I think it is safe to say that by this time of year most of us Floridians are ready to let summer go. Cooler days and nights are almost within reach and the change of season for me is always anticipated.
Saying goodbye to summer though is somewhat bittersweet. A season has past and with it are all those things that make summer in Florida unique. It seems like only yesterday that I feasted on locally grown watermelon. Blanket Flowers and Black Eyed Susan’s grew outside my kitchen window, while bees and butterflies fed from my now deceased zinnias. The days of growing and standing guard over my sad little vegetable garden will soon be just a distant memory. So will those afternoon storm clouds were thunder can be heard both near and far that turn conversation to the weather. Did you all get hit with that storm? What storm? We never got a drop, dry as a bone. Well we got hammered, must of got at least three inches. Sound familiar!
While the cooling afternoon thundershowers disappear so in turn do the Hummingbirds. My once active nectar feeder sits idle, offering a sip of sugar water to one lone female who will soon be migrating as well. The Blue Grossbeaks have gone and soon the piercing call of the Great Crested Flycatcher will be silenced as they head south for the winter. It won’t be long before I will be unable to distinguish the juvenile Cardinals from the adults. As they mature their mottled plumage and black beaks will disappear. As the warm weather of summer wanes so will my visits to our beautiful springs where friends and I gather regularly, the cool crystal water an inviting relief from the heat and humidity.
As summer ushers in the autumn equinox, it brings to mind a certain wildflower that grows in this neck of the woods. It is called the Summer Farewell and like this flower we can say goodbye to all the things we enjoy during our Florida summers.
FYI: The Great Crested Flycatcher is a cavity nester known to use shed snakeskin or other kinds of crinkly material to line their nests. They will nest in birdhouses. Known as a treetop hunter they spend little time on the ground, they don’t walk or hop.