Dock Construction redux

I’m on some kind of construction track that’s starting to scare me. I’ve always been a guy who thinks twice before ever picking up hammer and now I find myself in the lumber section of Lowes buying decking, saw blades, and misc tools. The target du jour is the entry way to the dock. The new entry way on the expanded section looks so good that the old design looks shabby. Originally I used pieces left over from the dock construction to make a wooden “brick” or parquet entry. It looked really good for a few months but gradually started to sag and shift. So last year I took the whole thing up and redid it – a full day’s job. Again it looked great for a few months and then started to sag and shift. I’d really feel bad if somebody tripped just going on to the dock. So I chucked that design concept and constructed one using the same style as the new entry way. No help this time – all by my very own self. It took two days but it really came out looking great and is sturdy and stable. I did it all with my own tools and used every piece of lumber purchased for the job with only scrap pieces left over and no emergency trips to the hardware store for surprises.

Several months back I wrote that I had planted an experimental patch of potatoes. I wasn’t sure how they would do and kind of figured the nematodes would get them. They bushed out beautifully but soon became really buggy and turned brown. Very ugly. I chalked it up to an experiment gone bad and was glad I’d only planted a part of a row. Last week -100 days from planting – I pulled out the plants and lo and behold, there were loads of little red potatoes in the ground. I had planted 5 little chunks of sprouted potatoes and estimate that I harvested close to 5 pounds. That’s a good return for sure. The thing about it is that with all the other stuff we grow, you see what’s happening and can tell when it’s time to pick. With potatoes you have to take it on faith that something’s going on underground and I was pessimistic. Next season I’ll have the faith. We roasted a few and sure enough, they’re potatoes. So next spring I’ll plant a full row and get on them with bug spray early. We don’t eat all that many potatoes but love these small red guys and will stagger plant a few every couple of weeks to spread out the harvest.

Spotted a gator in the lake the other day. Not a giant as these things go, but maybe 6′ long. Probably too small to bother people but sure big enough to chow down on any of the neighborhood dogs. We let the ski folks know about it so I’m sure there will be a midnight hunting expedition mounted quickly. I was kayaking along the shore a few evenings later and spotted what must be a gator lure which I assume the ski patrol had set. It was a dead chicken hung from a tree about a foot or so over the water. I didn’t get close enough to see if it had a big imbedded hook or was just there to lure the critter to a particular area but I know it wasn’t there a few days ago. I didn’t feel particularly comfortable kayaking next to the bait – felt like maybe I was part of the bait, the entree to the chicken appetizer.

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