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Cindy Adair

Palms Persevere in PR

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Cindy Adair

As you all know, Hurricane Irma in early September left damage and no power or water at my farm for 5 days, but I still had internet and phone service and it was far less than predicted. We in mainland PR breathed a sigh of relief and felt so much sympathy (we still do) for our smaller islands of Culebra and Vieques and so many other Caribbean islands. As Florida got nailed I saw the photos here on PT and elsewhere and grieved for all of you who met up with Irma.

I unpacked all my potted plants and relaxed. For a couple of days.

Then Maria headed for a visit and this time no last minute reprieves. Hurricane supplies in PR had been depleted already by Irma preparations so all D batteries and generators and such were long gone.

I did manage to get a full tank of gas and a bit of extra water but I started out less well stocked than I had been prior to Irma. The idea of moving all my plants (that I had just moved back out) back in held no appeal but I knew it must be done.

On to the photos, starting with some "before hurricane season" shots.

 

 

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Cindy Adair

These are actually some of my "before Irma" photos posted earlier as I took no new ones of the very same procedure. It takes 2.5 full days to load everything apparently so good thing most hurricanes allow that much lead time.

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Monòver

Thanks Cindy! The best is to see you are here.:greenthumb:

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Cindy Adair

This time I am including photos of my cistern with non potable water. Sadly it ultimately leaked and lasted with weak flow to downstairs only (gravity) so was gone in 6 days and did not allow for showers. The 2 little less than $10 landscape lights continue to be amazingly useful! A friend suggested I take the AA battery out of one at bedtime (no off switch) so when I awaken predawn I pop the battery back in and have a nice light for getting around. Every morning I take both outside for a sun recharge and they are strong enough to read well at night. Everyone should have one in a disaster kit.

I have a bigger version twice as strong in my checked bag at this moment as well as a big pack of D batteries to share upon my return.

Sorry, as you all know I am long winded, but there will be more palm photos applicable to my topic title! Also I am at an airport now so when it's time to board I will abruptly stop.

However as I have a few more days before returning to my farm I fully intend to finish before I go dark again indefinitely.

 

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doranakandawatta

Cindy,

Until now "before Irma" pics are ok, but I am afraid you'll show us worst pictures in the next posts and I really understand the stress it can be.
I wish you all the best and hope things and gardens are going back to normal soon.

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peachy

So glad that you are safe and the house survived. Those little el cheapo solar spotlights are great...I have them along the driveway so I can reverse out at night. (the worst of having a 35 metre driveway and a 5 metre reversing skill)

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Cindy Adair

OK the electricity, water and phone/internet disappeared the evening of Sept 20 as it began to rain. As things got more ominous I moved my compressed kitchen table from its normal position here (of course the orchids on their "suitcases" and the mess is not the norm...)

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into my safest interior windowless spot where I was determined to have a pleasant last fresh produce dinner over palm book perusal. It was pitch black and getting louder outside but the flash gives a false impression.

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Below became the only fairly dry spot (except the shower stall) as water entered on the second floor through every tiny space around windows and door frames. Both my heavy wooden doors are etched and damaged on the outside, but did the job that night.  This looks peaceful but prior I was grabbing every blanket and comforter and towel as it was flooding the other rooms. I finally just had to close the doors and sequester as I could not deal with the water intrusion as quickly as more rain entered. This was not ground water and on the second floor at 1000 feet elevation I knew I would not be flooded like Florida or Texas. I did not know water would run down the interior walls and cover my (happily tile) floors. I had been warned to take pictures off walls even if far from doors or windows. I did not understand but am glad I did as they would have been soaked as was everything under my bed. It was many hours into the hurricane by now and with days of plant moving I napped a little on my pallet below. Then the shaking of the house began with water in bottles moving in waves. But my roof held. Some 1/2 hour of near silence which seemed like an eye. Still dark and I had been told Maria would last many more hours so I had no intention of leaving my interior space. I heard Oct 10 when I reached the States that the eye was north of me. Maybe or maybe it was a very wide eye because it sure seemed like it. Oh and the reports of wind speeds below cat 5 at that point may be for lower elevation as I can not imagine stronger wind force. Back to the story.

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doranakandawatta

Palms Persevere ...

I love the positive way you persevere, just wonder how I could help ?

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Cindy Adair

Here are three more shots taken during the hurricane. I had moved my bed far from windows and planned to sleep there. However as you see here I realized quickly the bedding was getting soaked so I grabbed a less treasured comforter and lots of towels. Again complete darkness, not the bright light you see here. I am looking at these photos for the first time this minute (at another airport gate) as my laptop and camera batteries were gone until I could recharge here. I'll bet the orchids loved the rain and humidity!

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Cindy Adair

OK, finally finally the very long storm seemed to pass and I dragged the soggy blankets onto my balcony

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to get my first look at my new view.

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Note the tan paint stripped off to show the old color underneath. Yes more landslides...

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Cindy Adair

Sorry another plane to board!

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doranakandawatta

to get my first look at my new view....

OMG, it reminds me the day after the tsunami in Sri Lanka ...  (as a stress and in the scale, not in the details )
But, since you are positive, let's see the situation in a good way: 
I know that tropical 
plants grow very fast if they're not killed, hopefully many will recover and give you bright fresh green very soon.

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DoomsDave

Cindy so glad to hear from you.

That bleak landscape will regrow but it must have been a grave sorrow to see.

 

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BS Man about Palms

Amazing Cindy. So very happy to hear from you and half-begrudgingly look to see more post pictures. Glad it sounds like your spirits are holding.

 

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Keith in SoJax

Cindy, so glad to hear you are OK, that the house provided safe refuge and wasn't horribly damaged.  The garden will recover, and the gardener will have a big hand in how that happens.  Hopefully some of your small plants will thrive with the added sunlight.  It sure looks like a lot of work to do though.  

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realarch

Glad to hear you survived intact and that you are safe in spite of the disaster. Also glad the construction of your home weathered the hurricane and eliminates the need to start from 'scratch.'

Your detailed description is food for thought for us here in Hawai' i, as it's only a matter of time before we might have to live through something similar. 

Tim

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Kim

Hi Cindy, it is so great to see your post -- except those photos of the damage! Ouch! What a thrashing your garden had, an absolute thrashing. But now the worst is behind you now. What lies ahead is a future garden, somewhat different from what was there before. I hope it will be a process you can enjoy, and knowing you, that's a sure thing.

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Cindy Adair

Sorry, no time to follow up as I had planned now.

Just see that I saved many beloved palms and later I will show the royals and tree ferns regrowing leaves and my new paths. I have planted 51 plants post Maria!

 

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Kris

Dear Cindy,

Glad to see you and hear from you.Very happy to know you are safe.

Love,

Kris.

 

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annafl

Cindy, so glad to hear you are safe and your home isn't badly damaged.  You will have new opportunities in the garden, and you will be so surprised at how resilient plants really are.  I hope you find enjoyment in the journey to come.  Happy to have you back on here!

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Missi
1 hour ago, Cindy Adair said:

Sorry, no time to follow up as I had planned now.

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That's really cool! Is it water from the mountain? Does it always flow?

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BS Man about Palms

WOW! Planted 51 plants post Maria!! Cindy, YOU are my hero!!! :wub: (on a plantonic basis-lol)

I'm intrigued by the water pipe too...

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palmfriend

Cindy,

we were all following news from PR intensively while wishing you all the best -

now you are back and safe, thank`s God! 

We were hit here in Okinawa a few days after Irma by typhoon "Talim" but it is impressive to see,

how fast nature recovers. My damaged palms pushed new spears immediately - so, your 

place should bounce back in short time, too!

best regards -

Lars

 

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Cindy Adair
On October 18, 2017 at 11:27:13 PM, palmfriend said:

Cindy,

we were all following news from PR intensively while wishing you all the best -

now you are back and safe, thank`s God! 

We were hit here in Okinawa a few days after Irma by typhoon "Talim" but it is impressive to see,

how fast nature recovers. My damaged palms pushed new spears immediately - so, your 

place should bounce back in short time, too!

best regards -

Lars

 

No news here except when I travel to wi fi so had not even heard of Talim! I certainly hope your recovery is swift!

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Cindy Adair

I have given a friend a ride so only time for a brief update. Mostly good as some more surprising survival stories such as a new frond on both my Caryota zebrina and C. ophiopellis, both of whom weathered both hurricanes unprotected. 

I am dealing with (meaning ignoring for the moment) pests such as scale and spider mites plus sun burned leaves non of which were issues at all here pre hurricanes. Stress to plants and people as we readjust to new surroundings.

I had three days of city water last week and celebrated-prematurely as it is gone again.

My little generator is not working but I am hopeful it is in need of a new spark plug so to the store in a minute. It is under warranty but a six hour round trip to San Juan to wait in line behind all the other machines there first does not appeal. Plus the return trip when/if it is repaired. 

I got about 30 minutes of internet at my house this morning but then reverted to no service again. Such a tease!

OK, here are a string of photos, good and bad.

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Cindy Adair

My poor Calyptrocalyx pachystachys variegated full of scale. Horrors!

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Some seedlings doing just fine.

Here are some non palm views as well.

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Orchids are tough!

 

 

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Darold Petty

Brava Cindy !!!!!!!!  That's great ! :greenthumb:

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Kim

Very encouraging news! Here's hoping the water and internet will return for you soon, and that a little spark plug will solve your generator problem. Your photos look to report mostly good news, happily. 

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Dypsisdean

You have certainly been tested - and have clearly passed with flying colors.

My 2 cents on the generator - something I have learned about small engines in humid tropical climates. Make sure you try fresh fuel (empty and use all new stuff). It is very easy to get water in it - both while in the tank, and just sitting in the gas can. I don't know about PR, but here in Hawaii we have ethanol in the gas, and this gas will absorb the water from the air. The problem got so bad with all the boats and small engines, they backed off and now ethanol-free gas is readily available. And since I have been using that, I have very few issues with my small engines - a night & day difference.

Before I learned what the problem was, I had constant problems and non-starting issues. And now if I have gas older than a couple of months, I'll just use it in the car and buy fresh. I would assume in PR, considering the circumstances, perhaps even just purchased gas from some locations may already have some water in it. I hear a fuel stabilizer will help with storage and in general.

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doranakandawatta

Cindy, 

Nice to see you back here on Palmtalk :D
I understand the situation is still hard but did the tree-ferns already make all these new fronds ? It is a very good sign of resilience !

Regards

Philippe

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Missi

YEA! It's always a great day when we hear from Cindy!! :wub:

Oh those damn scale! They hit all my Joey palms HARD this dry season...and the dry season has only just begun (for me). You probably know systemic will do the trick (imidacloprid is what we use). It's just no fun taking a q-tip to all the left-on scale shields. They can sure suck a leaf dry in no-time-flat. I've also had mealies on my Pinangas :rant:

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Tracy S

Wow. I'm glad you are okay. Some of those photos are heart breaking but I really enjoyed seeing all your little plants inside the house. It looked like a lush tropical rainforest indoors. Awesome!

 

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Cindy Adair

It is great to read all your kind and helpful responses as I sit in decent wi fi only about 30 minutes from my farm. Thank you so very much!

As to my generator, Dean I really appreciate all of your advice. I do not know if the change to a low ethanol gas (now that it is available again here) made the difference, but the third spark plug is holding so far after making that change and those couple of hours of electricity each night is such a luxury!

Besides wi fi I came to town for supplies to build a little dolly to more easily roll my generator in and out, to provide security for it, but not die of carbon monoxide poisoning either.

Getting back to the palms, my little Calyptrocalyx with scale has responded beautifully so far to a good spraying and the better environmental conditions. I need a new photo.

It is raining every day for at least an hour with lots of mist as well and the plants are all flourishing.

Yesterday I planted a Dypsis psammophila, Copernicia ekmanii, Areca catechu alba, Wallichia densiflora, a second Ravenea sambiranensis and Carpoxylon macrospermum.

I will work on taking pictures and getting them posted, but so sorry for the very slow response time.

I am actually excited because now early and late if I stand on a certain step at my house facing a certain direction and am very very patient I can (sometimes) get emails to pop into my smartphone using my hotspot!

Replies to emails there are rarely possible and no luck with the laptop, but still, progress!

It is heartwarming to compare what I see outside my house, to the photos less than 2 weeks ago. It looks better and better even if some of the green is invasive vines!

I'll check back in when I can as I truly miss PT, but it is nearly dark here and travel with no street lights becomes a little more challenging, so I will go.

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