This just isn’t my month – First I lost the internet now I lost my last two hook Devil’s Horse. It went out in grand fashion – hooked firmly in the jaws of a big bass. I really hated losing that particular plug. It’s been a staple in my tackle box for years and years and accounted for who knows how many bass in Florida, Utah, and any other place I used it. The really bad news is that it’s irreplaceable. The lure’s manufacturer, Smithwick, decided some years ago not to make the small, two hook model any more. I can still get the larger three hook version but it won’t be the same and I just won’t have quite the confidence in the bigger plug. I’ll just have to live with an image of my lure hanging on a trophy rack underwater where bass come by and admire it and the monster who finally brought it down.
My neighbor George is a fireplace kind of guy. He goes through incredible amounts of firewood, all coming from trees on his or our property or other neighbors willing to give up their dead trees. Most are water oak and pine, neither of which are particularly long living trees. Being such a long, hard winter this year, what seemed to me enough firewood for a lifetime, dwindled to zero so he got into some serious tree cutting and log splitting this week. I always help George with heavy work because he’s the guy who fixes most anything that goes wrong with any of my equipment or appliances. He also has heart issues and I’d hate to see something bad happen when he was doing something I could have been helping with. George has for sure cut down hundreds of trees over the years and knows what he’s doing. As opposed to me, when he tells you where a felled tree is going to land, you can go to the bank on it. We had taken down a large oak and tackled a dead pine right next to it. The oak was tricky due to the way the branches were hanging but the pine looked to be a piece of cake. After quite a tussle involving ropes and trucks, we pretty much laid the oak down where planned. But just as George was making the last cut on the pine, a gust of wind came up and blew it in exactly the opposite direction as planned. It was caught by another oak but the top most branches crossed the power lines. Didn’t break the lines but had them fairly well stressed. We started lopping pieces off the bottom of the tree which caused it to start lifting up and away from the lines. With each cut the tree got a bit more upright and closer to leaving the lines. The last cut did it – the tree snapped upright and popped away from the lines without breaking them. But the lines were like bow strings and slapped together for just a second. Pop, snap, sizzle. The pop was the circuit breaker servicing the neighborhood. We quickly cleaned up the evidence and then called the power company to report an outage. It took them 2 1/2 hours to restore power since we couldn’t tell them exactly which breaker to check first. So a day that started out kind of boring ending with a bit of excitement. The funny part was that Nancy and Barbara were watching the whole thing and George had made a big deal of putting down an X where he intended the tree to drop. That was probably as big a mistake as not having a guide rope on the tree.