Lake Recovering

A follow up on the pepper plant recovery from the December freezes. Looks like 5 plants are surviving (out of 10) and putting out new leaves. One is still looking bad but not dead. I’ll give that one another week and then put it out of it’s misery and on to a better future in the compost pile.

The lake is recovering fairly well from the big draw down a couple of weeks ago. When all was said and done they had pulled the lake down about 18” which is quite significant and puts me right at the edge of being able to get in and out of my boat. Since then we’ve had a few inches of rain which is unusual for this time of year and some of the water they pulled out must have eventually drained back. It’s up now about 10” from the low point. The other place I was hurt from the drawdown was that areas I trolled for specs are now just a bit too shallow and I hang up on grass or, even worse, a lure stealing snag. We have a few days of rain projected in the next week so we’ll make up a bit more. And I’m sure hoping that the combination of more water, warming, and a full moon will finally get the fish biting back the way they were a few weeks back. I go out whenever the wind permits and troll around to a few old hot spots but so far all I’m doing is picking up one or two. Big ones for sure, but not very many. The water temp is hanging in the upper 50’s and it really needs to be in the mid 60’s to turn the fish on.

Actually, I’m ready for the rain to stop. When I saw how low the lake was and knowing the dry season lasts another couple of months, I conjured up a new project to expand the dock. It’s much easier to add pilings when the lake level is down so I did a design and started cleaning up the shoreline for the addition in anticipation of a March project. So now, I guess, we can expect the wettest spring on record or something.

Got a new yard toy. We were in Lowe’s the other day and they had a mulcher attachment for a shop-vac. It sucks up leaves and chops them for a 15:1 reduction – so 15 bags of leaves converts to 1 bag of shredded mulch. What that means to me is much faster conversion to compost. I live in a forest of 100’s of trees so it, more or less, rains leaves. This could be a revolution for me. It has a 2HP electric motor, 6” intake hoses, and steel blades so I’m thinking this machine will get the job done big time. I’ll have to be careful not to suck up driveway rocks. As usual nothing is easy. It turns out that it doesn’t fit on my Sears shop vac. The box said it fit any 16” shop vac, not in capital letters, but what it should have said is that it fits any 16” shop vac except for the Sears unit. Damn. So I had to order a new bucket from Shop Vac corp. If I had known that from the get go, chances are I would have dropped the whole idea. But once I got the attachment home, unboxed it and saw what a moose machine it was, I was hooked.

The new bucket finally arrived and it all went together perfectly. In the past week one of our maple trees did a complete leaf dump so I had the perfect place to give it a flight test. It does indeed suck up the leaves and twigs nicely and converts them into a fairly fine mulch. From the maple tree I got three, 12 gallon bucket loads. That’s a good size for me because one bucket load exactly fills up my large wheel barrow. My compost pile is now overflowing so I’ll wait a couple of weeks before attacking the oak leaves covering the driveway.

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