lake update

For the second time in a week we lost power. The first loss came midmorning when a trash pickup truck took the first corner too fast and knocked over the power pole. We were out for maybe 2 hours and it was interesting watching the Progress Energy guys quickly install a new pole. George got the broken pole and it’s now part of his estate. Late yesterday afternoon it went out again. This time it turned out to be a tree fell down over the same lines – maybe 200′ from the earlier event. We’ve lost power half a dozen times since we’ve lived here, excluding storm related outages, and all have happened in that exact same location. This time we were out nearly 4 hours.

So I decided it was a good time to do a dummy run on the generator. It worked like a world champ and we operated more or less normally until the power was restored about 8 PM. It was a bit marginal when Nancy decided to take a bath. That cranked up the well pump and dimmed the house a bit. I hadn’t anticipated that but the well is really out there. The circuit distance from the generator to the well is probably 350′ and I guess the voltage drop is a bit of a load. My plan now is to run another 12 gauge circuit from the generator to the house in parallel with the first. No rush but something I’ll do before next summer – that assumes I can get Mark back up in the attic for the last 50′.

Also new at the lake – started picking and squeezing the grapefruit. Really nice, sweet juice. I may be slightly prejudice but it seems to me to be the best I’ve ever had. I think the tree is the Marsh variety and nearly seedless. I’m guessing that this year we will have picked maybe 50 fruit from that tree – not bad for it’s first year. The two fruits on the Ruby Red are still looking greenish so I’ll wait a while for those to ripen.

Fishing has been pretty good off the dock. Over the past few weeks I’ve caught two or three over 5 pounds and quite a few smaller than that. Lost one quite a bit bigger but didn’t get to see him. Yesterday I caught one that I’d previously landed. How do I know that? Well this guy had swallowed the bait and had the hook way down his throat. So rather than kill it, I just cut the line off. I wasn’t sure exactly how that would end but when I caught him yesterday there was no sign of the hook but the line was still hanging out his mouth. I clipped it off much shorter and hopefully, he’ll deal with it. For sure it hadn’t curbed his appetite and he certainly looked and acted healthy. I started comparing my fishing success with the posted minors and majors (fish activity levels) in the paper and, believe it or not, I have seen a reasonable correlation. I never really paid much attention to those periods since the times I fished were nominally decided by things like the weather and work schedule and not moon phases or whatever drives those charts.

To add to the fishing lore, we were down the dock with the Sheroniks. I had cast a small bream on a bobber into a promising area but after 20 minutes or so, nothing. I had to leave to grill some wings for lunch and left Ali “in charge” with instructions just to crank the handle if and when the bobber went under. An hour later we were sitting around the table gnawing on wings and Ali told us that he had left the bait in the water but was sure nothing would bite it since it had been in there so long with no action. I kidded him about some monster gobbling it and running off with my rig. Aaron and I went down to the lake and sure enough there was no float in sight and the line led off into the tall grass. I tried to pull it through the weeds but it was hopelessly tangled up. About that time a nice bass splashed out about a 150′ away inside a weed patch. It had the float attached so we knew it was our fish. Aaron quickly stripped down to his boxers, hopped in a kayak, took the net and headed to the fish. Believe it or not, he managed to land it! An ownership discussion ensued. I had baited the hook and cast the line so clearly I had some piece of the prize. Aaron had risked life and limb to make the final capture so no doubt he was entitled to another piece. But Ali, who had actually not touched the rod, seemed to think he should share in the glory based on the fact that he was the one who had watched it for so long when nothing was happening and had made the management decision to leave it in the water rather than reel it back in. Once again, being chairman of the rules committee paid off. Aaron and I split the honors and Ali is up for disbarment based on dereliction of duty.

On the wildlife side, still seeing the otter occasionally. I’m fairly well convinced there’s only one but he sure is a giant. If I hadn’t seen it up close and personal, it could be easily mistaken for a seal. And a family of Grebes have moved in. I love to watch them dive for fish and a couple of times have reeled in my bait when they got too close. Between them and the anhingas, I’m seeing more fishing birds than ever before. I just know that one of these days my float is going to take a dive and end up flying away. No gator sightings so I’m nominally convinced now that it’s history.

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