There is a bit of cold in Florida in January and February. Usually (but not always). More so in the northern part of the state than elsewhere. But there is rarely snow, almost never ice, and fall is less than impressive.
I’ve lined in Minnesota and Wisconsin most of my life. When I moved to Florida the first time, in August of 2001, the first thing I missed was fall. And the first thing I did after nailing down a job was drive all the way back to River Falls, WI, to see friends and enjoy the changing colors. It had been only two months, but I missed them! I couldn’t have chosen a better week if I’d tried. The trees were in full fall foliage, the sun was warm and golden, and I enjoyed every minute of it the four days I was there.
This is what fall is like in central Florida.
A few red and yellow leaves drift to the ground one or two at a time. Temps fall into the high 60s at night. You don’t need a long-sleeved shirt or jeans yet. This doesn’t have the same impact as fall up north. There is still plenty of green and will be through winter–not that I’m complaining about that. It’s one of the reasons I moved here.
I’ve lived in Florida eight years this second time here, and I still miss fall. Other than my friends, and the bluffs along the Mississippi, it’s pretty much the only thing I miss. Winter? Hell, no. After about fifty years of driving in white-outs, knuckles white on the steering wheel, slipping and sliding on ice and hoping I didn’t break anything when I fell, and shoveling tons of snow until my back was killing me and my toes and fingers were numb, nope! Do not and never will miss. Spring in the north is muddy and cold. Summer isn’t much better, and insects–mostly mosquitos and deer flies–make it worse.
But fall is a wonder. It’s warm days with deep blue skies and chilly nights that make you glad you have fleece jackets and warm sweaters. It’s sitting in front of a snapping fire, inside or out, with a glass of wine or a mug of tea. It’s seeing the deer run and birds fly south. It’s listening to music on the iPod while I explore the backroads on my scooter for miles and miles, hour after hour, bundled up and glorying in the season. Gawd, I loved fall in western Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. Loved it. Miss it still and probably always will. I ache to see it again.
It’s too late to contemplate a trip north right now. The leaves will have turned and may already be blowing off the trees. It might even snow on Halloween; it has many times.
But I might go back next year. I just might.