Coffee in My Garden – Insider’s Guide to Florida in Autumn

Squirrels in the leaves

Squirrels in the leaves

To the casual observer, Florida has two seasons – hot and hotter.

We have many transplants from other parts of the world and around this time of year most of them start to say things such as “I miss fall” – with the notable exception of those responsible for fall leaf cleanup. They don’t appear to miss it at all.

We have fall. It’s just not splashy. It’s subtle.

Florida Autumn Clue #1 – I did not have to wipe off my garden table this morning, nor have I had to for the past couple of weeks. In a state known for swamps and humidity, lack therof = we are transitioning from rainy season to dry season. Huzzah!

Florida Autumn Clue #2 – My naturally curly hair has lost its cavalier summer disregard of anything I might try to do to tame it and is meekly (more or less) submitting to acceptably smooth corporate styles.

Florida Autumn Clue #3 – It’s 73 degrees. Granted, it’s also 0700 and the forecast for today is a high of 87, but it’s not 90 degrees plus. Yes, we are all still wearing shorts, and yes, by most standards it is still hot, but it’s a different kind of hot. Autumn Hot is “Hey! Let’s go hiking/hit the golf course/walk in the park again” hot as opposed to Summer Hot “If it doesn’t involve a beach, a pool, or a frozen margarita, forget it – I am staying in my air-conditioned bunker” hot. The storm clouds still gather every afternoon, but what rain there is falls in smaller areas and for shorter duration and is less likely to be accompanied by lightning.

Florida Autumn Clue #4 – The sweet gum tree is dropping its leaves and the squirrels are burying their peanuts in them.

Florida Autumn Clue #5 – Summer tourists are gone and winter tourists (aka Snowbirds) have not yet arrived. This is the time of year the locals dare to venture into the theme parks. Better weather, shorter lines.

I love autumn everywhere we’ve lived, but I especially love it Florida style.