October in Bloom

Hurricane Ian hit close to home in more than one sense for us. We prepped our house expecting the worst. Instead, Tampa was spared, but our old community of St. James City on Pine Island was devastated. Older, grade-level houses like the one we sold in 2020 were destroyed. It’s hard to feel any sense of relief because so many of our friends and family are still there. Some friends lost everything and we heard some harrowing stories of survival.  Wasn’t that a mighty storm?

I wholeheartedly support Chef José Andrés from World Central Kitchen

We cooked a ton and had a hurricane crew reunion. The storm altered our weather pattern and ushered us into fall two weeks early. Dryer, cooler air was such a relief for all of us without power, cleaning up the giant mess left behind. Space X launch at sunset.  Here’s that glowing contrail up close…Green anoles make my day.As do Atalas.White peacocksZebra longwingsand Gulf fritillaries. I made this raspberry whipped cream cake I saw on Bon Appetit. Not anyone’s birthday, I just wanted to make a big pink fluffy cake. It was so good.Our annual Stonecrabaganza was shortened and we were missing key players, but the game claw was impressive. Game claw collection. We had to start over after Hurricane Irma. Perennial glasswort on No Name Key. Trying to convince my family this native would be a delectable side dish with fish. It’s crunchy and a little salty. We enjoyed it pickled in Alaska.admiring orchids on No Name.Nurse shark friendsThis one had a remora.I met David Sedaris. He drew a picture for me and we talked about my mom’s shoes and Key West. 
And a few links before I go:

Native Plants. How do we incorporate more when we can’t find them?

The story of a Southern haunted house named Nannie

For the block party tonight I’m making seven-layer dip with a spider web on top

Happy Halloween!

9 Comments October in Bloom

  1. Julie October 31, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Oh that raspberry cake looks divine! Definitely no need for a reason to make that. Yum! So glad you guys were spared in Tampa, but I get that you feel the pain of the ones who were hit. So glad to see your green anole! I’ve seen two juveniles lately and that made my day too!

    1. suwanneerose November 1, 2022 at 9:48 am

      Hey Julie! I’ve seen a couple green anoles lately. I worry about their population because the redhead agamas have found their way into my yard. I’m hoping my resident fox family will keep the invasives in check. Oh how I wish I could send Koki after them. haha.

  2. Pat Deas October 31, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Happy Halloween from Cedar Key,love your photos as usual… I will definitely try the raspberry cake recipe as that’s my favorite flavor…

    1. suwanneerose November 1, 2022 at 9:52 am

      Hey Pat, If you’re a raspberry fan, you’re going to absolutely love that cake! It’s an interesting recipe. You process freeze-dried raspberries and strain out the seeds, then blend the powder into the whipped cream. The cake is very light and airy. If want a shortcut, you could use an angel food cake from Publix. 😉

      1. Pat Deas November 1, 2022 at 8:48 pm

        Thanks for the tip!

  3. Misti November 1, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for your comments on my native plant post and for sharing it here! And so glad y’all were spared the worst of Ian but I know it must be terrible for those on Pine Island. Love the Keys pictures as always—miss crab claw season!

    1. suwanneerose November 1, 2022 at 10:33 am

      I really appreciated that native plant post. Sometimes I look at Florida yards and think most of this is Home Depot house plants that got loose and strangled everything. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! Good luck writing this month.

  4. Coley November 1, 2022 at 10:26 am

    So glad you guys were spared but such a heavy heart for those who were not. That raspberry cake looks insane and the photo of the “atala” looks similar to the spotted lantern flies that are becoming such a problem in my corner of the world. Equally impressed and jealous you met David Sedaris. He sounds like the kind of hero you actually want to meet. Love seeing the world through your eyes, hope you are doing great <3

  5. suwanneerose November 1, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Hi Coley! I kinda want to see one of those lantern flies in person because they look gorgeous, but then I would have to smash it. The atala is the complete opposite. It’s a native butterfly that was almost extinct all my life. Never had one in my yard until recently. Now they’ve made this amazing comeback! Wish we had more stories like that.
    I was completely charmed by David Sedaris. Hope all is well with you and Chaser!

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