Plenty of Veggies

Broccoli next week
Broccoli next week
Cabbage next week
Cabbage next week
Peas for New Year's
Peas for New Year's
Swiss Chard now
Swiss Chard now

The pictures show some progress in the garden. Within the next two weeks, we’ll start the serious harvesting and be eating all of our salads, soups, and veggies from the garden until early next summer. To calibrate you, the pea bushes are 40” tall and the broccoli head is 5” across. The cabbage is a heritage variety called Jersey Wakefield which puts out a conical shaped head, not the traditional globe shape. I grow both styles but people, ourselves included, like the Wakefield best. Then there’s Swiss Chard, green tomatoes, and a patch that includes Chinese cabbage, carrots, and onions. There’s lots not yet ready for pictures. If you think all these pictures are here because I don’t have any good fish pictures, you’d be right. Still catching lots of fish but nothing picture worthy.

I’ve mentioned that the lake is quite low which is generating strong lily pad growth. The other change is that the water is crystal clear. Not sure exactly why that is but it’s clear enough that I can see fish strike my spinner bait with the lure 20′ out from the boat and 3′ under water. The other interesting fact is that fish, bass particularly, adapt their own coloring to match the water. The St. John’s River is really dark, tannic water and the bass you catch are almost black. You can look at a string of bass caught in the St. John’s and tell immediately where they were caught. At the other end of the spectrum, if you fish a quarry, as in an old phosphate pit, the fish are chalk white. The fish out of our lake are now much lighter and brighter than in past years. I’ve always thought it was tougher fishing in clear water because the fish can see you easier but with the poke boat, the low profile and quiet propulsion, the clear water doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Had an interesting wildlife encounter while out fishing today. I don’t think it’s related to the condition of the lake but who knows. I saw two birds that I thought were Snowy Egrets flying over the lake – not unusual. A while later I came across the same birds perched on a fence post that extended into the lake and noticed that they were not Egrets but rather Ibises. They are about the same size and have the same snowy, white coloring but they have a very distinctive curved beak. We don’t see them here very often, if ever. I got within about 50′ of them before they started honking and asking me to keep my distance. The honk is really different and sounds like a goose, not a sound you’d expect to come from such a showy bird. I respected their privacy and paddled quietly away. Hope they stay.

If you ever wondered where Barney Fife went after he left Mayberry, he’s alive and well working at the Barberville Post Office. No kidding, when you walk in, there he is. Same hair cut, same glasses, same personality and most unsettling, his voice. It’s got to be him. He’s going by the name Ray but…. I actually go in and chat him up just to see if he slips up and reveals his true identity or drops a little insider information on Andy or Opy.

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