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Taidong Feb 3: Heard first nightjars on Feb 1 - which seems early. Decent crop of zuchini coming through - only eaten one and it had some icky hard orange stuff in the middle - not sure what it was - but still much more successful than previous efforts where they all died before producing - may be to do with dry winter and less bugs - they are also in a position where hinoki wood dust drifts onto them from my driftwood work and that may be acting as a kind of organic bug repellent

Istachatta Feb 3: Meanwhile, in Florida, perfect weather. Apparently we've had a mild winter because the moringa still has leaves. Grew rosella for the first time and we came back to a bunch of flowers. Hardy plant. It's a cash crop too. Perfect time of year for being out. Easy to walk around without concern for bugs, snakes, enormous webs, ticks, and everything else that's around in the summer. Citrus trees did better this year than last. Highs today to be 78 (26) night lows low 50's (10-12).

Taidong, Feb 15: Cancel that about the zucchini. Apart from the first few the rest of them were demolished by insects. Frustrating coz they grew to huge plants, flowered, and started to produce... but then it all ended in tears. Earthquake last night - first one since the big one - 4.8, just east of Green Island - only a minor shake here but would have been much stronger on Green Island - not sure if it was the same fault line as the previous ones. Ku ling trees don't seem to have a lot of uniformity in terms of losing their leaves - some are already bare, though the ones at my house still have leaves. Put in new crops of snow peas and beans and lettuce last week trying to sneak one more harvest before summer. First real winter blast last week. Cold and windy - down to 13 in Taidong and felt a lot colder. Some very light rain came with it, but still in the grips of an extremely dry winter. Geese, which produced one baby in mid Dec, are sitting on eggs again. Basically abandoned first baby, though he seems unbothered and just hangs out with the ducklings all day - in fact he thinks he is a duck - and he's more protective of his adopted brothers and sisters than their own mother

Istachatta Feb 17: It's gotten down to the high-mid 30's the last couple of nights, or about 5C, with absolutely beautiful days with highs in mid to high 70s or 25C. We're getting a series of fronts and it's great weather, really. Very cool nights, warm days, sunny, dry, warms up for a few days, then moist with gusty winds, front comes through, bit of rain, more cool nights. No wonder people move to Florida. Summers are brutal but not as bad as Taitung, though the bugs are worse. I need to get the damn garden in. Just working on trails now. This is the time of year to get the trails open, clear brush, etc. Not much more time to do this stuff. No spider webs, few mosquitoes, but the poison ivy is everywhere. It's amazing to see how much is there now that everything else has mostly died back. Had fires in the fireplace the last couple of nights.

Taidong, Feb 22: You get the feeling it's trying to rain but has forgotten how. A few times in the last couple of weeks we've had some light sprinkles of rain, but barely enough for a garden watering, and not nearly enough to put anything significant into the tanks. Apart from that, the weather seems pretty similar to Florida. Warm days, but not oppressive, the nights still cool, though using the ceiling fan almost every night (best thing i ever bought - DC so makes no humming noise) coz it's still very humid. Earthquakes started up again after a lull since the big one and its immediate aftershocks. 3 in a week, though two of them were just west of Green Island, including a 4.8, which i now know is considerable if it's right under you. One of them didn't seem to register with CWB, which made me think it was a very small one close to here. Time of plenty in the garden - beans, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, green pepper all producing. Asparagus haven't started yet and don't look too vigorous for some reason - squirrels, i assume getting stuck into tomatoes down at asparagus patch but strangely, and thankfully, no outbreak of fruit-fly this year, touch wood - it's usually going nuts by this time of year and you have to cover your glass of wine with something or it gets full of them between sips. A front moved through Taiwan today, heavy rain in the north, thunder and lightning supposedly, and just started getting some light rain on dark here. Kuling tree appears to be re-budding though without having lost all of its old leaves yet

Istachatta Feb 27: Sweetgum and elm trees are budding and have been for a week or two. Various scattered early spring flowers. Dry air. Above average daytime temperatures. It's almost 5PM and it's a comfortable, dry 85 or nearly 30C. Cool nights in the high 50s to low 60s or about 15C, which makes for a very comfortable day. We had a fire in the fireplace this morning and by 11AM it was shorts weather. No snakes yet, but I bet they were sniffing the air today. I'm guessing there's still a threat of freezing until mid March, but it sure doesn't look like we're going to get anywhere near that any longer this spring. I don't know if it's due to the mild winter, but the poison ivy is everywhere.

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Page last modified on February 27, 2017, at 01:49 PM