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Waiting On a Hurricane

Meet hurricane Matthew. This is what it looked like at 7:00 AM ET. It's ripping the east coast of FL apart as we speak, tearing down power lines, blowing away houses and knocking down trees. Over here in Gainesville, the effects are scheduled to start rolling in about 11:00 AM ET

The good news is that Matthew is now a Category 3,
downgraded from a Category 4 when it first entered Florida's coastal waters. The bad news is that Matthew is a Category 3 hurricane whose eyewall is hitting Florida's eastern coastline.

I'm posting this while watching the calm before the storm out my living room window. A steady, light rain is falling and there is nary a breeze. This is always an eerie time, this dead stillness. No birds are singing, no squirrels frolicking, there is just quiet.

My courtyard is nearly empty, save a few plants I figured would be fine outdoors in protected places. The 2x4 on the right is trying desperately to save the banana, along with two buckets of soil pushed up against the base, but I have little hope for it.

Everything else is in my living room. Plants, chairs, buckets and other garden accessories.

The outer garden, though, is completely exposed. Hermine ripped it up quite a bit, especially the brugmansias (angel trumpets), so I'm pretty much expecting a repeat of that, maybe worse. The hibiscus bushes are just starting to recover from Hermine and bloom again. Now all those beautiful blooms will be ripped off and tossed on the ground.

The sun is rising, and the world is turning, and I'm sitting here waiting for Mother Nature to destroy whatever I have accomplished in the last few months. I can't blame her. Look what we've done to her. Pollution, extinction of her animals, pollution, fires, pollution, development, pollution, destruction of the rain forest, and POLLUTION. She must hate us all -- well, maybe not all of us. Maybe she looks at people like me and you, fellow gardeners, and says "I hate having to hurt them along with anyone else, but they will survive and they will replant. They are my guardians."

Remember that, fellow gardeners. We are Mother Nature's guardians, her warriors, the only thing standing between her and total environmental destruction. Never give up the fight.

I know I have so much less at stake than many, many of my gardening friends. So my gardens will get damaged, and I will replant, and I will always love and care for the earth the best I can. I hope you will too.

UPDATE: Matthew turned out to be a non-event here in Gainesville, aside from a few power outages and a wreck on the interstate. The banana is fine, and my power only went out for about a minute, so all is well. Hermine did more damage, but we were on the bad side of that storm. I feel for everyone who had bad garden and yard damage from Matthew. I feel blessed, and wish I could do something to help.