This past weekend my daughter and I drove four hours north to Petoskey, Michigan for a soccer tournament. I hadn't been to Petoskey since I was a kid and was happy to explore the area. So, while the reason to go north was soccer (and that part was fun), we got some bonuses from the trip: Claire got to have a ball with her soccer buddies, I got to know the parents a bit better, we saw incredible vintage (1870 - 1930) cottage architecture, we ate good ice cream, we enjoyed the view of Little Traverse Bay from multiple vistas, we visited ultra-chic Harbor Springs, and we watched Chinook Salmon trying to make it back into their home stream.
We were driving near the waterfront when we came upon a small group of people standing on a bridge over a creek. Thinking it might be worth a stop, we stopped. The attraction was a "fish ladder". We watched those fish, fascinated, for almost an hour. In that time, we saw at least seven of these giants caught by skillful fishermen and only one make the huge leap necessary to crest the waterfall. They flung themselves into the air and failed repeatedly. It couldn't have felt good to keep hitting the wall and the water so hard that many times but those fish kept trying and trying.
I've made a lot of handmade paper fish over the years but they are more tropical-looking than the species of fish found in Michigan. I've always been drawn to the tropical fish because of their colors. I now have a new appreciation of the fish we have in Michigan. They might not be as colorful but they sure have guts.