When it hit near 90 degrees the other day, it was pretty clear that spring wouldn’t be too far behind. Quite a few of my snowbird friends were discussing the high level of heat as a bit too much for their liking and how they’d soon be traveling north to cooler temperatures. While we won’t be facing that errant spring snow storm as they do up north, I suspect a cooler weekend or two might blow in before the heat really starts building. I pray that happens on a weekend so I can enjoy a nice long hike, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll be planning to get out there.
For me, the month of April in Florida is one I adore. Arriving here right after April Fool’s Day some 30 years ago, that I had left from my northern community, which had been completely glazed over in ice merely a week before was completely surreal. I still recall the photo, long lost in life’s travels, of my standing next to a neighborhood orange tree and holding two globes of fruit. It was like I had landed in paradise.
Throughout the years here, I have delighted in the climate and natural surroundings. From swimming in the lake during the winter months to sweating profusely and struggling to stay hydrated while engaged in outdoor work during a career in the Florida Park Service, I loved every moment of the heat. I still enjoy the heat even if it gets me a bit more than it used to.
With spring slipping in, the birds will soon start nesting and I’m watching for hummingbirds to show up. I’ve been seeing the osprey carrying sticks and mats of Spanish moss as they build their platforms and prepare once again this season for young. I’m hoping to soon see owlets and perhaps get on a field trip to boat about and view shorebird nestlings from a safe distance. It’s the time of year for young and it’s a great time to be out in nature.
From bumbling fawns following their mothers to quadruplets of armadillos trailing behind their parent, spring equals baby critters. I’ve been seeing nesting purple martins and now mockingbirds are dive bombing the dingo and I as we stroll the neighborhood. The flock of ducks I’ve been seeing on a nearby pond might even surprise me with ducklings if I’m lucky.
Before it gets too hot, take time to get outside and remember why this place we live in is such a marvelous natural experience. From the breezy lakefronts where you can sit with a cool drink and watch the waves to shaded nature trails with surprises around every bend, this community offers a lot of great outdoor experiences. Enjoy the dark night skies as the planets boldly shine after dark or sit near a pasture and watch the golden hues of sunset. We are so blessed to be in Florida where the weather is nearly always amazing. Don’t forget to enjoy it before the humidity climbs and chases you back inside.