Saturday, July 23, 2016

Striped Bass: Morone saxatilis

We took another trip to Silver Glen springs yesterday.   It was a nice day, although thunder clouds moved in late in the afternoon.  But that's Florida weather.

This squirrel was interested in our boiled peanuts and pretzels.

Check out the blue of this water...

which was no doubt the reason to make such colorful floaties.

Kids love this place!

Snorkel the springs!

The striped bass love the constant 72 degree water coming out of the springs.  They don't do well over 75 degrees.

The small boils in the forest is closed to the public...

but if no one is watching, I guess...

He's baack.

Caught a fish!

Caught an unguarded picnic table!

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Cue Stick Lathe

Yep.  I'm really reaching here.  This has nothing to do with life in Bleecker, and most certainly not much to do with even living in Florida.

I shoot a lot of pool.  I love to shoot, but it is also physical therapy for my bum right arm.  I wear weights on my right hand when I shoot now, to try to rebuild some muscle.

My friends Russell and Star have a little boy named Trenton.  He's five or six.  He challenged me to a game of 8 ball.  I had run all of my balls and Trenton, barely able to pick up a cue stick and even hit a ball, had all seven of his left.  Well, he buried the 8 ball, and trying a fancy bank shot to sink my eight, I scratched instead.

"Trenton, you beat me." said I.

Trenton looked at me with a blank stare.

"Trenton, you beat me.  You won!"

His eyes grew big... then he got all excited and grinned from ear to ear.  Russell told me the next day that it was all he could talk about all night.

I have a pool table in the garage.  I also have a bunch of old cue sticks.  One was cut short to use on the side of the table close to a garage wall (I've since moved the table).  I decided to refinish this short stick and give it to Trenton.

I sanded all of the old finish off this stick and stained it.  The bottom part I put on more stain to make it darker.  Where the light stain and the dark stain met on the shaft needed to have a band of black paint to mask the joint.   I needed a lathe, along with black paint and a brush to make a smooth finsih.  I don't have a lathe here.  What to do?

My dad was a master of improvisation.  I think some of that rubbed of on me.  I used a battery powered drill, two small dumb bells, a fishing boat anchor which was cement in a coffee can, a clamp on vise, and a nail.

My cue stick lathe on the garage pool table.

Two dumb bells, the fishing anchor, and the clamp on vise.

Nail inserted into a hole in the cue stick.

The drill end. 

The joint that was to recieve the black paint.

The black paint.

It came out OK.  I'll post a pic of the finished product in a day or two.

Hey, we retired guys have the time to mess around with little projects like this.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Adult Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera (Beauvois))

The Adult Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera (Beauvois)) is an extremely large grasshopper found in the south.  It is called a lubber (as in land lubber) because it cannot fly and is extremely clumsy, climbing over obstacles with great difficulty.  Still, it can do a lot of damage to Florida's citrus crops.

It may be clumsy and awkward, and it may do damage to crops, but it is beautiful.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Silver Glen Springs

Its been HOT down here in Florida.  104 degrees the other day, over 100 for several days in a row.   We found a new spring that we like even better than Salt Springs, called Silver Glen Springs.  This one has many more picnic tables than Salt Springs does.

Each Florida day seems like the one before.   Back to Silver Glen!

Brad and Judi.

Let's go look at some springs boils!

I pumped up the contrast so you can see the springs.  They aren't hot.  No boiling.

Florida, being Florida, it started to rain, and thunder and lightning.  But we had cooled off.  Time for A/C, cold beer, and shooting pool at the club!