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 stay 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.
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.
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. 🙂
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?
For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook: I finished 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, another recommendation. Started it last night and like it already. 🙂
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. 🙂 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!