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 well-deserved, cooler
weather for those of us who live in Southwest
Now for at least nine months more the climate will
be exceptionally good, proving again the area
deserves its "paradise" title.
This is the time of the year when I have to remind
myself not to phone friends up north and brag
about our weather, especially not when they're
getting cold fronts and, with autumn's shorter
days, must turn on their car lights at 4:30 p.m.
People say Florida doesn't have seasons. That's
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
Winter is wonderful, of course. I think of it as
the season of roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets
and wood storks feeding on mud flat at low tide.
Natives get chilly sometimes but those who know
how cold it gets in other climes are comfortable
and so grateful they are not shoveling snow.
Personally, I like a wind chill of 75 degrees and
break out the winter
jacket when the temperature drops into the 60’s.
By late March, the cold fronts seem to lose their
punch and the flora and fauna of spring
emerge. April and May are a special time of the
year when tired, tiny tanagers and warblers hitch
rides and a rest on your boat railing before
flitting off 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.
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 flybridge, in the shade
of a Bimini, with a cool drink in hand, watching a
pod of dolphins circle in on their fresh fish
entrée. This is the "low" season. Okay. Whatever.
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 you 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
is 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.
As a Floridian who spent her first 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. Whatever the season, Florida
suits me just fine.