Freeze report

You remember the groundhog who jumped back in his hole? I have a mental image of him bumping into Al Gore on the way down the hole.

We had 3 days of serious, freezing weather. Not sure exactly how long the temps were below freezing but I got up at 5AM Thursday and the thermometer on the front porch was 32 and a pan of water on the deck had a thin layer of ice. The fields around us were white with frost. By 10AM, it was nice and sunny but the thermometer was still reading 32 and the ice had not melted.

I uncovered the garden on Friday afternoon mentally prepared for a total disaster. Amazingly, no problems. Not the first sign of any damage so the frost covers really did work. I hope that’s the last time I’ll have to use them this year. Today I’ll plant some lettuce starts and onion sets.

Won’t know about the fruit trees for a while. They look ok but you can’t always tell right away. Might just lose a few leaves or might lose next seasons fruit. It’s even possible the tree dies off but don’t think that happened. They normally blossom in March so that will tell the story. I have four trees so my guess is that it will be a mixed bag – some ok, some will lose a season.

The big loser is the lake. The farmers pumped for 3 days and pulled it down another x inches. The problem that gives me is twofold. First when I lower the boat, it’s a real circus act getting in and out. I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance that at some point I’ll end up in the drink. Good news is that the water will only be a few inches deep so I’m not likely to drown. The other problem is that I had calibrated everything down to a gnat’s ass with respect to trolling for specs. My hot area was about 6′ deep, a nice grassy bottom, and I had found the exact right lures, the perfect distance to troll behind the boat and the right trolling speed to keep the bait at fish level without catching onto the grass. Drop the water a foot and the whole thing goes down the tubes. The lure hooks the grass at exactly the wrong place. Increasing trolling speed lifts the lure a bit shallower but moves the bait too fast for the fish. Decreasing the distance from the boat could help but it gets the lure too close to the boat and motor for my liking. I’m thinking my spec days are over until next November. Another couple of inches – normal for this time of year – and I won’t be able to use the boat. I can live with that because I use a kayak for bass anyway.

Speaking of spec’s, Joey and Mark came over yesterday for a fish dinner. They love cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower so Nancy made cole slaw, brccoli-cauliflower salad (using purple cauliflower) and fried cabbage to complement the beer batter fried specs. They worked for their dinner. Helped me get the frost covers off the garden, mowed the grass/weeds, chain sawed some branches that were hanging over the dock, and removed pine needles from the roof. It took the three of us a couple of hours but would have taken me a full day and the pine needles would still be on the roof.

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