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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

While killing time at home
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:30 PM   #1
Rich Z
While killing time at home

Speaking of killing time at home while trying to ride out the virus storm, Connie and I have been cleaning up my informal shooting range area. I shoot from a gazebo we had put in a bunch of years ago, but from neglect the shooting area got way overgrown. Heck, we couldn't even see the target area any longer. But it is pretty clear now, except for a rather large pine tree that I want to take out right in front of a clay embankment I use as a backstop. I put a target stand right in front of it, thinking this would be a whole lot more fun shooting it through rather than taking the chain saw to it.

The target stands are set out at 25 yards and 65 yards. The clay hill behind the furthest target stand and pine tree is actually 75 yards away. I have another embankment out further away and a bit to the left that is something like 125 yards if I remember correctly, but that area is REALLY overgrown. Not sure we will get to clearing that through this year. But 75 yards is practical enough for me.

I have a bunch of guns I have bought over the last several years and never fired them (Heck, there are some that I bought at least 10 years ago or more that I have never fired!), so I figure I will have time on my hands to finally sight them in. At least until yellow fly season sets in, anyway. Not much we can do outside when they are biting the hell out of us. Of course, we did buy some of those electrified fly swatters last year, and honestly, that was a LOT of fun killing yellow flies with them. Produces a very satisfying ZAP! when you connect with those flying buzzsaws. So I guess all won't be lost this yellow fly season.
Old 04-06-2020, 01:32 PM   #2
Pretty nice shooting gazebo you have there Rich! Seems like you have a pretty decent chunk of land.
Old 04-06-2020, 04:30 PM   #3
Rich Z
Yeah, about 50 acres.

Back when Connie and I were living in Maryland and talking about moving to Florida, we were shown some pieces of property by a realtor when we came down for a vacation and made a detour to meet up with the guy. This one was really the only one that was appealing to us, so we decided to make an offer of half what they were asking, and then headed on down to Englewood Beach for our vacation. We thought this would at least throw our hat into the ring by expressing interest, and we could go through several iterations of offers and counter offers. We figured we could decide if we really wanted to do this, and back out at any time during the negotiations. Imagine our surprise when the contract was accepted immediately. I remember laying on the beach with Connie and saying to her, "Well, I guess we are buying land in Florida."

Come to find out that it was an older woman who owned the property but lived in South Carolina, with medical issues, and she was being badgered by her family that still lived down here to just give the property to them. Apparently she got fed up with that, and since we probably just made an offer while she was in a pissed off mood about them, just accepted to to be done with the headache.

It's a nice piece of land, with a stream on the north end, with some swampy areas along the stream track. Mostly sand with some areas of clay, and pretty much wooded throughout. Not perfect, though. The woman who owned the land before we bought it gave an acre to a relative (which may be why her family thought she would give the rest of it away) on the west side of a county easement sandy road that runs catty corner through it. I would much rather have a solid contiguous piece of land without the easement of that one acre home, but I guess I can't complain too much about it.

Lots of wildlife coming through, as we are just three-quarters of a mile from the eastern edge of the Apalachicola National Forest. See my earlier video of the bear that came through a couple nights ago. Also have a bobcat on video, along with fox, deer, turkeys, and who knows all what else. Of course all the usual varmint class animals are here too.

I've often thought that this would have been a great place for me to have grown up on when I was a kid. I would have been chasing wildlife nearly every day and had a blast.
Old 04-08-2020, 02:53 PM   #4
Wow I'd say ya'll really lucked out. Don't you also have a small orchard or some fruit trees too?
Old 04-08-2020, 04:32 PM   #5
Rich Z
Well, we have planted some fruit trees, but have scattered them about here and there on the property. Mostly tangerine trees, but some grapefruit (Pumelo) and a couple of Meyer lemon trees. Connie has a small area with some blueberry bushes growing well. We have native blueberries here, some of which have become good sized trees. Oh yeah, I have three peach trees too.

Then some asian pears, and regular pear trees. Tried our hand with some apple trees, nut trees, and cherry trees, but none of them worked out well here. We do have some native hickory nut and a small area with some young black walnut trees. We put in four pecan trees, and not a one of them did well.

So far the bears haven't gotten into any of the fruit trees. I'm sure they would do some major damage to the whole tree if they do get into them. As it is, raccoons and possums will sometimes break branches getting at the fruits. We have some pindo palms that produce fruit as well as lowquats and one fig tree, that the varmints always get the fruit before we realize they are even ripe.

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