bit of a hard time lately, emotionally speaking. This nature park is, however, a magnet for the stroller set. So I braced myself and hoped that since it was 5, most baby-toting woods-enjoyers would be heading home for a feeding and bedtime. Little did I know the thing that would make me sad was not adorable babies in carriers, bouncing along the trails. It was a freaking fish.
The fish in question is in the photo above, bravely taken by Bryce as he balanced on a slippery, leaf-strewn rock in the middle of the Irondequoit Creek by Postcard Falls. This is a salmon. The salmon are running. For those of you who fly-fish, the salmon are running practically in my backyard. I don't fish so this does nothing for me, but apparently this sets the fisherpeople salivating. Anyway, apparently the salmon run when they are getting set to spawn. As in lay their eggs. As in procreate.
This particular salmon was stuck. It had chosen its path unwisely, and ended up in a shallow section of the brook where it was having a devil of a time launching itself up over the rock and into the deeper water. Of course once it gets to the deeper water, it has a set of little waterfalls to get over which were much more daunting than the one rock it couldn't leap over here, but I guess in deeper water the salmon can get more of a running start. This salmon was screwed in the shallow water.
We came up on it when there was quite the audience. The question was, do you help the salmon or not? Bryce valiantly took his shoes and socks off and started rolling his jeans up. He was going to be a hero to this little stuck salmon! He was going to try to snatch that salmon up like a bear, and instead of ripping it to shreds for dinner, toss it into the deeper water and give it a fighting chance for survival. Until this one guy started talking.
"You can't mess with Mother Nature," the guy said. "That fish has to get up those falls, and it probably has a bellyful of eggs. They're stronger than you think, these salmon. But, if it can't get over that rock, it probably is best to let Nature take its course." Enter an ENTIRE CONVERSATION about how if it's not smart enough (or able) to get over that rock and get unstuck, it's probably best for those multitudes of eggs to die with the salmon so that it doesn't pass on weaker offspring. Oh, and salmon do this to spawn, and it's fun to watch, and when a lady salmon can't spawn anymore, SHE DIES.
Can you imagine why this got me both pissed off and depressed at the same time? I mean, GIVE THE FREAKING SALMON A BREAK!!! Just because it took a wrong turn doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve to lay its eggs, especially if once it can't do the egg thing, its purpose in life is over. I hope that guy is wrong and the lady salmon have the chance to do some living after they reproduce. I thought about what it would be like to be a salmon and then teared up. Because man, I would make a shitty salmon. All I could think was, screw this "let nature take its course" crap! Help a salmon sister out! But I guess this is why it's good that I'm not a salmon. We left it alone, even though I thought maybe Bryce could be the equivalent of the salmon's reproductive endocrinologist by tossing it over the rock. And Bryce gave me a hug once I told him how pissed I was about the stupid fish, and said, "you are NOT a salmon." Somehow, that made me feel better.