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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

20120-10-03 Surprise, Surprise!

I should be posting the garden clean-up in the North but instead I am looking around Florida in October due to a family emergency.  This is a brand new experience for us, having never been here at this time of year.  July, yes, twice.  Winter, of course.  But October here is strange to us.

As we drove the second day down I-95 from St. Augustine we noticed the clouds and sun mix.  One minute  you were in bright sun and the next it was raining.  Because of this, we also noticed rainbows...double, bright, and complete over the Indian River once we left the expressway.
Hard to photograph from a moving car
I went to the grocery store the next day and was amused by people shopping in shorts and sleeveless tops, right around the Halloween displays.  It will take some getting used to, for sure.


One of our neighbors

I had packed summer-weight slacks and tops but I also packed a sweater and light jacket.  So far the temps have been 88 to 90 degrees each day.  At the last minute I grabbed a swim suit and am I glad!  Swimming has been excellent.  Most of the winter I just look at the pool until late April or early May.  Even "He" is getting in the pool!
Lush greenery...no birds
The first few hours in Florida I noticed the lack of birds and it seems even more remarkable in our own area.  In winter we sit by the lake and spend the sunsets watching all the wonderful big birds.  I even have a great bird "app" on my Kindle for identifying the birds and their calls.  Not going to use it this trip.  Maybe a Mockingbird or two, but that is about it.

However, there ARE plenty of active alligators.  In winter we don't see them until the water and air warm up a lot.  One big fella came opposite us last night and looked us over...sizing us up, as it were.  We were in the screen house and he was just off the seawall.  The lake water is so high from the very rainy summer that he could get out of the lake at any of several places where seawalls have broken down, and banks where they can climb out and sun themselves.

We were in the screen house with the mistaken idea that it would protect us from the "No-See-Ums".  I will be wearing socks from now on.  You can't even SEE these little biting bugs and they come right through screens.  The welts and itching last for quite a while, too.

 There are a lot of dragon flies, big ones, but I haven't been able to get a good photo of one yet.
I never saw the bloom of the star fruit before.  This will be next year's crop.
I think the star fruit will be ready to take home when we go.

Only a scattering of Jasmine blooms.
Plumbago is in bloom all over the place.

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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