Rainy Day Fun – Life in Florida

I am just another resident of Florida and I can’t say I am enjoying this year’s first tropical storm all that much.  This week has been rain and more rain.  Up here in Northern Florida, we typically get the non-violent wet portions of tropical storms and tornadoes but very little wind damage if you except the fallen pecan tree limbs.  My garden which I finally caught up on is in full bloom as it goes (I will take a picture later if the weather allows and if it’s not dark)

garden01

The main idea is that I am behind once again on my two acre plot of land.

Here is a picture I just took of our pool.

andrea1

And a picture of a crawdad I found in my workshop (there is not a creek within 3 miles of here)

andrea2

As you can see tropical storms are a time to sit inside and just ponder the universe.  Just like Tropical Storm Debby last July, I have a ton of free time since there is so little you can do just inside except get on the nerves of your pets and vice versa.  Last July, my dog decided to go swimming during one of the worst periods of that deluge.  (We got 30 inches of rain here during Debby).

IMG-20120626-00351

Now tropical Storm Andrea looks to be tame in comparison as it will move through tonight and just dump rain at a lesser rate for perhaps a little longer.  During Debby, we had a river heading under out house (which has a crawl space lucky enough) and the only damage we had was a few broken tree limbs and insulation losses from under the house.  This is fortunate compared to some people in the area who lost their entire houses.

It was a rough time for the area, and the city of Live Oak, FL which is just down the road from us made national news when downtown flooded terribly.  That tends to happen when downtown is both built-in a low depression and you get 30 inches of rain.  The Suwannee River also experienced a 500 year flood among some of its portions due to this storm.  But Andrea is not expected to dump more than 12 inches in any particular spot so I am personally resting easy and just waiting for the worst of it to pass over tonight.  Some people are going to get flooded out which tends to happen.  But most houses in our area tend to be built up a little and since basements are forbidden in Florida for good reason, most flooding from this storm in Northern Florida should be spotty at best.  This is good news and I hope this first storm is not something to look forward to.

Joe Bastardi has some interesting insights and he was right in this instance:

http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/joe-bastardi-was-correct-about-gulf-of-mexico-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/

And I hope we won’t see much more of this fun this year.  But that is what living in Florida is about I guess and for people like me who lived most of our lives in Missouri this week of sitting inside just fills me with cabin fever.  The thing to do in Florida is to plan things out better.  If the climate is better, you can tend to do whatever whenever, but when you have Florida weather which is only nice during the winter, you better get everything done in the winter and plan inside chores and jobs during the rest of the year.

And boy, living in Florida with a pool is a magnet for family.  That is a good thing since we live so far from family now, but if you are thinking of moving out of California (cuing Anthony Watts) than these are the things you need to know.  Florida is a great state to live in so far with mild winters and gardens that are to die for.  You can plant something every season out of the year and this makes living here very fun if you have a green-thumb like I do.

But the rain and tropical characteristics of this state makes Summer the time when you sit inside as opposed to winter in say Missouri.  And California is much better overall climate wise, but California has nothing on Florida Citrus (I have lime, lemon and kumquat trees) and the citrus here just simply takes off when you get a nice tropical storm.  One of our lime trees is so massive that it now produces HUGE citrus all year round.  This is rare up in Northern Florida where citrus typically only produces in the winter.  I am hoping to learn some lessons with placement to grow even more citrus, and with some research later tonight I should do just that.  For everyone in Florida, keep dry, and for everyone else, remember Florida has issues as well, but the best thing about this state: No income tax.  Long live Florida!

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2 responses to “Rainy Day Fun – Life in Florida

  1. Hi Ben;

    Noticed that you’re another denizen of that hive of anti science rabble, WUWT /sarc

    I live in Nassau county, not all that far from you. I expected the worst from Andrea, but honestly just got some minor rain and a few twigs knocked down. Amelia Island across the way from me got two twisters though; couple of people at work had to call the insurance co today.

    Glad to see there’s at least one other person who appreciates all that North Florida is and also likes WUWT. Thought I might be the only one.

    Nathaniel

    • I had to look up Nassau County, had no idea where it was (I am new to the state still) but I see you live closer to Jacksonville (the big city). That is convenient because out here in Suwannee County we really only get the option of Live Oak (called Dead Oak by several of the locals when we were moving in) and Lake City and if neither city has it, we either have to drive an hour to Gainesville or 1.5 hours to Jax.

      I am glad that no damage was seen where you are, for the most part we were pretty well off too. I went to the Yearly Wellborn Blueberry Festival today and because of the rain they did not have very many blueberries! Oh the humanity! But I did manage to buy a few plants.

      I am glad you are also a realist who sees things for what they are. For the most part I love this part of Florida because most of the people aren’t into politics and the last election for Sheriff was literally between the incombant and some fellow who wanted to solve all of the financial problems of everyone in the county by just making weed legal and having the citizens each make 50k a year by becoming full time farmers. No thought going into the fact that state cops and fed cops would break that up whatsoever.

      Pretty dry politically and mostly about realism and just getting by. Its not the richest area in the world, but it does have its good parts like good fishing on the Suwannee and fishing in the Gulf if you don’t mind driving 45 minutes. Lots of outdoor activities too. White Springs is a very nice town in my opinion if you ever get a chance, and I highly recommend Steven Foster National Forest because it has nice trails right along the Suwannee. BBQ place there is decent too.

      Ben

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