Rat Project Update

Tom and I hit a lake just outside the Ocala National Forest this weekend and then again Wednesday. It’s still too early for the bass to be moving about with water temps below 60 degrees. We’re calling these scouting trips so that when the fish start biting, we’ll be ready. Even so we did manage to boat a couple to keep our streak alive. Also explored some smaller Forest lakes where they’ve banned outboard motors. Banned doesn’t just mean you can’t use an outboard, it also means you can’t have an outboard (or gasoline) on your boat, even if it’s not running. We had thought we could launch the boat and only use the electric motor but apparently the no-no is not the noise and waves but rather gasoline. What a load of crap. We fished in a place in Nevada that wouldn’t let you run your motor until very late in the season because the marsh was a waterfowl nesting area. That was understandable but this regulation is another whacko’s run amok problem. The other convenient thing is that there are literally hundreds of small lakes in the forest and not all lakes have the same regs but there’s no clearing house to provide that information so you have to visit the lake to find out whether you can launch or not.

The other day George and I cleaned the tangerine tree. We each took 2 five gallon buckets of tangerines. We gave one of the buckets full to our friends in Altamonte and saved one bucket for ourselves. Today Nancy and I had a big juice squeezing party. That would be her, me and 3 five gallon buckets of tangerines, grapefruit, and a couple oranges. We have two hand juicers including one that Nancy inherited from her grandmother so we can make short work of quite a load of fruit. We just mix them all to create a unique blend and ended up with a couple of gallons of juice and 1 five gallon bucket of hulks. The hulks could either make it to the compost pile or go to Nancy’s cattle raising quilt buddy to be used as cattle feed. Turns out they love to eat rinds and even marginal fruit that’s fallen from the tree. Supposedly it’s a treat for them. Last but not least, cleaning out the tree will deprive the rats of a source of food so maybe they’ll have to forage further from here.

I may be making some progress on the rat project. I put out the third offering of 8 chunks and only 6 of them were gone in the morning. I have one more batch to put out next Monday so fingers are crossed that this gets it done.

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