Southwest Florida Yachts


Florida's Four Seasons
By Barb Hansen
(First published Oct. 2007)

Did you hear the one about the Midwest tourist couple talking about Florida’s weather? 


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 ‘low’ season!”


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 Indiana.


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 entrée.


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, lavender-blue jacaranda.


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.

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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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