Off line again

It’s official, my broadband modem is bad. I’ve been seeing a zero signal strength for a couple of days and the Virgin Mobile folks have been telling me that there was an outage in my area. Yesterday they ‘fessed up that the outage had been fixed and it was my modem. I had suspected that from the get go since I had messed up the antenna interface connector trying to get my neighbor up and running with my modem at his house. With the Pierson library about 3 miles away, it’s not as bad as it was a couple of years ago when I was 15 miles from the nearest legitimate wi-fi. Assuming that is the problem, I should be back up and running mid week. So if we’re a little late in responding to emails, that’s the reason.

The lake is coming up, slowly. Another inch will bring the surface level up to the second rung on the ladder. That means the water at the end of the dock will be knee deep instead of ankle deep – still way too low to even launch the boat – but certainly the trend is right and we still have 3 months or so left in the traditional rainy season. Personally, I’m convinced that the extended low water period is a net positive for the lake since it consolidates soft shoreline into nice firm lake bed when resubmerged. I’ve already noticed one thing different about the lake. When we first moved here, it was full of shiners – natural bass bait. It would take us a few minutes to fish off the dock and catch a dozen or so nice bait size shiners. Over the next few years, the shiners got bigger and the population of small ones seemed to dwindle off to nearly nothing for the past few years. But now we’re starting to see smallish, 4”-6”, shiners swimming around in the lily pads just off the dock. I can’t help but think the dramatic changes in level the lake has experienced in the past year is a factor in the shiner recovery. Maybe the baby fish have an easier time surviving or maybe the solidified bottom is better for egg survival. All I do know if that if you have lots of shiners, you have lots of fat bass chasing them.

Another little factoid relative to the changes in the lake is that there are lots of new lily pads popping up farther out from shore – as far as 200′. The water there is normally 15-16′ deep and I’m guessing that not enough sunlight penetrates that far down to allow the pads to sprout. Now the water is more like 10′ deep there which must allow just enough sunlight to promote growth. It will be interesting to see what happens as the water level rises since the sun capturing pads are on the surface. My guess is that they’ll do just fine until they’re cut off by a boat prop and then won’t regrow.

George is all over the idea of fencing the garden. He has a fenceline between him and his neighbor on the other side which he wants to pull down and we’ll use those posts and fencing to construct a nice one around the garden. We measured it and the distance around the periphery of the garden is 150′ and it looks like he has more than that available to use. It’s going to be a fairly big job taking down the old fence and then putting it up again around the garden but we’ve got until October or so before it becomes necessary. Both families are now so used to just going out and picking a good percentage of what we eat, that the idea of just letting it go was not something either Nancy or Barbara were too keen about. Aside from being fresh, tasty and cheap it’s very convenient which is a big deal out here in the woods. I told them that there was no way I was going to go to all the trouble of planting and keeping it up just to feed a swarm, covey, herd or whatever of rabbits so the fence became a no brainer compromise.

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