special visitor

Another special week with a drop in visit by Olivia. Nancy and her spent the day Monday shopping in Daytona and Tuesday evening cutting out a new quilt for Tom. I took her surf fishing Tuesday at Flagler. Great time – a few fish, nice cool breezes and surf, a taco lunch at the taco shop there. I think she’d get bored up here if she stayed much longer but a couple of days in her busy schedule is a real bonus for us. To stay another day would have meant competing with some guy named Justin Bieber or Beaver or something. That wasn’t going to happen.

I mentioned that I had planted some acorn squash seeds in peat pots early this week with the intent of moving them to the garden in September. Not exactly sure what I did but the squash plants germinated in 3 days instead of 7 and a couple of days after that are 4” tall and putting on the first set of true leaves. No way these guys will be able to exist in peat pots until September and I’m not sure they’ll be able to deal with the sun and heat if I put them out next week. Good thing early in life I chose not to be a farmer. That would have been a career disaster.

I am pulling out all the stops on these acorn squash plants. We’ve just not had any success so far and I’m this one planting away from just hanging it up on trying. Going all out means taking every piece of soil lore I’ve picked up and applying it wholesale on these two plants. Starting with a large mound of almost pure compost, I hollowed out the center of the mound and poured in some dissolved sugar for a first line attack on the nematodes. Next I lined the depression with newspaper to install a degradable barrier, another nematode foil. I sprinkled in each lined cavity Epsom salts for trace nutrients, sulphur to raise the PH, bone meal to add calcium and other special stuff, and topped it off with a handful of 8-2-8 fertilizer. I even crushed two egg shells and sprinkled one in each spot. This mix should have 2 weeks to meld in with the compost before I install the peat pots holding the Honey Bear squash. My experience with this variety last year was that it started out with beautiful foliage, lots of blossoms, lots of squash starts all of which rotted off before they ripened. That’s the worst kind of disaster because if the plants die early in the cycle, you have time to replant but when they give you months of encouragement and then crater…………………..

I’ve moved Scientists up to the number 3 spot on my list of most distrusted. Not all scientists but those who pursue the softer sciences such as environmental science. The science of gloom and doom where the object is to project fear of some imminent event that just ain’t going to happen. The latest is watching them scramble around trying to find oil damage from the gulf spill where, in fact, the earth’s natural processes have been working to clean up the mess on it’s own – the same as it’s been doing for a jillion plus years. And apparently doing a pretty good job of it. I’m guessing that the use of dispersants has helped a bunch but they’re busy trying to convince the world that dispersants are really bad guys and will get us and the blue fin tuna in a few years. It’s really screwing them up that no oil is showing in any sea critters including filter feeders like oysters. Deep down inside they are hoping to find a drop or two so they can push to kill all fishing. They are now back on solid ground by claiming there are perhaps microscopic things going on that none of us can see, taste, smell, or feel which will totally upset the food chain in decades to come. Pretty safe ground and it paves the wave for millions and millions in federal grants for universities to “study” the situation well into the future.

And the jerk severe weather forecasters who are at it again already this season. We’ve now had two named storms that only existed on radar for a period of hours. Just long enough to give them a name because that’s how they make the pre-season predictions – number of named storms. So we go to bed hearing that a storm that’s not quite there yet will become a named storm soon. We wake up to find out that overnight it had been named and a couple of hours later, denamed when it fell apart. Yeah, right. I think they need to add a criteria that says a storm has to maintain within the definition for 2 days before it’s named. The new season prediction came out yesterday and it’s already down a few storms from the April prediction. The folks in the weather center really get frantic about now ready to pounce on any rain storm that forms in the South Atlantic. I saw one yesterday where they showed a gray spot on radar off the coast of Africa, 2000+ miles from here, and the forecaster said “it may become suspicious”. What’s that all about – it may become suspicious. To me it’s like the traffic guy saying there may be an accident on the interstate tomorrow.

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