Back in the Rain Gauge Business

I just watched the most incredible “news” story ever on the CBS evening national news. Seems that in Minnesota, the moose population has dropped from 40K to 400 in the past 10 years and 50% in the last 4 years alone. Perhaps I misheard and it was 4K to 400 but still a large drop. The scientist interviewed didn’t know why but suspected it had to do with global warming. They reckon summer is now two days longer, whatever that means. Just a little while back I had read an article about the opposite problem in New England – way too many moose. Is there anyone in the universe who believes the climate has changed, one way or the other, in the past 4 years? Or that it would only impact Minnesota and only one species? It would seem like if it was a virus, a nutritional problem, a parasite and you had nearly 40K corpses to examine, you would know what the problem was. Wonder what the wolf population is? Didn’t they reintroduce wolves to that area in the past 20 years? How about a genetic issue, an insufficient genetic pool to sustain the population – same as the Cheetah problem in Africa. The story mentioned that there were two distinct groups so that suggests too much inbreeding. Bet they just left Minn and are wandering around Canada or maybe trekking to Maine. I can understand some well meaning but stupid scientists saying something like that but it really bothers me that CBS would allow such obviously biased, wrong information to be broadcast as the gospel.

If the quality of the seedlings speaks to the quality of the end result, we’re going to have some serious green peppers this summer. I planted two varieties with “older” seed and surprisingly got 100% germination so I ended up with 10, really beautiful plants. I put them out in the sun every day after the temp reaches 50 but bring them in at night. I had bought seed for a new variety in anticipation of these older seeds not making it so I’ll hold off planting those until Sept for the fall crop. Believe it or not, we’re still picking peppers from last September’s planting which is the latest ever. I paid special attention to those two plants when we were threatened by frost in Dec and Jan. We never actually got a freeze – the closest it got was 34 – and they never lost a leaf. It will most likely be mid March before I put them out in the garden but if the weather holds as now forecast this week and the 10 days forecast looks good by the 20th of Feb, I’m going to transplant a couple tomato plants in the garden. It’s a little risky but the only downside is having to start over and there’s still plenty of time. The upside is that the plants will get large and strong before the bugs come on.

I mentioned the trials and tribulations associated with getting my weather station up and running. Well it’s now back doing it’s thing!!!! The reset process is very tricky and involves close timing, exact sequencing and placement of the devices during the setup. Nothing about the process is intuitive. In the end the problem was, as I originally suspected, batteries. What threw me out of whack was that the replacement batteries I had on hand, although never used and only recently purchased, had past the manufacturer’s use by date. The new batteries I used this time have a 2023 expiration date. Now all I need is a good rain storm – like the 3/4″ downpour we just had!

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