It’s switched over from cold to damn cold. Gore you’re a jerk.
The frost blankets are getting quite a workout this year. With them we’ve been able to keep a steady stream of tomatoes and green peppers all winter long. I really didn’t expect that, especially the peppers. I suspect this batch of artic air will take out all but the hardiest and maybe even those. When we planted the winter garden, I really never gave too much thought to frost protection, assuming that the tender stuff would be history in December most likely; in January for sure. Next year, I’ll revise the layout making it easier to get the tender stuff covered. and locate the tall stuff totally away from low stuff. This year I didn’t give any of that much consideration and made my life a little tougher than need be. Live and learn. I was too focused on nematodes to worry about frost.
One of my favorite cold weather stories – I have several – came in the early 90’s. Our friends, the Sherlin’s, were visiting from California over the Christmas season and I had picked up tickets to see a Ute basketball game. They were having a great season. We were having a stretch of weather that was unusual, even by Utah standards – days and days on end with temperatures hovering around zero. A few years prior to that my brother in law had visited Russia and brought me back a great fur hat. I wore it regularly and the kids all made fun of me, as did co-workers, wives etc. If I took Chris anywhere wearing the hat he would walk about 10′ or so ahead or behind me and wear an expression saying that he had no idea who the guy with the hat was. But it kept me warm and I can deal with harrassment. I was wearing it on the night of the game. We ended up having to park a couple hundred yards from the arena in a parking lot that was piled 8′ high in snow and the temp -10 degrees. When we got out of the car, I started worrying that Chris would get too cold so I offered him my hat. No way, what if somebody saw him wearing it. By the time we were halfway to the arena, he meekly asked if my offer was still good and he joyfully put the hat on. When we got within 10′ of the doors, he took the hat off and handed it to me – did not want to risk somebody in the crowd spotting him. We watched the game and then left. Within 10′ of leaving the building Chris asked for the hat. I gave it to him of course, but we pulled his chain about it the whole way to the car. I knew then that in a pinch, Chris’s common sense would prevail over outward appearances.
If we have another freeze, I’ll come up with a new cold weather story. I’m hoping we hit warm weather before I run out of stories.
I was walking up the road this morning to get the paper when a piece of pine bark hit me on the shoulder. I looked up and, sure enough, there were a couple of woodpeckers chopping away up top of a 50’+ pine tree. I also noticed that the tree was dead. And while staring up I noticed that a very large branch of an adjacent Live Oak was also dead. Both the pine and the oak limb are directly across from the carport and sheds on one side and the spot where I have my truck and boat parked on the other. If either the tree of the branch came down unexpectedly, chances are something would be cratered. Living in the jungle, I have the name of a tree guy at the top of the phone list so I called to get him here to bring these guys down in a safe manner. I also have an old, nearly dead, Bay tree hanging over the dock – a disaster waiting to happen too. My man Milton came right over and gave me an estimate of $500 to take care of the whole thing. I do have a chain saw but my track record of dropping trees accurately is poor – I dropped one on top of myself a few years back and was trapped for about 10 minutes trying to crawl out from under it. No doubt that a bad fellilng of the pine could cause about $5000 in damage so I guess the $500 is a sensible move. So I made the deal and alerted my neighbor George that there was a firewood windfall coming his way. George had just taken down 3 old, dead oaks at the top end of the property yesterday but is burning his fireplace at a rate of about 1 tree per day. The dead pine is worth about 3 regular size trees so he’ll probably have enough to make it a couple more weeks. I’d like to think he’ll have enough for the rest of the winter.