Squirrel Patrol

I decided to go back out fishing in the kayak the night after the “hook-up”. My hand felt just fine and the lake owed me one. It paid up with a 4 pound bass – within a couple hundred feet of the last one and on the same lure. This time I let it tire out before trying to land it and he’s now residing, as fillets, in the freezer. My honor has been salvaged.

My neighbor, George, has a loquat, AKA Japanese plum, tree which, until this year, has never produced any plums. I don’t know whether it was a maturity or weather issue, but no fruit but this year it’s loaded with plums and the squirrels are loving it. George is determined that those are his plums, not to be shared with tree rats. Now it sounds like a carnival shooting gallery over there. As luck would have it, the guy he has doing some construction work on the property loves squirrels – on the dinner table. As of the first hunting day, he put 4 in the freezer. He cleaned them on the spot and put the leavin’s in the yard out by the garden where the hawks came down and gobbled them up quickly. Since it’s a direct line (of fire) from George’s back porch to the plum and then to the garden, I have to be sure he’s aware of me being in the garden or I could end up on Tom’s dinner table. The big irony is that we were standing by the tree this evening and watched a couple of cat birds land in the tree and started eating the plums so maybe it wasn’t squirrels after all. Less you feel sorry for the squirrels, remember these are the same critters that have built nests under the hood of our cars resulting in one small fire.

While on the subject of fruit trees, my tangerine tree and the two grapefruit trees have looked bad for the past year. Florida has something going on to citrus trees called “greening” which causes the fruit to drop prematurely and to lose foliage. My understanding is that it’s a terminal condition. My trees and George’s were to the point where we have been planning to cut them down. The ends of the branches looked dead and I wasn’t sure if cutting back the bad stuff was just putting off the inevitable or perhaps would give them a chance to recover. I planned to wait until all danger of frost was gone and then make the big decision. Last week I noticed that new leaves and blossoms were forming on all the “dead” tips so perhaps they’re recovering on their own.

We’ve had two days of my least favorite weather, cold and windy. I can’t fish, I can’t garden, daytime TV is horrible, and I’m in the middle of a Stephen King novel that is too creepy to stay with more than 1/2 hour at a time. I can’t go down to the dock and feed the fish, I can’t cut down dead bay trees. At least if it was raining I could take solace in the fact that the garden was being watered. This global warming thing or the polar vortex thing are really getting oppressive. I can’t listen to Fox News because it’s either the lost plane or the lost Ukraine, or the woes of Obamacare wall to wall. I think the plane is nesting in a mother ship from a distant galaxy. I hear things like Obama saying that young people should be buying health insurance since the premiums are not as high as their cell phone bill. Whether that’s factually true or not, can you imagine any young person deciding which was more important, health insurance or a cell phone?

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