At this time of the year, we enjoy seeing photos of beautiful Fall foliage “up North” or “out West.” Winter, cold and snowy, cannot be far behind in such places, and may arrive even earlier than expected. Pictures from last month’s snow storms in both Colorado and New England are cases in point.

How dramatically the seasons can change! The seasons do change in Florida, but more subtlety and are discerned better perhaps by local eyes than by tourists or part-time residents. What marks the arrival of Central Florida’s Fall?

The temperatures start to cool down a bit, high in the 70s, lows in the 50s this month, although October was above average this year.

The wet, tropical summer pattern is being replaced by our “dry season” which lasts until late Winter. (In honor of this change, residents can water lawns only once per week now, instead of twice per week.)

The ocean is getting colder and Northeast winds can make that morning or evening stroll on the beach seem a lot less inviting.
We still track hurricanes in October and November, but the peak of hurricane season is traditionally in the months of August and September. (As I write this, however, Hurricane Ida is “out there” and may produce some wet weather next week.)

Fall migration brings not only birds in their non-breeding plumage to Central Florida but also birders – ecotourists! The State’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has established a program called the Great Florida Birding Trail, with 489 sites in Florida, 135 of which are in the Eastern section where I live. I hope to visit several of these over the next several months!

But what about Florida’s Fall Foliage? I have been noticing some changes. My lawn is browner as it slips into dormancy. Have a nice sleep, grass plants and summer weeds! See you next Spring!

Some grass finds itself harvested and rolled up in hay bales.

Fall blooming flowers add color to the landscape. For example, I see yellow flowers and red or yellow leaves on shrubs and trees where I did not see them before. A quick perusal of the Internet shows that many plants, both native and horticultural, add splashes of color to the Fall landscape here.

But the true measure of Fall anywhere may be the decreasing hours of sunlight each day. After all, changes in the amount and intensity of sunlight are what drive seasons in both hemispheres. This is compounded by the fact that daylight savings time ended here on November 1, and night falls much “earlier.”

No worries! Fall festivals abound, the night will soon be lit up by cheery December decorations, and I need to practice my night photography anyway.

Hope to get some fun shots at the Volusia County Fair this week– the animals, the fall produce, and, of course, the gaudy midway lights after dark.

Stay tuned. Lyn

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