coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, September 2, 2016

Like a Hurricane

I slept through Hurricane Hermine last night. I guess it has been downgraded to a tropical storm now, but it is still a monster storm front on the move. Orange County was never in danger of a direct hit, like up in the Panhandle. I keep checking the blogs of some folks who live up there to see what they have to say, but no updates yet. I imagine they lost power. I sure hope power outages are the least they have to deal with this morning.

Although it was listed as one of the 51 counties on emergency alert, we were at the extreme lower edge of Hermine's path. The worst we had to fear were tag along tornadoes, high winds, and rain.  Growing up in Indiana, I am used to tornado warnings; however, I knew what to do up North. I am not sure what one can do to protect themselves down here where people do not have basements. Any helpful comments would be appreciated for future reference. 

We did get 4 1/4 inches of rain in our pool over night. The pool water is now a sickly green and Cuban tree frogs are croaking outside the screened in area, determined to find a way in so they can inhabit this new, pond-like pool. There is still more rain to come throughout the day. T will wait until it is all over before shocking the pool back into submission.


Speaking of Cuban tree frogs, they are the absolute worst. One made its way into the attic last night. As we were going to bed it fell from the ceiling vent at T's feet. They are so creepy. T went to get something to deal with it, but when he got back he couldn't find it anywhere. It is still in this house somewhere. We have covered the drains, etc. You REALLY do not want those suckers (literally and figuratively) to get into your plumbing. They can do real damage. 

Ick. I HATE knowing that it is inside my house right now. 


A Cuban Tree Frog
Don't let the surreal cuteness fool you, these are vile creatures,
an invasive species that will damage your plumbing AND they
are killing off all the nice, polite native frogs. 

22 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear that you made it through the storm safely. The technical spiel on tornado safety without a basement is to go to a small, preferably windowless space in the center of your house, a closet or a bathroom is best. Cover yourself with something to cushion such as a mattress.

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  2. Interesting tornado comment. I live in a geographically tornado prone area, too, and in 58 years of home ownership, I've had a basement and spent a total of three nights down there. Now I am in a tornado death trap--house trailers will no withstand a severe hit. But, I have thought about it, and in the event we will get into Laura's closet, and drag her mattress in on the way.

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    1. Yes, I was glad to read Lisa's comment, too.

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  3. Do what's the frog"s thing? Stink? Does it eat and destruct or breed? We had giant centipedes when we lived in paradise and they ate nits if the Barbie dolls in the toy box and left a very slimy trail that gave you a bad itch. Like jelly fish

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    1. According to the Univ. of Florida at http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/cuban_treefrog_inFL.shtml:
      "The Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. These treefrogs were accidentally brought to Florida in the 1920s, probably as hitchhikers in cargo containers on ships. Cuban Treefrogs are considered invasive in Florida (and other tropical areas) because they are likely to harm our native ecosystems and also cause a lot of problems for humans. Cuban Treefrogs eat at least five different species of native frogs, not to mention the occasional lizard or small snake, and their tadpoles compete with native tadpoles for space and food. Cuban Treefrogs are common in urban areas, where they hang out near lights on the walls of houses and catch insects. They often poop on walls and windows (leaving ugly stains), take over birdhouses, and lay eggs in fish ponds and bird baths. Sometimes Cuban Treefrogs even find their way into homes, hanging out in toilets and clogging sink drains. Cuban treefrogs grow very large, and are known to cause costly power outages by short-circuiting utility switches. Our native treefrogs are all much smaller, and aren't known to cause such utility problems."

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    2. Uggh, away with them, pronto.

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    3. Super-T found it this morning. Yay!

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  4. Mom flew to Indiana to be with my brother this morning; she slept all the way up there. Lot of damage on Cedar Key, or so it seems from the news.

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    1. Glad to hear she will be with him, I'm sure it will mean a lot to him.

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  5. Glad you're okay. Good point about basements. Glad folks gave info! Out here in CA we have fires, earthquakes, big storms, mud slides. I'm fairly prepped for earthquakes but the thing about that is... will I be home when it happens? Chances are, no. I could be in someone's house or car who isn't prepped. No warning so it's complicated. We need herd immunity - or whatever the equivalent is - to prep for earthquakes. And fire... sigh... the combo of Climate Change and ever increasing development means... more and worse fires all the time.

    Regarding invasive species... my stepsis works for forgetnameofdepartment in Gainesville. She deals with big invasive species. As in snakes. Big one. Big problem, as you know. One problem in Florida is that they don't have the rules other states about importing animals. So some come in - as you noted about Cuban frogs - via ships - and others come via shops. Either way, they get out, get away, people release them and voila - PROBLEMS.

    About a year ago, I changed my thinking about invasive species. I still advise people out here on the West Coast not to plant pampas grass or scotch broom or eucalyptus or other problem invasive plant species. I still go thru all the rigmarole when I take my kayak somewhere and it has to inspected for an invasive species of mussels... (forget name)...

    but I realized... with Climate Change... what we're really looking at is evolution on meth. We're watching - and participating in the process of - survival, evolution, metamorphosis. What's gonna survive these changes? And where? I'll tell you what. A thousand years now the animals and plants we now consider to be invasive will have become the natives. We will not be able to save everything. There will not be any polar beetles. There will be lots of bark beetles. Cuban frogs will be Floridian frogs. What survives survives. What doesn't doesn't.

    Hopefully, we're in the first category.

    We waited too long to deal with these invasive flora and fauna issues. We missed the boat.

    We need to grieve that.

    And then we need to compost our tissues and deal with what's happening on a far bigger scale. Saving us. Understanding we're part of ecosystems. Understanding consumerism - which it's diverting and entertaining and feels good in the moment and meets all our hunter gatherer neurological needs - is a lethal weapon of destruction.

    I know. How did I go from your lovely story to this? Cuz the hurricanes will get worse. They are getting worse. The invasive species will invade faster. We'll join by migrating inwards away from rising seas and northwards to cooler climes. There will be conflicts over resources as there always when deep change happens. There will be opportunities as there are always are when deep change happens.

    And hopefully, there will be frogs. Little reminders that it's possible to change. To go from ecosystem (water) to another (land). To change in ways you least expect, to change in ways that enable you to survive and thrive.

    I think the frogs are here to help us.

    ZC

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    1. Interesting perspective, thanks TreeC. I still don't want them in the house. :)

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  6. Glad to read the storm didn't impact you terribly or directly save thw f r o g. OMG Here's to that bugger dind his way o u t.

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    1. T found him this morning! I'm so happy.

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  7. W have invasive toads here. They ended up here by a local restaurateur who was going to sell frog legs. He ended up deciding against it and released them. Now we have a environmental disaster. Or so the story goes. They are the size of a toddler's head. And loud! We have teams of people that go out at night and capture them. Me? No way. They are scary!

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    1. Wow - super creepy. Hats off to the frog hunter brigade.

      FYI, the first sentence in your recent blog is really powerful.

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  8. Good, no real damage, that's good. You have a pool?? A swimming pool, or a fish, creature pool?

    That is like some sci-fi thing. In the plumbing! Someone should make a horror film about that.
    My cat brought a teeny, tiny dead baby mouse to me the other day (a gift) and it freaked me out. I would have nightmares if I saw one of those creatures!

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    1. Mice are so uncanny - they freak me out, too. Yes, we have a swimming pool. It is one of the upsides of living in Florida. We never had one before and it is the be all and end all of our retirement in the Sunshine State. They are very common down here, as you might imagine. In Florida most of the pools are enclosed in a large screened in structure we refer to as a "bird cage." It keeps critters, bugs (and alligators) out of the pool. We don't have a heated pool (too expensive) but can easily swim in ours for up to 6 months out of the year. Sometimes more.

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  9. Thanks for coming by for a recent Blog visit. Glad to hear you weathered the Storm in Blissful Slumber. Our vile creature infestation at the New Villa Boheme' are Scorpions and they creep me out since they are potentially deadly little invaders, we have the Bark Scorpion which is one of the worst species and blend in with their surroundings so they are like little poisonous Ninjas! This is the time of year they get most active and they are resilient little buggers, no wonder they haven't evolved much, they haven't needed to! We've found three in the house since we bought it and one Grandchild got stung on our 3rd day in the house... so I'm hyper vigilant and trying to find the most effective way to wage War on them successfully inside and out!? Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. OMG - Scorpions! Wow. That must be scary to get them in your house.

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  10. That's a cute little frog. I didn't know anything about them, had to look it up. Wikipedia gave instructions about how to humanely kill them. Never seen that before.

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    1. When I first looked them up I saw that, too. I was a bit shocked. Apparently they are the enemy and we are at war. Actually, they are more like terrorists.

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So, whadayathink?