Freeze report

It didn’t happen. The 11PM news Friday night forecast that the temps in our area would be between 26 and 30 degrees for more than 4 hours between midnight and 8AM That’s what they call a hard freeze which is a killing freeze for sensitive plants. I covered a few items I cared about including both grapefruit trees. The picture above is the larger tree covered with our car cover – I had to make a choice between grapefruit next season or a cold car. The only other precaution was to run a bit of water all night to keep the pipes from freezing. I heard that was a good thing to do even though I doubt seriously the pipes would freeze. I woke up at 4AM and checked the outside thermometer which read 40 degrees. Much, much warmer than I expected. I checked back at 7AM and it was still reading (or reading again) 40 degrees. Based on that I was relieved that once again the forecasters were wrong. Then I got to thinking, I don’t really recall ever seeing that thermometer going below 40 degrees. So I brought it in and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Sure enough it dropped right away to 32 so the 40 degree reading was probably realistic. Within a few minutes of rehanging it outside (out of the sun) it returned to 40.

I bundled up and went outside to do a walk thru check. I have few very sensitive plants that crater at the first sign of frost – Impatiens and Elephant Ears. I have these scattered throughout the property so I have some feel for spot areas as well as general damage. I found one New Guinea Impatien plant nailed; a couple looking sad but still alive; but mostly all looking alive and well. The Elephant Ears seemed to have made it with one or two leaves showing damage. A couple of years ago, these guys all crashed down to the roots when we dipped below 32 for a couple of hours. So my best guess is that we probably did hit the freezing mark but just barely and for a short duration. No doubt our proximity to Lake George, the second largest lake in Florida, and our own little lake Inez create a micro climate that keeps us just a bit milder than the surrounding area. It’s supposed to warm up close to 80 by Wednesday so perhaps that’s it for winter – or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

I can also report that the bream and shiners ate up the fish food I tossed them like a school of piranha. That’s been the case for the past 2 weeks so we now have absolute proof that a little cold doesn’t put down the fish.

The bottom line is that I’m quite confident the grapefruit crop has survived another scare. To be on the safe side, I’m going to leave the cover on until the nighttime temps are solidly in the 50’s – maybe Monday.

For your interest I’ve labeled the picture “Proof that Al Gore is an Idiot”. In fact, we could use a little Global Warming on days like these. Where is it when we need it, huh Al? Here’s the part I don’t get – when we were having a warm Fall, there was stuff on TV constantly about Global warming. Now that we’re experiencing record cold and record snowfalls – records that go back over 100 years – why has all the global warming news disappeared? And how come the recently released Danish study that shows the globe has warmed 0.6 degrees C in the past 100 years and zero, nada, nothing for the past 10 years not been reported in the big media? That same study also pointed out that solar activity, large flares etc, that were quite high in the 80’s and mid 90’s, have more or less gone away in the past 10 years – the same 10 years with no global temp rise. I’m also wondering what happened to the hole in the ozone layer. Don’t you remember 10 years ago that the ozone layer was opening at the poles and we were facing a disaster due to x-rays or cosmic rays or whatever coming thru the hole. Why haven’t we heard about the hole in the ozone layer closing? Al gore, you’re an idiot.

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