Did you hear the
one about the Midwest tourist couple talking about
The husband says, “Wow, the seasons never seem to
change in Florida!” His wife answers, “Of course
they change; Florida has a ‘high’ season and a
While that line might bring on a chuckle, it’s not
quite accurate. As a native Florida cracker who
spent about 20 years in the Midwest, I can tell
you that I feel the change of seasons in the
Sunshine State just as much as I did back in
Florida does have four seasons and that’s in
addition to the seasons of mating love bugs and
early bird dinner specials. The temperature
differential may not be as dramatic in Fort Myers
as it is in Fort Wayne, but signs of seasonal
change are just as unmistakable if you are tuned
in to the sights and sounds of the tropics.
Summer arrives with the first thunderstorm and the
“full moon in June” as the saying goes. Shy cereus
cactus flowers make their one-night-only
appearances in June. Summer mornings are clear and
clouds build throughout the day. On the water, the
tarpon are rolling and a fishing frenzy ensues in
the waters of Southwest Florida.
Summer is relaxing on the fly bridge, in the shade
of a Bimini, with a cool drink in hand, watching a
pod of dolphins circle in on their fresh fish
The full moon in late September this year was as
big and as beautiful as it can be and it was
accompanied by the most delicious breeze from the
north, a harbinger of a well-deserved, cooler
weather for those of us who live in this tropical
paradise. Now, for at least nine months more,
the climate will be exceptionally accommodating
here in Southwest Florida.
Winter is wonderful, of course. I think of it as
the season of roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets
and wood storks feeding on a flat at low tide.
Natives get chilly sometimes but those who know
how cold it gets in other climes are comfortable
and grateful they are not shoveling snow.
Personally, I like a wind chill of 75 degrees. I
put on a winter jacket when the temperature drops
into the 60’s.
By late March, the cold fronts seem to lose their
punch. The flora and fauna of spring emerge. April
and May are a special time of the year when tired,
tiny tanagers and warblers perch on your bow
railing to rest up before flitting off again in
search of a berry tree on Sanibel Island. Our eyes
and noses delight in the flowering trees --
fragrant yellow frangipani, fire-red poinciana,
I love it here in Southwest Florida, as you can
tell. Still, I’ve come to the point of view that
no one place is perfect unless we make it so. I
like to read and when I’m wrapped up in a great
novel I don't care where I am so long as the
chair’s comfortable. In fact, if it were snowing
outside and I was close to a crackling fire, that
would be just dandy.
But dyed in the wool boaters logically migrate
toward Florida (and they will leave their woolens
behind). Snow skiers probably want to be close to
the Rockies, High Sierras, or the Cascades.
Surfers prefer the Pacific. We have traveled to
all of those places and beyond, but as Dorothy
said, “There’s no place like home.”
So maybe no one place is perfect but, like those
snowbirds on the yacht pulpit, we can fly to some
other place and suit our changing weather whims.
Whatever the season, Florida suits me just fine.