Inspired by the wonderful photos of fall colored landscapes on many of the blogs I follow, I decided to examine the colors and other signs of the changing season here at home, on the Gulf coast in Florida. Many people seem to think, as I used to do before moving here, that there are no seasons in Florida – it’s always summer. So booring? But that’s only partly true (I learned the term partly true as I was watching the commentary on the presidential campaign): there are four seasons here too, although the variations are much more subtle. After living here on the beach part-time for four years and full-time for two years, I can clearly distinguish the seasons and will be updating my readers when our short winter arrives…
We have now started our regular morning walks on the beach, whenever I’m not traveling, which in it self is a sign for us that the summer is over. The morning temperatures are now in the low 70s (around or just above 20 C) and in the afternoons it climbs up to the mid 80s (upper 20s C). The humidity has also dropped considerably. In the summer we go to the beach mostly just to swim in the ocean, but during the other three seasons it’s truly pleasant to take a long stroll on the sand, watch the pelicans dive for fish, and just listen to the waves rolling in.
Walking to the beach through our gardens, I did not find any deciduous trees…we only have palm trees in many different variations and many “bush-like” smaller trees. And they are all green, surprise, surprise! The red and yellow colors are found mostly in the form of flowers.
Some of the bushes have a few leaves that are changing color, but the funny thing is that the leaves are painted, then dropped to the ground one by one – or so it seems! I have not seen shrubs that are completely yellow, brown or red, just sprinkled with color.
On the beach itself, I found fall colored grass in nice deep purple! I also found yellow beach flowers that only bloom during this season. It’s clearly autumn on the beach too!
There are also many other signs of the season on the beach. The lifeguard booth is abandoned, probably until Thanksgiving. Not many people are swimming in the ocean now although the water temperature still is 82F/27C. The beach chairs are mostly stacked up and the kayaks and jet-skis are there, but on dry land now waiting for riders. And the para-sail equipment is ready to take you up in the air should you desire to admire the waters from above.
But then there are long stretches of this miles long beach patrolled only by the birds, occasional local joggers and walkers like us.
So if you are looking for some peace and quiet to renew yourself at “mid-term” or just want to escape the high pitch of everyday hubbub, you should come and experience the fall on the beach. Even later, in November or December, you might want to enjoy the pleasant temperatures and the natural beauty of the Gulf coast to balance off the first snow storms. Fall is indeed here too and it’s a good time for a visit!