New at the lake

Some interesting changes at the lake.

We now have a resident otter, that is if sightings three days in a row makes it a resident. I caught a fleeting glance of it a few days back and was surprised at how close and how large it was. It split as soon as it spotted me and I never got another look at it. The next day I saw it swimming casually about 20′ off George’s dock and heading my way. It just liesurely swam towards me, right in front of our dock and looked me square in the eyes as he went off into the weeds off to the side of the dock. No rush, no sign of fear. I saw him poke his head up today in the weeds underneath that tree off to the right side of the dock. It’s possible I’ve seen more than one but my guess is it’s the same one each time. I saw otters in the lake maybe 4 years ago but this is the first time since.

The giant woodpeckers are back too. They must be migratory since it’s been quite a while since the last sighting and now they’re back. They really make a loud, raucous sound so there’s no mistaking when they’re here. When they attack a tree, bark just flies off and you can hear it hitting the bushes.

And the shiners are back at the dock. Last week and for the past year, none. Today for the first time when I threw out the feed, there they were again. I caught one that must have weighed a pound. Way too big for bait. Not sure what the deal is with them. We always had quite a large number around and then none. The fact that they are back means they actually never left but went somewhere else to hang. The water levels are way down as is the water temp so maybe that combination brings them back to the shoreline. I wonder if there’s a hook between the return of the shiners and the appearance of the otter. I would guess that a big fat shiner would he high up the list of otter favorites.

And the big surprise, my Ruby Red grapefruits arn’t. I’ve been watching the skin gradually ripen from green to yellow and mentally picturing the bright red flesh inside. Visions of Greyhounds and Salty Dogs for my drinking friends. Wrong, they’re white. I still have the original tag on the tree and it sure says Ruby Red. So either that was a mistake or they don’t turn red until wait later or maybe, since this is the first crop, it takes a couple of years. My guess is that it was tagged wrong. Actually we have two grapefruit trees which I purchased as a red and a white and I confess that I moved both of these trees from their original location. So it’s not impossible that somehow I got them mixed up. I mean how can you screw up two trees. There are two grapefruit on the other one so I’ll know soon enough. And the Greyhounds and Salty dogs couldn’t care less.

And for the record, no gator sightings since that one months ago. Either that little fellow went on back to Cain Lake or he’s been converted into a wallet and Gator Tenders.

And my last observation – it takes about 5 seconds for a big bass to grab my bait, run under the dock to the second piling, hang a left and get to the brush on the right side of the dock. I have broken off 3 rigs in the past week but it’s just impossible to stop them before they have me totally wrapped up around the ladder or the pilings or both.

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