It is the end of perhaps the most harsh February that I have had the displeasure to experience in recent memory. The worst was the winter of 1996 where nearly 120 inches of snow dropped in the Danbury, CT, region. But this winter is right up there with relentless blizzards coming one after another. Now that shouldn’t mean much for me as I am supposedly staying warm in the Florida Keys to swaying palm trees and vacationers lubricated with beer and pina coladas.
That has been far from the truth as we came to the tropics but the tropics never came to us. The excessively bizarre weather from the Northeast has migrated with us dropping average temperatures: the typical lows of the mid 60s are higher then the typical highs that we have had during our month down here.
And with the lovely 20-knot-plus Northern winds pushing up the whitecaps on Florida Bay, it has not been the weather to snorkel, swim, kayak, fish or do anything on the water save look for the occasional lovely sunset, which we have had all too few because of overcast skies. As is obvious, our expectations have been chilled by the weather. We are content to be in a nicer climate but strangely are only slightly warmer than we would be in the North.
Back home, I would be tending the stove throwing on another log between treks outside to shovel snow off the driveway and my greenhouse. The house would be toasty warm with my wife telling me to damp down the stove. I would be baking bread and cooking a vat of chili. In our cottage here, however, the portable heaters strain to keep our dwelling warm as the fast and relentless winds suck the heat out through all of the drafty jalacy windows that comprise the majority of area on three of the four cinderblock walls. My wife spends evenings bundled up in a cocoon of Polartec blankets while wearing most of the winter cloths she brought. None of the bathing suits, sleeveless shirts or other warm-weather fare have seen the light as they are sequestered at the bottom of a dresser drawer.
And as I mentioned in the last post, there isn’t much diversity in the plants. They are green. They are big. They tend to grow fast. Because of the cold, most of the flowers have fallen off. I hate to say it but they are kind of boring.
We will be heading for home in the next week. I only hope we can bring some of the warmth with us so the snow will melt and the plants can grow. The North may be cold in the winter but at least you can count on it.