Monday, August 16, 2004

The Folks in Florida Now Know

This weekend hurricane Charley hit the gulf coast of Florida, knocking it for a loop and, I have to admit, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised that a hurricane hit Florida, as this is where they always seem to go, and I'm not surprised that they named this one after my dog, Charlie. I've been telling you all along he's chaos disguised in fur, and you've never believed me. Now you know (and my heart goes out to all the folks in Florida, having suffered the wrath of Charley.)

I've been to Florida many times, having just sold some property there. We were in Port St. Lucia, which is, I'm told, closer to the Atlantic coast than the recent storms. Kathy, my photographer friend, visited Florida just last year and was telling me how I'd hardly recognize the place; it's changed so much in recent times. "Lots of condos and traffic you wouldn't believe," was the verdict. As luck would have it, I canceled a vacation to Sanibel Island earlier this year, which, as it turns out, was Charley's point of entry. My dog is a bird dog and this particular spot is home to some endangered bird rescue habitats.

This hurricane was brutal in three separate, but equally devastating ways:
  • It turned from a cat 2 to a cat 4 rather quickly and just before making landfall.
  • It charted off course, having unexpectedly hit landfall earlier and in a different location from originally anticipated and charted.
  • It hit a populated area and spread lengthwise across the state.
It's times like these that remind us that, despite our best attempts, our fondness for PDAs, cellular telephones, and GPS tracking gagetry, we have little to no control over mother nature. She rules the roost, as it were, and every now and again she sees fit to remind us of this fact. We don't like to think of her as a queen and we certainly don't like her to remind us of her powers, but, sometimes, she does just that.

Sanibel Island, my would-be vacation spot, is known as an eco system that's quite fragile, but somehow managed to survive the hurricane. Amazes me how the small endangered birds take shelter from a storm the humanoids did not know was coming and failed to correctly predict. I suppose it serves to remind us that, although we like to think of ourselves as "top of the food chain" sort of folk, we're all really fragile and dependent upon each other. Sometimes, as in this case, the birds may know what the people do not.

In this case, we could have learned a lot from those cluckers, if only we'd paid their warning system some mind.

Until next time...

No comments: