Those of you in the north know autumn is on its way when you see those beautiful yellow, red, and orange leaves begin to fall off your trees. This is your signal to break out the winter coats once again and begin scrounging money for heating oil. Down here in the Sunshine State (well, really the Partly Cloudy State), we do not have this distinct change of seasons, but we have our own little ways of telling us that fall's on its way and that we need to begin making our own preparations for the change of seasons we have here. And contrary to popular belief, we here in the "Land of Eternal Happines" (pfft) do experience four seasons: Hot Summer (Summer), Warm Summer (Fall), Almost Summer (Winter), Summer Again (Spring) Yes, my snowbird friends, you may be laughing, but this seemingly small meteorological change into the Dry Summer brings about big changes in the environment of the Land of Disney (pffffffffffffffff*gag*cough*gag*gag*). Just this past week I have noticed two of these changes, and I will share them with you today. As the Warm Summer season progresses into Almost Summer, I will continue to highlight the changes as I see them.
One of the first signs of Warm Summer is the change that takes place on the citrus trees. Depending on the kind of citrus (depicted here are Satsumas growing in my backyard,) noticeable changes in color begin appearing as the weather cools and the days get shorter. Within about a month's time this delicious fruit will turn from a deep green to yellow to bright orange until they are ripe for the picking just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. The tangerines lag a couple weeks behind, and are not ready for harvest until around the middle of December. I will be sure to share the fresh, sweet, juicy, sunshine-filled experience I will have when I open up the first Satsuma of the season as ya'll are scraping the snow off your windshield in the morning :-D.
The second sign of Warm Summer I have seen this year is the increasing prominence of a phenomenon popularly known as the "dog box." This past weekend I was at my grandma's house participating in our annual Halloween taco party (I believe we are the only family on this earth that has such a party) and it hit me: Dog boxes...everywhere. You may be asking yourself What exactly is this "dog box?". You see, some people here in TRUE Florida take great pleasure in spending their Warm Summer in a tree stand waiting for a single shot at one animal. It just so happens that much of my family participates in the sport. Quite apparently, when a deer is shot, they do not lie down easy and die. They enjoy running around the woods, leading the hunters on a wild goose...er, deer...chase through the woods. Fortunately for the hunter, he has his faithful companions by his side just waiting to sniff out their prize. Once the deer is found, the dogs, fresh off their successful hunt, happily climb into their boxes in their master's pickup and enjoy sniffing the fresh Warm Summer air on their way home. I would like to make it a point here to say that I do not hunt, and I could never shoot an animal...though I will never turn down a nice venison steak or burger if it is offered to me :-D.
So there are the typical first signs of the beginning Warm Summer here in Florida...And there's a lot more to come. Enjoy your snow!! Guess what! Blogger's being stubborn again (what a dang surprise!!!!) I will post these pictures tomorrow morning before I head off to school.