Florida Winter Color

I distinctly remember how blah is it up north this time of year. Everything is shades of black and white. There is nothing very interesting to rest one’s eyes on in winter unless you stare into the sun, and we all know that’s bad.

I do have a few good photos I’ve taken in winter, and I remember freezing my ass off getting them, it was so cold outside. Unfortunately, the pattern was set early on: the camera got put away in fall and generally not taken out again until spring.

This has not been true in Florida.

There is color here. First of all, the woods and grass stayย green. I remember how starved I was by April to see green when I lived in MN/WI. But there’s more!

I recently posted a pic of an orange vine. Sunsets and sunrises continue to be beautiful. And there is the Hong Kong Orchid tree. R has one in his backyard. It is amazing! The flowers are huge, beautiful beyond belief, and they smell wonderful. Yes, it’s a tree, and it grows quite large. Currently, it is about twenty-five feet tall. When R bought the place three years ago, it was tiny, hardly anything at all. These blooms are larger than most people’s hands.ย Hong Kong Orchid Tree 12.13.14 sm

Next is the bougainvillea. It can grow up to thirty feet. The one at the side of R’s house is about twenty feet tall right now and currently covered in red leaves. Because yes, these are leaves, not flowers. The flowers are the little white things. I’ve seen them in every shade from this vivid red to bright purple. They seem to thrive here.ย Bougeanvilla 12.13.14 sm

I can’t tell you how nice it is to see color everywhere here in January. I’m looking forward to the next several years, going through the seasons, watching how things change… or don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even though I am only five miles from R, and we have many of the same plants, bushes, and trees, some of his will take a hit when we get those occasional chilly nights in the forties. Last year, during the polar vortex, he got down to 38, and some of his plants suffered. He has tons of them in the lanai, as you know from pictures I’ve posted in the past. The ones under the overhang are fine. Those on the edge, between overhang and pool, took a hit from the cold. The ones fully outside around the pool suffered badly.

According to him, my area stays a few degrees warmer, and so my plants are unlikely to be damaged during a cold night or three. So far this season, the coldest I’ve gotten is around forty-six. My plants are fine, but R’s pathos, between overhang and house, lost color and drooped. The ones on the bar, next to the house and only five feet away, are fine. Weird, huh?

One last photo for fun. Saw these juvenile ibis standing on a phone wire across the street. ๐Ÿ™‚ย Baby Ibis on wire 12.16.14 sm

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook: I finishedย The Martian. What an incredible book! Very well written in a humorous, accessible style with a plot that propels you forward at g force twelve, I highly recommend it. I laughed out loud several times and am not ashamed to admit, I also teared up in a couple areas. I read the last dozen pages through a film, I was feeling so emotional about things.

I am now reading Ready Player One,ย another recommendation. Started it last night and like it already. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday, I had no editing to do for the first time in weeks. Today looks good so far too, so I plan to read a little, then dive back into writing. I had to restructure the last scene because I realized it was going in the wrong direction. That wasted a few hours of research and trashed a few hundred words, but I’m back on track now. The book is half-finished. I was hoping to be further along, but hey, the holidays! And I’ve been an editing fool the last three months. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s getting there, and meanwhile, I’m always pondering the next book, which has already undergone some character changes. I’ve written the first chapter on that one, and I’ll have to go back and restructure that, too. Sometimes stories have to percolate a bit to reach their proper stage of “doneness.”

Have a great weekend!





About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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18 Responses to Florida Winter Color

  1. Jaycee Edward says:

    Starved for green. Yep. Perfectly stated. Just that one color. I sometimes go to the Cleveland Zoo to visit the Rainforest this time of year, just to see and smell ‘green.’ And don’t tell me green doesn’t have a smell, because if you live in the north in winter, you miss the smell of green. As soon as you walk through the doors, you smell it, the musty, mossy greenness – and you hear the roar and trickle of the waterfall. It’s instant oasis. I love to just stand there and soak it in. Glad you’re enjoying the other book. My friend freaked when she learned “an editor” would be reading her rec. Heh. You’re so intimidating at first. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, an love the bird pic. It made me laugh but I’m not sure why. Just kind of whimsical.

    • Last night I wondered if Florida had conservatories, and then I figured they didn’t ’cause why? We’re surrounded by tropical all year long. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve found one error so far and I’m 10% in. No biggie. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m enjoying the book. It’s clever and well written. Tell your friend thanks!

  2. Helena Stone says:

    I read Ready Player One a few years ago and loved it, if only for all the references to older games, movies and other cultural phenomena. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
    the photos, as always, are gorgeous. Like you, I miss the green during winter even if our winter is less long and far less cold than the ones you had to endure up north.

    Enjoy your time off and don’t forget to relax while you can.

  3. Allison says:

    I love this line, “…unless you stare into the sun, and we all know thatโ€™s bad.” Just made me crack up. The picture of the orchid is amazing but I love all the green behind the birds, it looks incredibly tropical.

    I am going to research to see if Philly has an Arboretum or something along those lines, I feel the need for a riot of plants now.

    • I miss the St Paul Conservatory at Como Park Zoo. Loved that place. The green smell hit you the instant you walked in, and the high humidity in most areas was welcome because outside, the dewpoint was in negative numbers and your skin was dry and cracked from months of that. I swear I felt my flash soaking in all the water in the air when I went there. There were plenty of places to sit and people-watch or read or do nothing, too. Hope you find somewhere to go!

      • Jaycee Edward says:

        See? Green smell. And, YES – humidity! Hate it in the summer, but that’s another part of the Rainforest that’s so wonderful when you walk in in the winter! And you hear the birds and the monkeys. It’s sooo cool.

        • It is! I never wanted to leave when I visited the one in St Paul. So hard to go back out into the cold day, snow everywhere, ice on steps and roads. Meh.

          But now I live in Florida, and I live in a conservatory. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Yvonne says:

    Wonderful colours! And sunshine! I’ve already forgotten what summer looks like;-)

    • You must live where it gets cold then. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yvonne says:

        Not cold; just grey,wet and miserable.

      • Yvonne says:

        I remember your posts from when you were living up north, so glad the move to Florida worked out for you. And you can brighten up our grey days with wonderful pics.

        • I spent half the year depressed when I lived in MN. Ugh. I never miss it in winter. I will miss the beautiful landscape there, though. And the lakes and streams and rivers. And the bluffs along the rivers. It’s definitely one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen, but that damn winter…! Just can’t take it anymore.

      • Yvonne says:

        I live in western Norway in a city that often markets itself as ‘the city with the highest precipitation of western Europe’. As MN it’s a beautiful place but the horrid weather really gets to me.

        • I decided I was willing to give up the northern beauty for eternal summer, which has always been my favorite season. Everything is a trade-off. You have to decide what’s most important and make peace with not being able to have it all.

          I figure, if I miss it enough, I’ll go up for a visit. In summer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Yvonne says:

        I downloaded a sample of The Martian by the way and was already chuckling 2 minutes in, so no doubt it will end up on my Kindle soon. ‘Night.

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