Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At home with Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac passed my Florida home without too much disruption. The storm brought a few inches of rain and gusting winds that cleared some dead branches out of our hundred year oaks.

In our front yard, tree squirrels and a nest of mocking birds were inconvenienced and had to cope with Isaac's gusting into warm rain squalls. Birds flew away to hunker down in thick bougainvillea or in low spots near the inner banks of the creek. The squirrels spent much of the night and day huddling on the lee ward side of the tree.

As usual, during the passing of hurricanes, 
rain came in bands of showers attended by gusting winds.

A huge storm, Isaac intensified into a Hurricane picking up a gazillion more tons of water in the Gulf than fell here in Sarasota. So, again we were spared and Isaac's additional rain will help refill our reservoir in the celery fields.

But hurricanes have always been kind to us in Southwestern Florida.

Tropical storms that slip past Cuba tend to travel north- and northwest-ward on their way to the northern Gulf Coast visiting the Panhandle of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and New Orleans. They very, very seldom turn back into SouthWestern Florida.

Isaac, it will be said, did not do too much to promote the local economy. A few batteries were sold, a few popcorn poppers went to the preparation conscious and a rush on at-home movie rentals occurred before the strongest winds appeared.


Peering out the kitchen window during the height of the storm, I spied a wonderful tea in the brewing: numerous natural blessings from Isaac were floating in the pool.

Here were gorgeous bamboo leaves, delicate vinca or periwinkles,  dead leaves from the young orange treea few drowned bees who rarely fare well in pools, miscellaneous bugs, vegetable fibers and a small raft of dead ants. The pictorial collage presented by Isaac seemed endless.

A few of the visual blessings wrought by Isaac.


Yes, how fortunate I am to be living here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Isaac Effect

When I walked out of the house this morning I could feel Florida getting moister in a soft, subtle way. 

Even the front bumper of my car could sense the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Isaac is on his way. Tomorrow Isaac will be moving through the Caribbean Islands and heading North  to arouse mobile Jimmy Buffett fans as well as much of Key West .

Then, passing through an expanse of alligator wallows and small towns settled by dry Texans with cactuses, Isaac will bring us a number of blessings: I call these blessings "The Isaac Effect".

First blessing. There has been a drought in Florida for seven or eight years. Our sand needs water. Isaac will bring water, possibly lots of it. So we begin to prepare for the arrival of more moisture.

Second blessing. We haven't had a good blow in western Florida for a number of years. Palm trees need cleaning and a strong, persistent wind can do the job. Also, my hundred year oak is filled with small dead branches and my arthritis is too raw to climb and clean these days. Isaac can do it for me.

Third blessing. Our beaches will change their profiles. Some people who should not have built on the Gulf of Mexico coast line will receive messages as to why. Other desiccated residents will rush to the beach, wade through the water, timidly surf the waves, take photographs, scream into the wind, and enjoy the sheer exhilaration of remaining on their feet in the face of such power.

Fourth blessing. Isaac will bring increased business to our depressed economy. Things will fly and things will break. Roofs will leak. Trees will fall. Repairs will be needed. Insurance people will cough up minimal amounts of money before they raise premiums again.

I'm preparing my cameras for the beach now.