Spec’s starting

In my last post, I missed an opportunity to plug my favorite plant. I mentioned that Nancy had roasted a chicken on a bed of carrots and parsnips. It was in a cast iron skillet and cooked in a 350 oven. So the skillet was 350 degrees when Nancy grabbed the handle without a pot holder. We (she) remembered that an aloe plant was about 15 seconds away so I chopped off a leaf and we coated the burn with the natural gel that oozes out. Inside a few minutes the sting left and there was never a blister – just a redness for an hour or so. Message to readers – go get an aloe plant and keep it handy. They’re easy to grow and virtually indestructible. If you live in a cold climate, bring it inside in the winter and place in a window sill or some place where it will get some sunlight now and then.

I’m just not a winter person. Today we’re only reaching the mid 60’s and the wind is howling – white caps on the lake. Personally I need much more global warming and I need much more sunlight per day. The silver lining to the wind and the season is that it brings down a load of pine needles onto the driveway. We have dozens of large pines along the driveway which equates to jillions of needles to be raked up and spread on the parking area in front of the house and under the clothesline. This keeps both these area virtually weed free for about 6 months. In doing this job, I noticed a low area that would be improved by filling with wood chips. Two hours and twelve loads of chips later, the job that I didn’t know existed when I woke up this morning is done.

And since cold weather usually ushers in spec season, I decided to try for the first time. George had gone out with a friend last week and between them they caught 5 very small specs so I know they’re starting to school up. I went out about 3:30 and had two small ones in the first 15 minutes. I fished for 2 hours and landed 7, none worth keeping. There was enough action that fishing with two rods proved to be a problem and I lost a couple trying to deal with two on at the same time. The lake is loaded with lily pads this year which also makes trolling with two rods trickier. I use two rods, each with a different kind of lure, to find what works. In this case, both lures worked equally well. So for sure the specs are out and about but only the juniors. It’s really early in the season-normally the peak is January/February. This is the earliest I remember catching any at all so I’m stoked about the possibilities.

I put in a few rows of lettuce seed and noticed that the carrot, beet, and spinach seed planted last week is starting to germinate. That seems a little quicker than I recall but probably not. Ditto the radishes planted just a few days ago. I also started some more cabbage and cauliflower indoors. You have to plant at least a month in advance and my guess is that in a month, I’ll have garden space when the tomatoes finish.

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