Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Biding My Time

In preparation for possibly participating in Wisconsin's fishing opener next weekend, I decided to take my boat out on Sunday afternoon, the better of the two days.  We got a nice rain on Friday/Saturday and although Sunday was somewhat windy, I found a small lake west of town that had a nice landing, making it easier for me to test my strength.  My Ranger has a 115 hp Suzuki Four Stroke outboard.  I am constantly amazed by these motors and their unbelievable ability to sit all winter with nothing more than Sea foam added to the gas, and start within one or two revolutions of the engine.  My previous 115 Susy did this and my new one came through the winter storage as though I had just shut the motor off 5 minutes ago.  One thing about the new boat is it doesn't idle as slow as the old boat, which consistently trolled down to 1.9 mph.  The new one is about 1/2 mph faster, which is not a big deal and may be related to the fact that the motor is still tight and needs a few more hours to loosen up more.  This also gave me a chance to test my new Lowrance HDS5 sonar/GPS for use with my front trolling motor with the built in transducer.   The GPS worked very well however the sonar took too long to lock onto the bottom and in a 3 foot weedy bottom, it did not even acquire. This was pretty frustrating and reading the manual did not offer much help.   Later that evening I posted the problem on Walleye Central's Electronics Forum and on Monday I had some great replies, including one from Lowrance's customer tech service.  Apparently there are setup selections you have to make in the main system's menu for your specific installation.  Changing to the suggested settings, I attempted to get a reading off my concrete floor and it worked great.  My 2010 maiden voyage was a success as I solved some issues that required some outside help.  I am ready to hit the big water.   Although casting for crappies yielded nothing admittedly I did not try too hard.

 The weather in Minneapolis continues to be about 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule.  The lilacs are coming into full bloom and my fruit trees have exploded with blossoms.  Luckily my good friend Bruce got his 4 honeybee hives in place on the back part of my land just at the perfect time.   With 5 acres of land, a large garden and a small orchard, the bees are a welcome addition.  I remember a few years back a neighbor (and not the most congenial) challenged me with a sense of displeasure "Dave, I understand you have bee hives on your property, I have to say that we have noticed a considerable increase in bees around our house".  Responding, I asked her if they were about 3/4 of an inch long, big and fat.  "Yes, that describes them perfectly, they are all over my flowers."  Without even flinching I stated that she really has a problem with bumble bees as my honeybees look almost like flies and she was obviously mistaken and misinformed .  Having just been outmaneuvered, she left without saying another word.  Most of the other neighbors find it fascinating and a side bonus is Bruce brings me enough honey to last for a whole year.  It tastes especially good knowing it came from my property and surrounding area.

The bees perform a very important function of pollinating all the fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season.  My yields on raspberries, apples, pears, cucumbers, and blueberries are second to none and I always have a bumper crop.  The middle picture is of a honey gold apple tree and the white blossoms are of a pear tree.   Feeling better I planted my potatoes and onions in the garden today.  This year I went with an interesting variety of potatos including Yukon Golds, Kennebec, Norland Red, All Blue (a blueish purple fleshed type), and Cal White.  Could make and interesting looking potato salad!  Along with the potatoes I put in onions.  Using plants instead of bulbs gets me larger and better keeping onions.  I know last year most of my onions averaged over 4 inched in diameter.   My garden center had some 8-10-42 ferilizer, which is a great for starter and root crops.  Time will tell. 

Hopefully I will have a great report from Wisconsin next week.


Anonymous said...

My neighbor, who has a house in Robbinsdale, would say if the lilacs were in bloom in the Twin Cities the crappies were in the reeds spawning in the Brainerd lakes area. He's been spot on. Wish I was there chasing the slabs.

Good luck in WI. I bet there going to be deeper than usual.


NeenahPete said...

We are about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule here too. The Winnebago Lakeflies that usually wait until Mother's Day have hatched and appear to be the worst, some say, in 25 years. Did I ever tell you we made "Beekeepers" where I worked in Eau Claire?

Anonymous said...

Love the garden info, Dave! Mostly, I love the fact that you were able to get out and enjoy your land - you've had a rough spring ;)

The bees really fascinate me and have wanted, many times, to have some on our farm. We do, however, have a slight surplus in roosters that I would be willing to share, and would deliver them for free! Considering we just hatched 27 chicks, I think it's a fair statement to assume we will have at least a dozen more. Did I mention the "free delivery" coupon?!

Glad you're feeling better, and thanks for the beautiful words!


Dewey said...

Hey Dave - I think you should take Mindy up on the chickens....

Dave Anderson said...

What are beekeepers, might I ask?


I may just take Dewey's advice and get some of those roosters, do they come without feathers, head, and feet?

Anonymous said...

Nope, they still have all their parts, but at no extra charge. You must be trying to save a dime to want the stripped down models!