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Life in the Tropics

We are approaching our two year anniversary on Sanibel Island and yes the time has flown by. While we miss our friends and family who live in the mid-Atlantic area of the United States, adjusting to island life is well, easy most of the time.

While we experience no hardship in wearing sandals and shorts as part of our daily attire, and prefer to bicycle for our quick errands, there are moments when we realize that a tropical life just isn’t for everyone. Living in a place such as Alaska would be a commitment of character as well as physical endurance, and we have tests here in our island community too. Hurricanes are the bane of most people’s decision to go island.

We had just such a wakeup call when Elsa began her sauntering dance through the Caribbean and up through the Gulf of Mexico. We could watch her destructive path easily from our television and the spaghetti models suggesting where she may continue her cha-cha closer by the day to our lovely island home.

Most people when they think of a home it is the physical place we actually live, but tropical life is so much more as in we are surrounded by abundant gorgeous flowers and lush foliage that was sure to be beaten and bruised by Elsa, only what about all the wildlife that call the greenery their home? The gopher tortoise and the little armadillos may have burrows but those would be submerged in the deluge of rains. The egrets, great and small, would be feeling the full brunt of the tropical storm, as well as many types of herons that call Sanibel home would also be in Elsa’s path.

Elsa came through with terrific winds, driving rains, and punctuated hour by hour with fierce and unrelenting lighting. Finally it seemed after a few power glitches we could see the light of day; so much water swirling through our car park that enticed an osprey to hunt for the small fish seen swimming around the tires of cars. Water lapped and poured through places that had been dry as a dessert for months, and with the rain came the fish flooding in to vacant ponds. Heron great, and small, shopped for their supper as people stood by and watched the dance of life Elsa had returned after the dry season.

Island life will continue and we are grateful our condo home received no damage. We will continue to watch for tortoise and turtles that cross our greenery on their way to nesting sites, the bobcat with her kittens, and even the iguanas that are seen on lawns and trees sunning. We will be enthusiastic about future armadillo sightings and our island life, thank goodness will continue on as it has for nearly two years.   

My watercolor, The Calm after the Storm was painted on Arches cotton paper with Sennelier and Winsor & Newton watercolors, Caran d’Ache Neocolor I wax-oil crayons used for a wax resistance technique.

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