Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Gulf Between Us

I did get out and about a little yesterday. The day was sunny, hot, and without the slightest stirring of a breeze here. Cabbage palm fronds drooped in the quiet heat and the Spanish moss hung limply from my oaks just daring a breeze to spring up, but for the most part, the dare was not taken.

The air was calm enough on my side of the Gulf of Florida to allow blazing star (Liatris) photography. Tall, thin, and lanky, blazing star dances in the slightest breeze delivering fuzzy megapixels to the photographer.
Directly across the Gulf, the Texas coast was being shredded by Hurricane Ike while I took pictures of flowers on a breathless day.
Ignorance would be bliss, but the images from the morning news shows were permanently downloaded into my brain, so the contrast was with me all day.

In the sweltering woods, I found an old logging track transformed into a flowerbed which not only rivaled, but infinitely surpassed any flowerbeds I've created at home.

The post Fay mosquito hordes have abated somewhat, so I ventured into the swamp, letting cool tea-stained water fill my sneakers and cool my bare legs. Along the way I met this 3-footer escaping the heat just like me.
We eyed each other and then passed like ... no, not 2 ships in the night ... no way am I using that cliche.
Anyway, he went one way and I went the other.

Once out of the water and back on dry land the heat quickly removed the last vestiges of wet swampy coolness from my skin.
Trudging back to the JEEP was an unusually quiet walk as not even the birds dared disturb the resting wind.
Good advice, I think.


Suze said...

I felt the same way yesterday and Friday night. We dodged the Ike bullet down here in South Florida and I almost felt guilty that Texas got it instead. Much of what they're going through now reminds me of Wilma in '05. I've heard from a few friends there - one already has her power back on, and others have tree limbs down, but no damage - so that's wonderful! I don't know anyone who lived on Galveston - but that area is devastated as I'm sure you know. It was a beautiful day here yesterday, too. I wonder if hurricanes suck up all the nasty weather and leave it breathless and calm behind them.

pablo said...

Two ships in the night would not have seen each other as you and the gator did. Thus you were wise not to use that expression. Such wisdom comes from age (and you are older than I).

Sandcastle Momma said...

What a beautiful day you had. It's amazing how things can be so serene and peaceful on one side of the Gulf and so violent and destructive on the other.

I love the flowers you found. Mother Nature's gardens are always so beautiful.

Aunty Belle said...

Sandy Momma is right, Mama nature makes the best gardens.

HAve ya ever told us what sorta camera ya uses? Nice shots.

Wren said...

I would have thought you'd have more rain, just from the hurricane being in the area.

We had a fair amount up here in the north, though I understand that was independent of Ike.

Hurricane Teen said...

Ahhh, I can feel that cool, wet swamp water right now.
Glad you could make it out there! Did you say "hi" for me? :-D

susan said...

I think the dog days of summer have brought out the Thoreau and the Hemingway in you:

"Cabbage palm fronds drooped in the quiet heat..."

"...letting cool tea-stained water fill my sneakers and cool my bare legs."

" not even the birds dared disturb the resting wind."

Are you gearing up for a book... or just in a dramatic, poetic mood?

Floridacracker said...

Glad your friends are fine. I have some in Shreveport and it certainly went close by there as it moved north. Ike will be one of the legendary ones.

True, but nowadays, ships have running lights ... maybe not ships in Kansas, but here you really can see them at night.
Course, I may just be showing my age. :)

It is amazing. I think it was good to be on this side this time.
Funny, but this same meadow sported a mass of yellow flowers back in the early spring.

Agreed ... Mom knows best.
Look over to the right for a little camera info. Email me if you have any specific questions about that model. It's a sweetie.

When Ike was farther south and still near the tip of FL, we were getting rain from outer bands, but once he headed west, we got nada. I think he went your way.

I hope you have some time to explore some S FL parks. It's not all concrete down there.

The blame falls to a few moments of true, uninterrupted writing time this morning. Normally, I am multitasking and rushing.
Thank you for the thought!

threecollie said...

Glad you dodged the bullet although we are real concerned for Texas folks. What a mess.
That was a very lovely post. As always you write so well.
How is that novel coming along btw?

Sayre said...

Gorgeous pictures - as usual! I have a little something for you over on my blog. I know I don't comment often, but I read you almost every day. Come visit me at

Doug Taron said...

Way up here in the north land, we've gotten really bad, flooding rains in the past 48 hours. Some of it was from Ike leftovers, some of it was just from a frontal boundary. It's been nothing like south Texas, but not a picnic, either. I had some damage from a roof leak. I'm on high ground. Others here have not been so lucky. It all seems to be over right now, and the moon is out.

Floridacracker said...

Thank you. Ike was a good one to dodge. The novel ... hmmm, it's a dilemma ... daily posting seems to slurp up my half dozen brain cell's creative output.

Why thank you. I will get right over there!

I read about that preIke storm over Chitown and wondered about you and Vicki.
Hope everything dries out okay.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

I am SOOOO jealuos!

Floridacracker said...

Who woulda,
Don't be, those pics came from a bit of public land we own together.