Otter on the dock

Bacheloring again. Nancy and Tom are on their annual spring break baseball tour and I’m stuck here fishing and relaxin’. It’s only a couple days so I’ll survive.

We were invited to a memorial service for a very dear, old friend, Phyliss Dillon. I worked with Marty Dillon at GD in Longwood, then we both took jobs at Datapoint in San Antonio, and later at Beehive in Salt Lake City. We moved at the same times such that Marty and I were together in new locations while Nancy and Phyliss managed the operations back home. Our kids grew up under the same circumstances and the Dillon’s were Chris’s God Parents. Marty passed quite a while ago so this was a big occasion for us and it was really nice catching up with the family, reconnecting with their kids and meeting their grandkids.

The service was on the other side of Orlando and we could never have found it without Madge, our handheld GPS unit. One thing she did this trip that I didn’t know was in her bag of tricks was to alert us to a traffic situation ahead on the freeway and suggest an alternate route. We selected the suggested route and arrived right on time. That evening on the news they related how snarled the traffic had been all day. Way to go Madge.

The garden is about three quarters into the transition from winter to spring. I pulled out the last of the broccoli and half the peas, making room for corn and pole beans. Within the next two weeks the parsnips and the broccoli/cauliflower cross will be harvested leaving only a few beets, two carrot patches, spinach, collards, Swiss Chard, and Kale of the winter crop. That sounds like a lot of plants but it represents only about 10% of the garden space. I have several eggplant, tomato, and green pepper plants still in the seedling stage to be transplanted sometime in mid April.

Going to plant one or two rows of corn by the end of the month too; maybe 60-75 plants. My plan is to add a new row of corner every 10-14 days depending on how quickly it germinates. I’m trying something different with corn because it just has never met my expectations. Going away from double sweets and super hybrids and getting bulk seed from a local feed store that caters to the locals. I figure that has to be a variety that does well in the area.

Another thing I added to the garden this morning was a very large gar carcass. I went down to the lake and spotted a dead gar floating a few feet off shore. This guy was about 3’ long and probably weighed 10 pounds. He’s now pushing up tomatoes. George had mentioned a few days ago that he had hooked a large gar which broke his line so I guess it’s possible this is that critter and the encounter with George proved fatal. Personally I’d much rather have him in the garden than in the lake. While I was down there I walked over to my dock and startled (mutually) an otter who was climbing the ladder from the lake onto the dock. I hadn’t seen an otter in quite some time so that was as great find. It’s not too unusual to spot them in the spring and it often means we’ll be seeing some baby otters soon. I wondered if maybe he had caught a sniff of the gar and was cruising the shoreline hunting for it.

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