Florida Pictures

 

In October of 2004 our area was hit directly by two hurricanes, Francis and Jeanne.  Francis destroyed most of our trees and then Jeanne did the most damage to our house.  Overall we came out very good with little damage compared to many of our neighbors who's homes are still unlivable in November of 2004.

The pine trees in the below photos are approximately 60 ft. tall.   We were picking up parts of our screen porch from around the neighborhood.  Hurricane Francis only tore the screen off which we replaced, then Jeanne destroyed the frame work of the porch.  126 mph winds can do a lot of damage.  We stayed for the second hurricane but went to Sarasota for the first.

 

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Then again in the fall of 2005 we were hit directly by Hurricane Wilma, the 3rd direct hit we had received in 18 months.  We lost a few more of the remaining trees we had still standing, some more roof shingles but overall came out very well.  Our daughter's home, located five blocks from us didn't do as well and so she and her husband and boys have been staying with us for the last seven months while their home is being remodeled/rebuilt.  These are a few of the photos we took during and after the storm.  The dark specks showing in the photos are debris flying through the air.  You see everything from stop signs, roof shingles/tiles, lumber, yard furniture, and anything else the wind can pick up and move.  Once the winds get over 120mph, it seems nothing much is safe.  When the storm passed, the tall palm tree in the photos was no more, snapped off at the base.

 

This spring, 2009, we have been making a number of three and four day weekend trips around Florida.  In March we made a run over to the Gulf Coast, to Ft. Meyers, Sanibel Island, Everglades City, Homestead, and to Flamingo in Everglades National Park.  For this trip we took our yellow Jeep and stayed in motels and cottages.  One of the many things we enjoy about the Flamingo area is that alligators and crocodiles both live in the same waters.  From several visits to the area, we have found crocs to be more aggressive than the more reclusive alligators, toward people. The photo to the right of the osprey nest is of a large croc, the bird in the shade is a cormorant and then a couple of alligators. Lots of damage still showing at the Flamingo end of the park road. Buildings still in ruin, docks closed off, the campgrounds being refurbished, etc. all due to hurricane damage from a few years back.

 

This spring, 2009, has been extremely dry in this part of the state but some of our fruit trees have done well with watering twice a week.  I had never been around mango trees before moving to Stuart. When we lived on the Gulf side, Crystal River, Homosassa and Brooksville, we had citrus trees but no real tropicals due to the climate.  When we moved to Stuart about 8 years ago, we bought our current home and I planted a fruited mull berry tree in the back yard and a mango in the front. We now have 3 mango trees, a seedless orange, 2 key lime and Pat has planted many ornamental plants throughout the yard.

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