Yes, we got some banana

We made an interesting discovery yesterday. A couple of years ago we planted a small banana tree. We didn’t know whether it was a decorative variety or a real banana producing machine. It did nothing last year except grow some nice foliage so we assumed purely decorative. The location became somewhat overgrown and we just lost track of the tree. Yesterday I decided to try to find it and clean out around it. I was blown away to find two large stalks of bananas. I would estimate there are 50 bananas. They’re green and small – maybe 4″ or so. We don’t know whether they will grow much larger; whether they will ripen yellow or red; or whether we are hours, days, weeks, or even months away from yummy fruit. We do know that Olivia should bring up her favorite mini banana split spoon. We have the ice cream, the ch0colate syrup, the cherries, and by this weekend will have the whipped cream.

Talked to George who is an old banana grower from Miami. Our Bananas are called fingerlings and will always be smaller than the big ones we are most familiar with. But he says, these are tastier. These just popped out based on the fact that there are little blossoms on the tip of each banana. That means they will not be ready for harvest until maybe August. They will turn from dark, dark green into a much lighter shade. At that point you cut off the entire stalk and store them in a dark place until they ripen. Going to be interesting to see if the birds, squirrels, or other critters leave them alone. Oh, one other factoid. Those gigantic ants have a nest right at the base of the tree. As I was standing there, several thousand crawled up my leg and filled my shoes. Luckily they are not the biting kind but still they creeped me out.

Tina honey, you’re not in Utah anymore

For those of you who read Tina’s excellent blog, you have probably noticed a recent trend towards discussing “Florida moments”. As the senior Floridian in the family, I need to correct the observations of it’s newest.
First, it’s very difficult to have a “Florida moment” involving people in Central Florida. That’s because most people in Central Fla are from somewhere else. It’s more likely you’ll have a Jersey or Ohio or NY moment, than a Fla moment. We can have “Florida moments” here in North Florida where the redneck population is still fairly substantial. Secondly, a Florida moment involves the nature of the place. For example having to make a 911 call on the way home from work to report a rogue gator is a true Florida moment. Or having a manatee nudge you while swimming in the Indian River to clean the bottom of your boat is a true Florida moment.; 98% humidity combined with 98 degree temperature is a Florida moment – especially if it is quickly replaced with rain at a 4”/hour rate and a 20 degree temperature drop. Coming home to find your pool bright green instead of clear is a Florida moment.

No, what Tina is experiencing is what Dorothy experienced and explained to Toto – we’re not in Kansas anymore. For sure, you’re not in Utah anymore. Weirdo people events are common in melting pots – that would be places other than Utah and Kansas. I’m diagnosing it as delayed culture shock!

A little rain is ok

I really want to apologize for all the rain this past week. You in central Florida got it far worse than us north Florida crackers. I inadvertently triggered it Monday evening after all the guests left. I had a few dead spots in the grass over top the drain field and had started sprigging it. The dry weekend had left the new sprigs looking punky so I was adding some new stuff and accidentally knelt into a fire ant mound. They crawled up my pant leg a bit before they started biting so while I was praying for rain, I jumped up and started dancing around. Obviously the combination had the desired affect. Not sure why it rained so much more in central florida so I need to refine the rain dance.

But there was a silver lining. The new grass sprigs look green and growing; when you pull out those nasty briar vines, the ground is so wet the potato root comes with them; the lake has been sufficiently diluted from a long weekend of kids peeing in it; and finally, the dreary weather makes yellow jackets kind of logy and slow so that when you accidentally stumble into a nest, they are too slow to inflect real damage. I will nail the remainder, those that didn’t die by direct impact with my hand, with my trap. Another piece of the silver lining, and perhaps the most important, was that when we were trapped in Beef O’Brady’s waiting for the monsoon to subside, I learned that our waitress also worked for roto-rooter and was an expert on septic tanks. So I asked the question that had been puzzling me regarding the pump in the septic tank that moves the liquid from the tank to the drain field. And that is, if we lose electricity, can we safely flush toilets? I know that we have no well pump to add water but we do have a lake full and buckets to take care of that factor. Turns out, if the septic tank is in good working condition, it is only 90% full. With a 1000 gallon capacity, that means I have 100 gallons of unused space, which at 4 gallons/flush is 25 flushes. If I can keep Nancy’s flush rate under control, that means probably a few days of slack without electricity. So the silver lining is a real thing.

And finally speaking of yellow jacket traps, those three glass traps seem to be nominally ineffective against yellow flies – great for yellow jackets, ants, and gnats – but nearly worthless for yellow flies. I also think they must do a good job on no-see-um’s. Of course you can’t see-um in the jar but since we didn’t get bitten by any, I’m assuming they’re in there – just can’t see-um.