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After the Storm

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Irma has passed through and all is well here. We had heavy rain and strong winds during Sunday night and Monday morning, and it all tapered off later in the day. Although there was heavy flooding and wind damage in other parts of our city, at our house we had no damage, no flooding. Our only problem was that the electricity went out at about 11:30 pm Sunday and just came back on at about 8:30 pm Monday (today). So not quite 24 hours without power, which wasn’t bad–many people still don’t have power.

Max loved watching the trees blowing in the wind this morning.¬†He didn’t care much for the rain though.

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Dramatic clouds during Hurricane Irma.

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Our backyard was littered with leaves, twigs, and small branches that the wind brought down. Max was delighted to find so many sticks to play with!

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It was nice to see the anoles coming out and resuming their usual activities as the storm moved on,.

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I saw several cicadas today too. I took this one off the fence where Max would have tried to play with it, and moved it to a safe area.

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Hurricane Irma

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Hurricane Irma is here, and from tonight into early afternoon tomorrow is supposed to be the worst of the storm for us here in northeast Florida. We are fortunate to live in a zone D area on the A-F flood probability scale, with A most likely to flood and F least likely. We did not have a mandatory evacuation for our area, though all of the A and B zones did have to evacuate.

It’s windy and rainy now, as predicted for tonight, and we’re just riding it out (or hunkering down, as they always say during hurricanes here). No problems so far. The power is still on and it would be wonderful if we don’t lose our power tonight. Last year our electricity was out for a week after Hurricane Matthew went through. Here are a few photos from today.

Wind and rain in the backyard.

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More wind.

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During hurricanes frogs often just appear on our sliding glass back door. Max was fascinated when this one showed up.

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Little bluebird looking for bugs this morning before the storm really moved in.

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We have plenty of supplies–food, water, batteries, flashlights and battery-powered lanterns, a propane stove and a charcoal grill, and the rest of the things they always tell us to stock up on when a hurricane is coming. So we’re as ready as we can be for this storm. If the power stays on I’ll check back in tomorrow.

 

Back on Friday

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I’ve been busy for the past couple of days with dental surgery and preparations for Hurricane Irma–not a great combination! But things are going better now. We’re expecting Irma to pass us here in northeast Florida late Sunday night/early Monday morning. We are not in an evacuation zone so we’re staying home. We usually lose power during these storms–sometimes for hours, sometimes for days–but otherwise come through all right, so I hope we’ll be lucky this time too.

Here are a few pre-hurricane photos from today. First, a Gulf Fritillary butterfly in the lavender flowers. There were about a dozen of these butterflies in the yard this morning, all gone by afternoon. Maybe they were migrating away from the coming storm.

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Max looking up into the palm tree he’s been working on. He loves to pull on the loose frond bases. Eventually we’ll get some tree people to come and clean it up.

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Max and his palm tree.

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Cicada shell on the palm tree.

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Baby anole on the fence. The anoles in general seem to come through these storms pretty well–I usually see them reappearing on the fences soon after it clears up. This is a tiny anole though, so I hope it’s a lucky little one!

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Another anole on a basil pot. Nice red/orange coloring on this one.

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Giant Swallowtails on Tuesday

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Two Giant Swallowtails were flying together around the lantana bush today. As their name suggests, these are large butterflies with a wingspan of 4-6 inches. One of the butterflies seemed to be following the other one where ever it went around the bush.

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They twirled around each other as they flew.

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This butterfly seemed to get a moment to itself as it paused on a flower.

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But the other butterfly quickly caught up with it.

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I think they may have been a male and female mating pair, but I didn’t observe them mating. Male and female Giant Swallowtails look very similar–I couldn’t tell these two apart. I enjoyed watching them flying together.

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One more of the Giant Swallowtails.

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Anole, Butterfly, and Moth on Monday

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Green anole framed by the fence rail and lily leaves.

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Closer look at the green anole. I love the colors around their eyes.

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First time this year for a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in the yard.

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Look to the left of the swallowtail–another new visitor to the yard.

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It certainly looks like a wasp, a pretty intimidating wasp with that red coloring at the end of its body Surely that sting would hurt! But I looked this insect up and it’s actually a moth with a wonderful name–the Polka Dot Wasp Moth.

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The Polka Dot Wasp Moth does have lots of white polka dots on its wings and body! Its¬†resemblance to a wasp protects it from predators, but it’s perfectly harmless. This moth visits flowers during the daytime, just as butterflies do.

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Baby Anole on Sunday

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I looked out the back door today and spotted a baby anole climbing around in the lavender plant. Can you see the little fellow?

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He seemed to be having a good time climbing, wiggling, and jumping from branch to branch.

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Little anole climbing through lavender stems.

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Here he is looking up at the camera.

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And one more close-up of the little anole.

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Saturday Photos

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Just a few for today. Here’s another bumblebee in the lavender.

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Big male anole on the raised planter by the back door. It’s easy to see the chevron pattern running down his back–an indication that he’s a male.

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This anole is a young female, much smaller than the male above. She has female markings: a light-colored line down her back, with darker shapes around it.

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And this one is a very small, very young baby anole. Its head is wider than its body, and look at those big feet! My guess is male for this one, but it can be hard to tell when babies are this tiny and the pattern on the back isn’t very clear yet. It looks chevrons to me right now.

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