The Start of Fall in North Florida
by James Glaser
October 4, 2012
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It is going to snow tonight in Northern Minnesota where I lived before moving to North Florida. That first snow could panic you, because it might be a foot or more and if you hadn't picked up your yard, things would be buried until spring.

Here in North Florida, it cools down a bit in the fall and becomes very nice.

I just planted beans and will be planting lettuce soon. I never even thought of planting in the fall before moving here. All we could do up North was plan for the spring and look at seed catalogs. Last fall I planted winter tomatoes. I didn't even know there were winter tomatoes. They really didn't get all that big, but they sure tasted swell.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outside having a glass of tea, and was watching the birds coming to the feeder. If I sat still they would come in, but as soon as I moved a bit they would fly off. I started listening to the sounds in the yard. It sounded like popcorn popping as my studio has a metal roof and the studio is surrounded with tall oak trees, and the acorns are falling fast.

Fall in Minnesota is filled with color for a couple of weeks as the leaves change and fall. Here, the leaves on many trees stay on all winter, and if they do fall, they look like strangers to me as I walk through them. None of the leaves down here are shaped like those I grew up with.

Fall down here means more rain, but Florida rain is different, too. Down here I can walk in the rain, and it actually feels nice. Up North, the rain is cold and as you walk you hunch your neck and if you are out long, you start to shiver. Here, I can take a good soaking and feel refreshed.

Yes, there are parts of fall in the North I will miss. Duck hunting season where the mornings are frosty and the afternoons are sunny and warm are wonderful, but that lasts only a short while and soon the frost turns to ice and the afternoons are almost as cold as the morning.

Here is North Florida; fall can last for months, maybe into January if you are lucky. Actually it is hard to tell fall from winter down here some years. Some years, winter only lasts a few weeks, and then you have several months of spring, which is hard to discern from fall.

So, here I am in another North Florida fall thinking this is the best time of year, which I also think of in North Florida's winter and spring. I am sitting here contemplating months and months of nice weather, could be as many as eight nice months in a row. That is pretty amazing, and I feel blessed.

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