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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

For the past 48 hours we have been closely watching the developments of Tropical Storm Fay now encroaching the shores of South Florida. It was initially predicted to hit our area square on.

We have learned, being good Florida natives, not to be too alarmed early on. Just sit tight and watch. The latest local reports indicate it could still possibly turn into a hurricane over the warm waters in the next few hours and hit land around Fort Myers sometime in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

With modern day technology and 24 hour coverage it is kind of frustrating trying to get a good read on exactly what is happening. The forecasters talk it up like it is already a hurricane. One has to really count on common sense not to get alarmed and overly excited about the possibilities. Our entire county, as well as all those surrounding, are shutting down tomorrow... no government offices or schools will be open. Sand bags are available. Shelters will be open. I can only imagine the tax dollars being spent ... but that's a rant for another place and time.

My predictions are that it will remain a tropical storm, hit land and break up.

Our area will be fine and will probably only get some rain and possible winds tomorrow afternoon. We pray no one is harmed in any part of our great state.

August 19, 3:15 pm
Thank you all for your well wishes and kind thoughts for Florida.

Tropical Storm Fay didn't turn into a hurricane over the warm gulf waters and she is staying much further south than initially predicted. In the Tampa Bay Area we haven't even squeezed out any blessed rain from the turbulance. Taking advantage of the cloud cover and the winds cooling things down just a hair I worked in my garden for several hours today. We are now more concerned about the fact that the storm is strengthening over land. This is very unusual behavior.

Typically land will break up and disorganize rather than strengthen. Her pathway has been quite interesting from beginning until now. The forecasters are now wondering if it might turn back around and come back across Florida once it gets out into the Atlantic. We are keeping our eyes open and still praying for those folks in central Florida and the East Coast who are getting winds, rains, and tornado watches this afternoon.


  1. All my patio plants are safely removed to the inside at the back of my family room, so that they cannot be blown over or harmed by the high winds (if that should be the case). Since I cannot physically move many of them, I imposed on my sweet husband to get them in tonight, just in case. His company was ordered by the county emergency officials to evacuate their business tomorrow, as they are in a low lying area subject to flooding. So he had to secure his area of supervision, which required staying at work about 2 extra hours tonight getting "storm ready". We have a battery lantern, flashlights, candles and bottled water ready for use. Got some food items which don't require cooking or refrigeration. So we are "prepared for whatever".

    As a Florida native of several hurricane experiences, I predict we will not need to worry about "Fay" - she seems to have more bark than bite. Still, due to any possibility that she could get rowdy, better to be safe than sorry.

    I hope your beautiful plants and trees are not harmed at all. Keep us posted of the outcome.

  2. We are actually praying that some of that storm comes our way up here in mid NC. We need that rain so badly. I hope you are fine and it doesn't hurt anyone or your plants. We too have our eyes glued toward the storm.

  3. Meems, I wish it will break up and not cause trouble.
    We also have extraordinary change in weather - twisters were not common in Poland. Last Friday they hit and half of the country suffered in one or other way, nearly 800 houses damaged. Poland is not used to deal with it. We have no procedures, no warning systems, no experience and knowledge how to react - everything is spontaneous. Help comes also spontaneous.
    Climate changes.

  4. Meems, the weather forecasters are doing the same here trying to warn us of bad weather, floods or hight winds, I am just glad we get more warnings than actual "happenings". Because we are an island they can't follow the course of a storm in the same way they can for you. I hope this stays just a possibility for you and blows itself out before it does any damage. Do let us know.

    Good luck and best wishes Sylvia (England)

  5. I've been watching Fay with great interest (I'm much more interested in tropical storm news since we just were hit with one). I'll hope to hear you have had very little damage - and that you don't lose those modern conveniences we are all so accustomed to - like electricity and air conditioning.
    Mary Beth

  6. Hi Meems, I was just watching the news. I was glad to see Fay wasn't in the headlines, just part of the national weather forecast this morning. Hopefully a good, soaking rain will be all she brings.

    Although tornadoes develop more quickly and less predictably, I can definitely relate to what you said about not being alarmed too early on. We experience far more dire warnings than real danger.

  7. Just checking in and hoping all is well, Meems. Thinking of you :)

  8. Hi Meems-

    Glad you're OK! After we lost everything with Hurricane Andrew--I know how scary it can be watching these storms to see what they'll do next.

    I'm glad this seems like it will just be a rainmaker though and not cause too much damage.

    It's just the price we pay for living in paradise ;)


  9. I've been reading and watching the weather reports about Fay.I do hope all you are getting is a good rain, Meems. We don't have to worry about hurricanes in the Midwest, but we do have tornadoes, which can also cause tremendous damage. As you say, in both cases being prepared and using common sense is important, rather than panicking. At least we have a basement we can "hide out" in.

    Will be thinking of you.

  10. Meems, I read about Fay this morning in my local paper and immediately thought of you. I hope everything turns out for the best - I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

  11. I still have an eye on it because Katrina hit Florida first too and then got out in the Gulf and built up. We thought we were safe there for a while. I don't feel really safe until it is on shore.

  12. i am not a news watcher so i didn't know about "fay". i will have to call and see if ya'll have faired well. remember when we had hurricane "elena" in the eighties. we wore t-shirts saying "we survived hurrincane elena" that is funny to think about! gigi, i still remember "donna" in the sixties(i think), at aunt rosey's house with the tin roof. do you have a memory of that meems?

  13. Thank you to everyone who left kind comments about Tropical Storm Fay. I've learned that watching the national news is somewhat different than local news pertaining to these types of incidents. Just so you all know what is happening now I've updated the post with the latest.

    I've been working in my garden all day without any rain. The cloud cover and wind were a relief from the usual sunshine and heat.

    Now I'm just hoping we get some rain out of the storm. There are some areas receiving much more wind and rain ... nothing too difficult to handle I don't think ... the biggest threat at this point is tornados.

    Anyway, nothing to be alarmed about ... we are keeping our ears tuned for what's next as Fay isn't giving up completely. They are now saying she might move out over the Atlantic and because of High Pressure be pushed back across Florida. Very interesing stuff. We will watch and see.

    You guys are the greatest for caring!!!!!

  14. Marmee: Yes, I remember being in Cape Canaveral when a hurricane hit (maybe it was Donna- not sure). We were visiting one of mom's relatives... not Aunt Rosie... although she may have been with us.. I don't have memory of the tin roof... I do have vivid memories of cleaning up the yard debris afterwards. It was back when we just hunkered down and road out the storm with very little warning of what was coming. Since we were so young it seemed like fun.

    Just to set the record straight... I never wore a T-shirt that said I survived anything (although I have survived a few things in my lifetime) but I do remember seeing people wearing them. :-)

  15. Hi Meems.....thinking of you all and hope that things calm down soon.....

  16. Meems & Marmee ~ just for your memories sake, the facts as I recall. Marmee, you couldn't possibly remember Donna, as that hit us just a few days before your birth in Sept., 1960. I had to stay at the hospital a couple of days with early labor pains because of the barometric pressure, before they would let me go home - where we rode out the storm with your grandparents as company. You arrived about 10 days later.

    I've forgotten the name of the storm that trapped us when we were visiting my cousin Kaye in Cape Canaveral in later 60's. Aunt Rosie, her two boys, me and my four all descended on cousin Kaye for a "short" visit, when we got stuck riding out the hurricane. The tin roof on the really old house made it sound as though we were being bombed with the debris and rain falling on it. All the kids were scared and we were up all night making sure the roof didn't blow off and catch us in our jamies ;-) We did spend the next day piling up the fallen branches for my cousin, as I felt so badly that we had to extend our stay due to the storm.

    I think Elena happened in the late 70's (I should have researched that). It sat out in the Gulf for days, churning up the tides, flooding and drenching the middle of the state. It finally came ashore in the panhandle with much less force and damage. The T-shirts were very popular for a while.

  17. What Anna, said we need the rains to reach is totally selfish, for rain to reach us it would mean devastation on the coasts or the gulf. So rains fall gently here for a week or so and leave those people alone!



Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway