Smarties Bar & Grill #77

Discussion in 'Member Casual Chat' started by Smartmouthwoman, Apr 17, 2024.

  1. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Wise move. Horseplay ends in tragedy....
     
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  2. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    A spotted sea trout. I otherwise got totally skunked yesterday. I took the kayak out even though it rained basically all day long. We finally got some drought busting rain.

    But there was no thunder and lightning until much later into the night. I don't mind getting wet but I'm not going to be on the water with it lightning. So I sat out there getting rained on for the better part of an hour and got one bite.

    And then when I load it up and left I went to this spot which is at the end of a dead end road right near downtown punta Gorda. Nothing there but enough room to park and turn around but there is a seawall and it is a good place to throw a cast net or fish. I saw schools of snook moving through there about 40 fish deep. Can't keep them this time of year and it's very illegal to throw a net on them plus they will tear up a net. So I watch them swim by as they did not seem interested in biting a hook. Fun to catch but must be released.

    I caught this spotted sea trout on a shrimp with a bobber. Sounds funny to say that there are trout swimming in the Gulf of Mexico right?

    Though they look like a trout they are actually a member of the drum fish family and you would be hard-pressed to find a better eating fish. @Talon

    IMG_20240611_193401624.jpg IMG_20240611_173130009.jpg
     
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  3. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Nice.

    We call 'em Speckled Trout up here, or Specks for those who can't spare a couple syllables. :smile:
     
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  4. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I have heard them called that. We call them Gator trout when they get up about 2 ft.

    But the law severely handicaps you because in addition to having a closed season ( what seems to be about half of the year ) there is also a slot window and they have to be minimum of 15 in but no more than 19 in.
    Fortunately this one was 16 in.
    You would think there would be some allotment of one fish a day that's either under or oversized. Fortunately that was a legal fish but it was the only thing I caught all day.... I'm not starving or anything but I do like to take something home.... But what if it was 20 in and I needed to eat that night?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2024
  5. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    And now, from my vegetable garden to your living room, tomatoes!

    Here's our first tomato of the year - a Black Krim. Isn't it just adorable? :smile:

    FIRST TOMATO 2024-BLACK KRIM.jpg

    When this little guy grows up it'll turn purple-black. It's an early-bearing variety (approx. 50-55 days) from Crimea that is supposed to be heat tolerant. I've never grown them before, so we'll see about that.

    My other "early" tomato - Sungold Hybrid Cherry - started producing fruit last week, too, and now the Prudens Purples I'm experimenting with are getting in on the action now, too. Unlike Cherokee Purples, Prudens Purples aren't a true "purple" or "black" tomato - they produce deep red or burgundy colored fruit, and they're supposed to be heat tolerant, as well. My later indeterminates - Virginia Sweets and Brandywine OTV - which take 80+ days, are flowering but they haven't produced any 'maters yet.

    Once again, I'm planting my tomatoes much closer to one another than what the seed companies recommend. I tried high density planting last year and it worked like a champ, so I'm going with it again this year:

    LG TOMATO BED 2024.jpg

    The wire structure you see was used to cover my Winter kale with, but I kept it up in case we got a heat wave and I wanted to cover the plants with shade cloth, and we've got a heat wave headed our way tomorrow and into next week (high Friday in the mid-to upper 90s). Shade cloth can be a little pricey, but you can find some great deals in the Winter, which is when I bought mine for almost half off.

    Anyway, here's the method to my madness:

    TOMATOES-SHADE.jpg

    Planting the tomatoes close together enables them to shade each other's roots, and come July and August that's going to be a good thing. Since we live on one of the highest spots in our area it's pretty breezy up here, so I can get away with planting 2-3 tomatoes in each spot and packing them close together (this bed has 56 plants growing in 28 spots). In an area with less air flow this might be inviting disease, and you've gotta be pro-active with the Bt because the tomato hornworms are hard to spot in all the foliage.

    A couple of days ago I planted my succession tomatoes - Sungold Cherry, Black Krim and Brandywine OTV. I haven't done a head count but I'm guessing I've got another 30 or so plants growing in 16 spots. I've also got 8 Cherokee Purple plants growing in a small bed. If all goes well we'll be cooking and canning a lot of tomatoes this Summer and Fall.

    Every year I experiment with something new - last year was the high-density planting and this year it's growing varieties that are supposed to have the highest heat tolerance. The biggest test will be to see how the succession plants I just stuck in the ground will handle the heat early in their development. I know the Sungolds can take it, but I'm in uncharted territory with the Black Krims and Brandywine OTVs. Furthermore, I haven't had much success with the Brandywines I've planted in the past so it will be interesting to see how this OTV variety pans out.

    I'm also experimenting with a new zucchini - Cocozelle Italian - that is supposed to have good heat resistance, as well. They haven't started flowering yet but they've shown vigorous growth. They're supposed to get big and bushy which helps the plant shade its roots and fruit during the Summer, and for those reasons they're said to be one of the more productive zucchinis, particularly if you keep picking the zukes before they get big,
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2024
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  6. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Wow - That's a pretty tight window. Ours is between 14 to 24 inches, but you can keep one over 24" per day (5 total/day).

    Since I live inland it's fun watching you saltwater fish. We've only got one small river near us - the Nottoway - and you're not going to catch any trophy-sized fish in there. Maybe some little Smallmouth bass and catfish along with a bunch of bluegills, but a day on the water is always a good day. We've got a nice Old Towne canoe (Appalachian) that's made for running rapids, and my wife and I have paddled quite a few rivers over the years. Sometimes I'll bring a rod along, but it's mostly a game of catch and release.
     
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  7. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Looks good and you should have more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at.

    I haven't grown any tomatoes since 2017. Or any food crops to speak of since then. We pedal around on the porch with flowering plants and succulents.

    Here is a cutting of an angel's trumpet or datura also known as Jimson weed.
    They produce large beautiful flowers but they are also a psychedelic plant that I have never messed with and never will.

    I've done my share of experimenting with psychedelics over the years but I've always been afraid of Angels trumpet because of the things that I have heard.

    This is a cutting off of a plant that I just broke off of a green growing edge going down a dirt road one day and I took it home and cut it off at a 45° angle and it seems to be doing well if I can keep the damn bugs off of it.

    Do you know what that gold spotting is on the leaves? Do you think it's a fungus or a nutrient deficiency?

    If everything goes well for your crops I know someone's neighbors are going to have more tomatoes than they want. Lol

    I had so damn many tomatoes in 2017 that the neighbors got tired of seeing me coming over with them.

    As a bonus, that sea trout was full of roe. You would think if it's going to be close season about half the year that they would close the season when the fish are full of roe?

    Unfortunately you don't know if they have roe them until you cut them open.

    But it shall not be going to waste. Just cooked up a batch of cheese grits and I am getting ready to pan fry the fillets along with the roe

    IMG_20240612_170535098.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2024
  8. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I have three boats now. Two kayaks one of which is my new fishing kayak, and a 13-ft 2-seat fiberglass Mohawk canoe that I picked up for $150.

    I have only taken the canoe out a couple of times, no it is not terribly heavy.... It's a bit Overkill if you're going out by yourself and unfortunately my girlfriend does not tolerate the heat very well anymore these days.

    We have a river here and you can catch some decent fish and it's only a mile from my house but I would rather travel the 30 MI down to Charlotte harbor where this same river, the Peace River meets the Gulf of Mexico.

    Used to be able to catch mullet up here in the river but I haven't seen any up this far in years.

    Plenty of tilapia catfish bass and bluegill and the occasional snook.

    You're right though, any day on the water is a good day.

    But I do much prefer salt water, it's just at least a 30 mile drive for me if not 50.
     
  9. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's the plan, but that was the plan last year and a series of flails and disasters wrecked my harvest. The first thing that went wrong was I didn't fence the tomatoes in to keep the crows out, so those damned birds wiped out virtually all the first fruits. After that, it got hot as hell and the plants started struggling to produce flowers and fruit. Then after they were weakened by the heat, a good number of them got sick. I managed to bring them back around, but by the time they started producing more tomatoes they were at the end of their lifespans so the tomatoes were smaller than usual. Finally after all that, I didn't apply Bt to the plants when my gut told me to do so and after I left them unattended for a few days I noticed that the hornworms had feasted on them. It was Murphy's Law with a vengeance - everything that could have gone wrong went horribly wrong. BUT this year I'm ready. My dog has kept the crows out of the vegetable garden and this weekend I'm going to put the fence up. I've got shade cloth to deal with heat waves (first one starts tomorrow) and I'm going to follow my gut when I suspect its time to apply the Bt.

    If you like tomatoes you might want to consider growing some in containers. Hybridizers have come up with some great dwarf tomatoes that are ideal for growing in pots or small spaces. This one, for example, has gotten a lot of rave reviews:

    How to Grow Rosella Purple Tomato | Dwarf Plants, Big Fruits!
    https://www.bountifulgardener.com/rosella-purple-tomato-plants/

    Hard to say. Little spots on leaves are often the result of pests (you might find them lurking on the underside of the leaf), but yellowing could be a mineral deficiency, which is common with plants grown in containers. Frequent watering washes the nutrients out of the soil. I know Miracle Grow is a fertilizer, but I've noticed that it will knock out some mineral deficiencies, too.

    Nice. You can't beat fresh fish with a stick.

    I've never had roe before. What's it like?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2024
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  10. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    I used to sell Angel Trumpet. They are so easy to root. I had the best luck rooting them in just plain water. I never tried the Angel Trumpet because of finding myself in psychological hell. I felt funny just handling them. But they did sell good.
     
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  11. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    What threw me off was thinking the vines put out roots. I fertilize just at the place the seed comes out of the ground. This year I mixed in 8-8-8 and dug it in before planting. Any further will be a liquid watered in at the base of the plants.
     
  12. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    You have certainly done your homework with tomatoes. Aside from keeping an eye on pest, they pretty much grow themselves here.

    Roe is quite tasty. Often fried and served with grits. Kind of creamy and salty and taste like the sea. The texture is somewhat hard to describe. Almost Vienna sausage like but different if that makes any sense?

    I don't see any pests under the leaves but any leaf I see that is affected much I cut off.
     
  13. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Okay I have just witnessed a new level of weirdness..... Sitting here at work and come outside for a smoke and I see a guy walking down the road on drywall stilts at 2:03 a.m.

    Reason number 3687 not to do methamphetamine.... Because you might find yourself walking down the street in drywall stilts in the middle of the night in a small town.

    Wonder where he stole them and how long it takes them to end up at the pawn shop?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2024
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  14. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Same thing up here - if you buy the right varieties they won't require a lot of maintenance other than watering during dry spells, and our sandy loam soil is ideal for growing tomatoes.

    Whether I like it or not this year's experiment with heat-resistant varieties is finally underway. The air temp today is going to be in the mid-90s and the humidity will send the heat index up around 100 degrees, and it's going to stay hot and dry through the Solstice. It'll be interesting to see which plants can power through the conditions and remain productive. This year's crop, along with my new zukes and pumpkins, is getting the benefit of shade cloth, so I'm going to find out if that helps them keep flowering and fruiting. Certainly, it will prevent leaf scorch and help the plants and soil retain water/moisture, but with the temperatures being so high I don't know if the Black Krims, Prudens Purples and Brandywine OTVs will remain productive. I know the Sungolds can handle anything Mother Nature throws at them and the Virginia Sweets are exceptionally tough, but once it gets into the high 90s and 100s the Sweets start shutting down. I think the shade cloth might be enough to help them, but along with the other tomatoes I'm just going to have to wait and find out.

    I will say this, though, Sungold Hybrid Cherry tomatoes are a wonder plant. Not only can they handle the hot humid conditions in the South, they're amongst the best tasting tomatoes you can find. There are only a few tomatoes I will eat raw, and these are one of them. Another interesting thing about them is you can get different flavors out of them. As the fruit ripen they change from golden yellow to orange and finally red, and the darker they get the sweeter they taste. The color is like a gauge of the sugar content in the fruit. The only downside of these plants is that they can get a bit gangly, so it's best to grow them in a cage of some sort. You can stake them, but it will take more than one stake to keep the branches from bending and then breaking once they have to bear the weight of their fruit (and because their branches are thin they won't). Another great thing about Sungolds is that they're ridiculously productive, so you don't need to grow a lot of them. Once they get going it's hard to keep up with them, unless you like eating them right off the vine, so I wind up either stewing or making a salsa with the tomatoes and then chucking them in the freezer (they'll keep up to 3 months in there). I planted 4 of them in the first group which will keep me in tomatoes until the big indeterminates are ready to harvest. I've got 6 more in the succession crop, which won't be as productive as the first crop, but they'll keep cranking out fruit until the frost kills them in October.

    For some reason roe never appealed to me, but I might have to give it a try. When I worked in a salmon camp up in Nushegak, Alaska in 1986 the roe was the big money maker. By exporting it to a Japanese firm the owner was able to sell it for even more money, so that stuff was like gold to the fishery. I'll tell ya, the salmon itself was unbelievable. We'd snatch a 40 pound King right off the tender, cut it into big fat steaks, put a few pads of butter on top and into the oven it went. Best salmon I've ever eaten - fresh out of Bristol Bay - and God help you if Mark the chef caught you putting tartar sauce on that fish. It sure as hell didn't need it, but he used to carry on about how that was like putting ketchup on a prime rib or filet mignon, and you had to be some sort of deranged savage to do that to a fresh King Salmon steak lol (and I'm inclined to agree with him). Maybe a little sprinkle of chive was OK, but if you dumped some ungodly mayonnaise-based concoction on that fish you were going to burn in Hell for an eternity. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2024
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  15. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The critters really come out at night, don't they? :smile:
     
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  16. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Some poor guy probably woke up to go hang drywall today and is wondering where the hell his stilts are at. Jesus wept
     
  17. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    WHY?.jpg
     
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  18. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Okay so today I saw something crazier ( maybe just not as out and out weird...) but definitely crazier......


    So I was driving and rush hour traffic in fort Myers. If you have ever done that then you know what I'm talking about...

    Getting ready to make a right turn to get back onto the parkway and looking out my driver's window to the left I see an approaching vehicle that at first I had assumed was a motorcyclist doing something stupid like standing on the seat or doing a wheelie.....

    Now keep in mind traffic is moving every bit of 45 or 50 miles per hour..... It's a guy on a small stand up electric motor scooter. He has on a motorcycle helmet and presumably some of the clothing.

    I thought to myself now there's a guy with a genuine death wish. And of course I'm absolutely certain that such a device is totally not legal for Street use in such a manner.

    I'm not terribly surprised but I did not know that they had such tiny scooters they could carry you along at such speed. I imagine that the motor and the batteries in that thing must be a marvel to behold.

    Particularly so, if that battery should catch fire.

    The wheels on this thing were probably no bigger than 5 in at most. Could you imagine the wind standing up like that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2024
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  19. Lewis Edward Smith

    Lewis Edward Smith Well-Known Member

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    George Strait's concert at Kyle Field on Saturday night drew 110,905 people and broke a 47-year-old record for highest-attended ticketed concert in United States history.
     
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  20. Lewis Edward Smith

    Lewis Edward Smith Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  21. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    One of the greatest country Legends of all time. That crap they called country music today.... I don't know what it is but it sure isnt country.

    I would have loved to hear him sing troubadour or Amarillo by morning
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2024 at 2:44 AM
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  22. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Starting today we're getting our first major heat wave of the year. It'll be in the mid-90s for the next three days and then up near 100 Friday and Saturday then dropping back into the mid to low 90s for the rest of the month. It's humid, so the heat indexes are going to be up and over 100. (This is just starting to get warm for ToddWB in FlameBroil Country. :D)

    Last night I gave my experimental tomatoes, zucchinis and pumpkins a good watering and put them under 30-40% shade cover. All of the first wave of tomatoes are flowering and the Cherokee Purples are just beginning to produce blooms. The first flowers on the zukes opened this morning and the pumpkins are budding - I figure they should start opening within a week.

    By the end of the weekend I should have a pretty good idea of how heat-resistant the plants are and if the shade cloth is doing any good or not. I figure it will help, but when the air temps get up and over 100 the plants might start shutting down anyway.

    Meanwhile, I'll be keeping an eye on the succession tomatoes to see how those youngsters handle the heat. I expect they'll handle it better than I do - no matter how acclimated I get to the high heat and humidity I still can't stand being out in it. For the next two weeks I'll be out in the mornings and evenings and hiding in the AC the rest of the day. Good thing my HVAC unit is getting its annual maintenance Monday 'cuz it's gonna need it.
     
  23. Lewis Edward Smith

    Lewis Edward Smith Well-Known Member

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    All new Buc-ees will get a sign on top of them.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Everything ready to go. I keep the rods on the side of the boat instead of in the semi vertical holders because I have to squeeze in and out of some tight areas. I have anchored and fished today and caught a few different fish.

    The anchor is probably Overkill because I think it is 10 lb and you can see it Forward of the seat in the middle of the boat.
    The wheels in front of The tackle box are the trolley that carries the boat. The frame is taken apart and is beneath the seat.

    Turns the boat into a wagon basically.

    I am red as hell.

    IMG_20240618_115922884.jpg IMG_20240618_115851004.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2024 at 4:30 PM
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  25. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    My garden is beginning to produce. IMG_20240618_160742.jpg I got some cucumbers, green peppers. And all we need is a good rain. IMG_20240618_160742.jpg IMG_20240618_160634.jpg
     

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