The Jungle Strikes Back

It started raining early this morning so I checked the electronic rain gauge to see how much had already accumulated but it was reading zero. That’s like having a finger cut off (for me) so I went out in the rain to see if it had clogged or had dead batteries. I picked it up and only then learned that some wasps had taken up residence underneath and built a nest which was blocking the transmitter. I managed to put it down in a few microseconds but not before one nailed me on a finger tip. I got some cortizone and ice on it quickly but it still swelled substantially within just a few minutes. Then a little light went on in my brain. I had noticed for the past few days that occasionally, not very often, the TV signal broke up. In fact, last night watching the late news it did the pixel thing a few times. I recalled that the last time this happened it was a wasp nest around the outside TV signal amplifier so I put it on my mental “to do” list to check. So after the rain gauge incident, I went around to the TV pole and checked for wasp nests. None in the power box where the problem was last time. I looked then for the amplifier box itself and didn’t see it. I visually tracked the cable and immediately saw that where the box should have been, was a giant fire ant mound. It was very close to where I had been working on the sprinklers yesterday and I had very carefully avoided it and sprinkled it liberally with fire ant poison. What I didn’t put together was that the ants had built the mound over the amplifier itself so it was buried at least 6” into the mound. In a couple of days, when I’m absolutely certain that the last of the ants is dead, I’m going to rig up some kind of protective box. To recap the last few days – I found a dead lizard and lizard eggs inside the sprinkler control box, a full functioning wasps nest inside the rain gauge, and a fire ant mound encapsulating the TV signal amplifier. The jungle strikes back.

Nancy was tasked to, among other things, bring a dish of Brussels Sprouts for Thanksgiving at Tom’s house. I’m not a giant Sprouts fan but there’s always plenty of other goodies to munch on so I was OK with it. She cast about to fellow cooks for a good recipe and decided to test run those on me. I don’t know which one will make the cut but I can tell you for sure that I am Brusseled out and will double up on carrots or whatever else appears. I made a large bowl of fresh cranberry sauce and am responsible for grilling the turkey on the Holland grill. I think we’re also bringing a cake.

I’ve mentioned the numerous dead bay trees that I’ve cut down or have left for future action. Those are coming down on their own, sometimes in dramatic fashion. Every time we get a storm with substantial wind, the tops of trees or large, dead overhanging branches crash down. I’ve cut down everything that could hit the house or dock so I think generally it’s safe. Yesterday while sitting at the computer a couple of really large branches came down directly in my line of vision. That’s actually the second time that I’ve just happened to be looking when a tree top or branch broke off. I took a couple of pictures to give you an idea of the size branches involved. One pic shows the remaining trunk which will also fall eventually. I knew these particular branches were ready to go and would have cut them off if I could have reached them. The view to the lake is much improved now.

Fallen branches
Fallen branches
Trunk remains
Trunk remains

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