Whacked by Wilma!
While 2005 has been the best year ever for hybridization at Aroidia Research, the year has not been the best for weather. The year started out calmly, but in August, hurricane Katrina flooded us with over 11 inches of rain in a few hours. As if this wasn't enough, hurricane Rita passed us by and just when we thought it was safe to go out in the garden, Halloween came early on October 24th as hurricane Wilma paid us a visit. The image above was taken while the winds were still blowing. The greenery at ground level is mostly broken branches, as the area in question is (was) nearly clear of any ground-level vegetation before the storm.
As the winds died down and the sky lightened, we ventured out to see the damage. This shot is a view to the east of our production area. Note the larger aroids to the right, near the fence; these are some used as breeding plants.
Here is a view of our hybrid seedling house after Wilma. Fortunately, we had removed most of the newest hybrid seedlings to a more protected location, where they survived without loss. Those plants and seedlings left in the house did not fare so well. Note the bench with hybrid Philos close and to the left of the camera; many of these did OK but got pretty tattered.
See more of Wilma's Wrath.