Azalea season

Have to repeat a quote cuz Martha sent from the Gardening editor of the LA Times – “good news for gardeners. Setting the clocks ahead an hour gives the vegetables in your garden another hour of sunshine” or words to that affect. Wow! Wish I had thought of that. I could have set the clocks ahead 2-3 hours last December and had much faster growth than actually happened.
This is a nice time of year to be here. Near perfect weather, 80/60, low humidity, citrus blossoms and azaleas. The picture is one of our dozen or so azalea bushes scattered around the property. We planted them all about 8 years ago so they are growing massively. It’ll be like this for a few weeks. I’m now in full spring/summer modus operandi. Hit the lake for an hour or so first thing in the morning, come back and play garden for a hew hours, then pack up the XM and the WSJ and head for the dock. The difference between spring and summer is that I’m still wearing long pants and shoes now but in a month or so, that will be bathing suit and flip flops.

I haven’t much used the poke boat since last October. At that point I switched from fishing for bass to fishing for spec’s which is trolling endeavor using the jon boat with electric trolling motor. Now I’m back in the poke boat which is a cross between a kayak and a canoe, powered by yours truly with a double bladed paddle. Man do I know it. I guess I haven’t used those paddling muscles for almost 6 months and they are letting me know I ignored them. Also, you sit directly on the bottom of the boat as opposed to on a seat so your legs are stretched out in front of you. Sounds uncomfortable – because it is – and it puts extra stress on the back muscles. So between the shoulders and the back, I’m having to break in a whole new set of unused muscles. It’s worth it because you fish so quietly and you can position the boat with such precision. One real negative is that since the boat is so maneuverable, that when you catch a fish, it can tow you around easily. Had an experience with that the other day that, in retrospect, is funny – but not so much at the time. I went by this historically good fishing area off a neighbor’s lawn about 30′ offshore. A large dog ran down to the water’s edge and threatened to tear me to pieces if he could only get out to the boat. It was a cross between a rotty and an elephant with a real nasty bark. I felt quite confident that if he started out in the water, I would have no trouble paddling away or wacking him with the paddle. Advantage me. I cast in close to shore and bam, hooked a nice bass. Problem was that the bass started pulling me in to shore where rover was licking his chops and going insane at the thought of chomping on me. Advantage Rover. Luckily for me, the fish threw the hook and I was able to paddle my way out of harms way.

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