Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cold nights, not so cool lights

Freezing their peels off

The oranges on the tree at our new house are legendary. The tree is big, the crops are prolific and the fruit is sweet and juicy. We used to wait eagerly for D and H to pass them out among their friends. We were on the Orange List.

Now we're on the other side of the Orange List and boy is it stressful. This ongoing freeze is making for some worried orange tree newbies. A normal winter would have been nice as we eased our way into this place. But instead we've had flooding rain, thrashing winds, and now a week of sub-freezing nights. What's a person to do when it dips to 27 degrees and there is citrus to protect?

Christmas tree lights - that's what we needed. Not twinkle lights or fairy lights, but Christmas tree lights that produce some heat. As usual, we sort of just waited around for some to fall from the sky. They almost did. I was taking a walk, a short one because it's freezing out there, and I found that someone had thrown out their Xmas tree. Not just the tree but everything on it - the stand, the star, the bows, the ornaments and the lights - right there in the street. Too bad they kept the presents. So I unraveled the lights and came right home, a great excuse to stop exercising if ever I found one. They weren't quite the kind that create much heat, but Ernst strung the red lights in the orange tree anyway. They covered about 10% tops.

So Ernst decided to break down and check the Goodwill for really old fashioned Xmas tree lights. He hit the gold mine. Wow are they tacky, but each one is a little furnace of wonderful heat, just what we need to keep the oranges from freezing and splitting. But being newbies at stringing lights too, we made the mistake of making one big long strand all connected, mixing the really old with the really new. They did not jive. One by one they shorted each other out. The tacky lights won, they killed the new ones, but now only half the tree is protected. I'll be glad when all this fruit is ripe and picked and passed out. Maybe next year we'll ditch the 60's lights and hang some lava lamps.

The small orange is actually a really tacky light

That 70's Porch
"The colder the weather, the closer to the house I poop.'