Sunday, August 31, 2008


I suppose today there will be palm trees singing and willets dancing out at Cedar Key as Hurricane Gustave moves towards the wonderful state of Louisiana.

Florida has much in common with Louisiana ... ancient first American sites, a rich history of warring colonial European powers, vast wetlands, tremendous wildlife, miles of coastline, wonderfully diverse cultures, a zest for spice in food and music, alligators, ... the list goes on and on.

It's as if you took a short, squat Florida and jammed it in between Mississippi and Texas, only with Francais in the south instead of Espanol.

I like Louisiana. The few times I've been there, it felt like home.

It's odd here today, sitting on a long , low, skinny peninsula while two powerful tropical systems swirl by on either side.
We are in the squeeze, protected for now by a bit of high pressure air.

The radar confirms that the gentle breeze rustling the Spanish moss outside my writing room window is a gift of the outermost edges of Gustave ... the same storm that has taken many lives and will take more before fading.

Odd, these hurricanes.
No other natural disaster gives such a long early warning or delivers such a punch. I'm really not talking about the aftermath, but the event itself.
Floods ... some warning, brief event, long aftermath.
Tornadoes ... brief warning, then over in a flash.
Earthquakes ... ditto.
Tsunamis ... ditto.

Natural forest fires ... they don't even belong in this list since we can actually affect their progress.

This time, I think New Orleans will be as ready as a city built below sea level can be.
I still think it's going to flood, but at least it should be essentially empty ... like Mayor Nagin's cranium.
Good job Governor Jindal!
Very proactive.

I'll be out today, poking around with my camera, thinking about some high school friends who live in Shreveport and Mississippi, ... hoping they remain safe while ...

... I enjoy a gentle breeze off the Gulf.



Anonymous said...

You and your family be safe my good friend! Our thoughts are with you!

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! I'm sitting on the screened porch of my upper level Sanibel Island condo, with a wonderful view of the surf and blowing palms. This is my long-awaited yearly vacation.

This morning began with a hefty thunder storm, followed by rising hurricane tides and high surf. Since then, we've had alternating sun, clouds and rain. The normal surf here is 6"-12", but now it's 6'-8'. At 2pm, I think it's high tide, and the far ends of the boardwalks are under water. We're also having a spell of impressive sideways rain.

From my safe lookout, I find this amazingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you describe the similarities between Louisiana and Florida. I've noticed the "common ground" much more since discovering your blog. Having lived in Louisiana for about twenty-five years before relocating to Alaska, I have to say that you've got a pretty good handle on the political climate as well. I wish the wind would REALLY sweep the (political) streets clean and give those poor people the leadership they need. I guess that's a conversation for another day, huh?

Enjoy your breeze! :)

robin andrea said...

It's an interesting thing, having all that early warning time and no way to deal other than to flee its path. I have been in two substantial earthquakes, and there really is something to be said for the surprise and the short duration. No anxious build up to the moment, no political jockeying for points. Commonality is just the long clean up afterward, when all the news teams and pundits have gone back to staring into their mirrors, and all the politicians remember that they really don't care that much after all.

Miz S said...

Hurricanes scare the bejesus out of me. I hope New Orleans will be okay. Cuba got quite a punch.

Anonymous said...

We have had high winds and a lot of rain here on our island. A few trees are down. And this is just the outer bands giving us a passing glance. New Orleans is in for it. Praying everyone got out in time.

R.Powers said...

We're good. This is someone else's storm.
Thanks for checking!

What perfect timing! I hope your vacation is safe and relaxing. That is a beautiful location.

So glad you commented. I've been wanting to add you to the blogroll and lost the url. Will do so tonight.

I think quakes must be the shortest big natural disaster event. Never felt one myself, living as I do on a passive margin.

Miz S,
This one is not one to trifle with. I think your bejesus is safe up there in DC though.

Cathy S,
I wondered about you more southerly bloggers. The radar this morning seemd to show some decent storm cells cruising over you.
Glad you are okay.

Margaret Cloud said...

This would be a very scary time, hope things go okay.

Anonymous said...

Double Ditto here on your comment on New Orleans.
Disasters can make or break a community. A good example is Greensburg, KS. The whole town wiped out be a tornado last year. They came together and didn't sit around and wait for help. Now the town is almost completely rebuilt and even better than before.
Bro J

Sandcastle Momma said...

I really feel for those poor folks. At least they've gotten out but I'm not sure they'll have a lot to go home to. Hope I'm wrong!

We do have a lot of similarities to LA and I know this might be treasonous to say but - they have better food. I prefer FL but I could eat Cajun food all day long LOL

Thunder said...

Just echoing Lightnin! It sounds like you're getting an active second half of the season this year!

R.Powers said...

Pretty scary north and west of us I suppose.We are fine here.

Bro J,
I read about that town. Aren't they rebuilding "green" too?

Hope YOUR weather is not too bad today.
I have to agree on the food thing.
Love that Zydeco music too.

I guess the most recent China earthquakes missed you again.
We are fine.