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Waiting to get pounded – under tornado warnings. All around us are straight line winds and maybe some hail. Outside it is as dark as night almost.   resize41409meter

We are now getting pounded, lots of rain and wind battering down. No thunder, no lightning. The aluminum roof over the porch is singing with the rain. The heron was here earlier as I had mowed and I’m sure she thought I was going to fish also. She sat in a tree for a half hour grooming.

41409heronb-1resize The woodpecker too is snug in his tree hole. earlier he was watching the sky. I fully expect to lose electricity anytime before I am through. I am hoping there is no tornado coming out of this, but maybe I should unpack the linen closet just in case, it’s our only safe room here that has no window or sky light.
Now the lightning has started. Ripples of competing thunder trailing close. The television news blaring reports.  Sounding like the war of the Gods out there! Lots of thunder in all directions, but rain has slacked off a bit.   Feel really bad for anyone in a car stuck in the middle of one of the cells they show on television. Funnel clouds have been sighted west of here. Will publish for now and hope to be back a little later, cause I’m not going anywhere unless I am blown away, literally…
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P/S — It’s almost 11:am, the storm seems to be fizzling out, but can feel a slight coolness to the air. The bulk of storms are now headed east. Still have storms around us, but weather nothing like what is headed toward the east coast! The rain is falling at a  perfect rate for absorption and boy do we need it. Will do a comparison meter at very end of blog tonight!
I should take a cue from the cats and go take a nap, they are not the least concerned, and are still on the porch, don’t seem to care about coming in. Sometimes I think the wisdom of cats is a better predictor than the weatherman.
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And of course, the damn Band of brothers is skirt chasing the Pekins at the lake.

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It actually rained! (A little bit.) There was water falling down and things getting wet!  The air smelled earthy and clean and smoky too from all the burning acres about 15 miles away. In fact, the smoke really blew in heavily for a while on Sunday. It’s  dry and so much timber available to burn and if no humans were around, some of this would be a natural cycle and the land would just be clearing itself out. But when people and their dwellings are in the way, it gets to be scary.
The day was very gray when I woke up, a nice surprise. The birds were all over and Carbs and the sandhill came by to eat seed. I checked the nest twice today and no baby sandhill crane yet, maybe tomorrow.
After running errands I went to the marina in Sanford and took some pics of the sky and the birds and boats. Nothing exciting and new, but it is always fun to look out over the water and to enjoy a dramatic sky.
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I saw a bunch of snouts breaking the water, some at the same time and looked through my lens and saw they were cat fish all standing vertically and bobbing to get whiffs of air into their lungs. The wide mouths open and receiving the breeze. There were a lot of them all together. I had never seen catfish doing this before. Earlier I asked one of the fishermen if he had caught anything and then we proceeded to have a nice conversation about the variety of fish he caught there. We talked of catfish and I told them when they were caught they complained a lot and wanted to be let go. The guy laughed and said he didn’t care about any complaints, he just wanted them for dinner. So later, even though that guy was still fishing on the other side of the pier as I looked up, I did not disclose this treasure trove of a meal just about fifty feet from him. (He had a bucket of enough fish he had caught for dinner.)
Another thing that is outstanding are the gorgeous colors on the mallard ducks. They have the must beautiful blue/purple on a spot of their wings. the pigeons are also quite beautifully colored with pinks and purple hues and the males are always on parade. dsc00269

the sky was beautifully moody, the Florida sky is like that, clear, then full of clouds that change from one minute to the next.  dsc00350How lucky to
be able to enjoy it!

Watching the people fishing, the birds flying and swimming, the catfish gulping air, the water chronicling the moods of the sky was a wonderful way to clear out the cobwebs in the old brain. It is always sad to see the many homeless who wander about with all their lives contained within their pockets and grocery carts. How spoiled I am to be able to take those same moments in which they are trying to find something to sustain themselves for the day, and take my photographs without worrying about finding food or having a home. Life is sure an odd lottery — so far the numbers have been right for me and I have been lucky. But luck can always change, or maybe I have just seen way too many blackbirds today…
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 Florida is like a giant sponge within 12 hours after a storm. I am running the dishwasher! The toilets flush. The water in the lake at last viewing (9:00am) was high! Can’t believe we went from 1.03 to 3.06 – I am going to measure how much that is, but I think it is close to 8 inches, (the water management has weird measurements. The garage water has shrunk back and has been mopped out, but am still comtemplating how to handle leaking window frame at daughters condo, of course they would have no one to help with that today, maybe Monday someone can look at it they said. I actually grabbed caulk and went out on her second story roof to caulk around the window frame, but the caulk in the gun was bad and dried up and so off I went to get new stuff and the rains came again and the roof is too wet. Tomorrow am I will make that a priority. I’m sure her whole wood frame willl have to be replaced because it has to be rotted and moldy soon, if not now from all the time it took in water and we didn’t know till this storm.
   Hats off to Fay for being big time for a tropical storm, it was the worst ever with all that rain! My yard is still saturated, I see people with tarps and lots of broken tree limbs, and huge front yard puddles! But we made it through without the horrible house flooding that some people exerienced. We have minimal clean up except now for fighting with the condo association I’m sure.
   Tonight is my daughters birthday, we have to go eat something and celebrate that we did okay! I will stop with all the complaining and try to do more wildlife for the next time. Tomorrow I will go fishing in the upgraded lake, for a while yesterday I thought the fish might be coming to me…

I am getting ready to leave for higher ground, the toilets aren’t flushing, the garage is flooding, it is supposed to rain about 8 more inches tonight, I can’t stay here, too hard to deal with. Many roads are flooding. All I hear outside is slashing rain and frogs,. lots and lots of frogs. My neighbor Dee says we have gotten 12inches of rain from her gauge! I hope my cats can find the tables and counters. I am afraid that when I leave, it will be very bad when I come back. No time for pics, too dark – gotta leave and go tend to window leak at my daughters… her upstairs window is leaking like crazy, one more thing to worry about. I will have no computer tonight, but I will be up and in misery waiting this out.
so long for now, gotta run, I mean swim…

AWK – this is way too much rain all at once. How long before septic backs up? There is no letting up. We are in endless cycle of yellow on the map. This Fay spins and is moving at 5miles per hour, it is essentially going nowhere fast. The rain continues to add up. The lake fills and fills and so do the streets and the property. There are some very heavy wind gusts too.   
  Waterlogged heavy Limbs are falling from the trees, this is worse than if it was a hurricane! For all those we had in 2004, they kicked ass and left! This one is taking her own sweet time and is swamping the state…Is Florida worth staying in when at any time you could be a flood statistic, I’m beginning to wonder…

  It’s monsooning right now, rain rain rain slashing sideways – I talked to my son in Tampa and he is on his way to play golf under complete sunshine, that’s Florida for you! My neighbors house is inbetween two drainage ditches, he might be completely underwater by 5pm!  The rain gauge says it all, up another couple inches and at five pm, I will update again.
  In between rain, I caught a little butterfly braving the water and some blooming passion flowers. You have to find something in between this “flushing”….

Did I jinx it by asking Fay to show us what she’s got? This storm is not going anywhere! It has dumped over 30inches in places along the coast! You need a boat to get around on some streets and I’m not lying! Here in my backyard, the water line shows that we have gone up over 6 inches totally so far and I can see it will be rising further today as Fay swirls around in place doing nothing but feeding off the warm Atlantic. At least we have not lost power. Maybe I ought to inflate my water proof air mattress before the days end just in case we have to evacuate. My garage is sandbagged, so far so good.
   Last night between hard rain bands I tried to fish, but the fish are smarter than me, they were way under their new depths. At least we have had no lightening at all.
   I hear birds out there, but don’t see them, the cranes did not show at all yesterday. The winds are light, with a bit of a gust as the bands move around, but I guess the plan is to continue the dance…

will update during the day – this photo at 7:30, light wind and misty rain, can see bands coming from south, but moving toward east. We are now on west side of storm which “they say”  is less dangerous than being on east or north.  Moving 9mph, come on Fay, show us whatz ya got! Give the lake a big drink!
8:30amUpdate under tornado watch till 4pm – rain off and on, but a light rain so far…
1:15pm – some wind, a little rain, but not much. Very overcast. The wind comes in sideways from the east as does the rain. They say Fay is not falling apart, but has even strengthened a tiny bit. And they also say, she could leave the coast neat Cocoa Beach and possibly come back in and get us in central Florida, this is one whacky storm. the cats are taking in in stride. So are the turtles and the great white heron who stopped on shore to say “Hey”.

This is the lake level this morning, (1.03) on tall gauge. Look just beyond that to see top of smaller gauge that is finally disappearing beneath much needed rain water that has been continually filling the lake during summer thunderstorms. We still have a long way to go and with Fay threatening to do a “Charlie” – Charlie was our first hurricane in 2004 that rammed into the west coast and followed I-4 through the middle of the state. So I am getting a bit prepared, have gas for generator, bread and peanut butter jelly, cat food, bird food, etc. I threw loose stuff into garage and did put up only two plywood boards over my bedroom window because there is a tree right there. But I won’t bother with the others unless Fay turns into a category 2. 
    This will be a 3 part series about how it is to get ready for hurricane, the day of the hurricane and after the hurricane. I will take the same pictures the gauge and marsh on Wednesday. 
    Wonder if this will be like 2004, one hurricane almost every two/three weeks or if it will be a dud??? The rain bands will probably hit us which is good. The lake has lots of room for now.  The news channel 13 is always on to watch the progression and on the computer, we go to NOAA to watch the progression and water vapor and the details they offer.
   We can’t take it too lightly, as with Charlie, both neighbors got trees through their roofs. I am hoping this won’t be such a big event, but there are also possibilities for tornados. We will wait and see and I will update you on what the storm looks like and how it effects us. I may add photos today just of wildlife if anything fun is running, flying, swimming around….

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