As the upper 49 states are progressing into Spring, Facebook, Twitter and other elements of social media are full of pictures and accounts of cold receding, flowers blooming and cute critters in love.
Down here in South Florida we are “enjoying” our traditional schizophrenic weather.
I used to live in Tennessee and my favorite season was (and is) Fall. For somebody who lived 90% of his life in a perpetual state of green, the change of colors has always struck me as Nature’s feat of art. I miss it and I miss the smells of Fall. But, did you know that South Florida actually has a Fall season too? Yup! We are having it right now! I did say our weather is schizophrenic.
The thing is colors don’t change into those fantastic browns and gold and ocher. Leaves may turn a wee bit yellow and suddenly everything frigging tree in the area sheds its old cover like a cheap 70s shag carpet. And I do mean suddenly: you go to sleep one night and wake up the next day with your car covered in dead leaves as if somebody sprayed Paraquat while you were trading snores with the Sandman. Snakes take longer shedding skin.
If you are wondering about empty branches, nay. It is like the new green stuff just came from behind the old, kick it in the butt and took its place. For Yankees from up North is confusing to see about a foot of dead leaves on the ground and have trees full of freshly green leaves. Did you know that Greek god of winds Aeolus vacations in South Florida during this time? And he is an expert on blowing all the leaves right up to your front door in such quantities that you could hide a 7 foot gator under the pile without a problem.
Now, if the falling of leaves is not confusing enough, the sudden temperature & humidity shifts will drive any sane person insane. You can wake up one morning at 55 degrees and be in the low 90s by 1:00 pm. I know Yanks love to laugh at the idea of 55 degrees being referred as cold, but then again we are the ones that have to pick up the pale and molten remains of Mid-Westerners and New Yorkers from the sidewalks of our cities as their metabolisms and physiology cannot handle the bi-polar weather. And the humidity? More males die at the hands of their spouses and girlfriends during this season than any other time of the year for making a silly comment about their hair. The typical South Florida woman will carry enough hair products and accouterments with her to open up a hair saloon. It has been said that no house built in South Florida after the 70s has less than 2 bathrooms for the specific reason as to reduce male mortality. The master bathroom is designed for women with lots of room, great light, at least eight electric sockets and enough counter space to perform an autopsy. The second bathroom is a regular for the man to hide from the fury of their mates as they try to fix their tops. Most of the male bathrooms come with reinforced doors and an escape hatch for those dire emergencies.
The so-called-Spring comes to an end with a delightful tradition by Mother Nature: Love Bugs. Love Bugs are like your little nephews on Red Bull: they are not really harmful, but you get tired of them sticking themselves into everything and they just won’t stop. Constant talkers will get an extra dose of protein in their diets as Love Bugs apparently are attracted to the humidity in your uvula. Not even starving Mariachis will play outside during this time of the year. Love Bug season lasts about a month and ends when they start exploding on mid-air as temperatures rise from “Oh My Frigging God it is like an oven in here!” to “Who left Hell’s Door open?” A.K.A. “Summer”.
But that is another different post altogether.