Critter attack

Strange one. Last night I went out fishing again about 5PM so I had a little over an hour before it got too dark. At about 6PM I caught my first spec of the day and decided to make just one more pass trolling. Got another one but by the time I got back to the dock it was way too dark to fool around trying to clean the fish so I just left them on the stringer dangling in the water off the back of the boat. It’s about a 3′ stringer so I knew the fish would be just fine and the plan was to go out again in the morning and add a few to the stringer. Got to the boat this morning and one of the fish was laying inside the boat, still attached to the stringer but badly mauled and half eaten. The other fish was still in the water on the stringer but also partially eaten. It’s hard for me to visualize a raccoon climbing into the boat, hauling up the stringer and working over the fish but I guess it’s possible. How would he have known there was a stringer of fish out the back of the boat? Maybe an otter cruising along the shoreline found them but my experience with otters is that they completely devour anything they catch and you are left with a pile of scales or other scant evidence of the feast. In any event, the remaining partial carcasses are in the garden, buried about a foot underneath a planned tomato patch.

Think I got a compliment the other day. An old cracker guy brought a load of firewood over to my neighbor’s house. George was gone so I helped the guy unload at the wood pile which is in the vicinity of the garden. We finished up and the guy said something about how nice George’s garden looked. I explained it was on George’s property but was actually my garden. He asked if I minded if he looked it over a little closer. He said this wasn’t a regular garden like people around here grow. Most fellers only grow one or two things – maybe a few tomato bushes and rows of beans or peas. Never heard of anybody growing celery or broccoli or cauliflower and had never even heard of some of the items growing. What do you do with them chard plants or that kohlrabi thing? Sure didn’t know you could grow lettuce in Florida. Then he opined I must spend all my time pulling weeds since there weren’t any growing. I explained that the reason there were no weeds was because I mulched over the top with compost. Never heard of that either.

It may not seem like a big deal but we ate our first garden picked beets the other day. For whatever reasons, I’ve been unable to grow a decent crop of beets here. In Utah, they were a non-issue – planted seeds and picked all the beets we could deal with. I’m guessing that the overall soil improvement efforts have made the difference – something was missing. Nancy’s bridge partner, the kohlrabi greens lady, also loves beet greens so it’s another 100% consumed crop, roots and leaves. It’s too late in the season to start a new patch but you can bet that next year we’ll be eating beets regularly.

Actually this winter has been 100% successful in that there were no crop failures – a few dead plants here and there – but no wipeouts. The significance of that is that we actually had the largest variety ever so it wouldn’t have been a big surprise for a few items to have not worked out especially since there were several items I had never tried before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s