Groundhog day this morning- you know that weird tradition in Pennsylvania where everyone waits for this groundhog to come out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, he scurries back inside, predicting 6 more weeks of winter, but if he’s decided hibernation time is over, he hangs out with the camera crew and sips cafe lattes and they all wait for the daffodils to bloom. Okay, so it’s not quite like that, but if anyone has ever seen that Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell, you know what that day is all about (over and over and over and over).
Punxsutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter
Well, Punxsutawney Phil, that Pennsylvania groundhog, saw his shadow and scurried back to bed early this morning, signaling 6 more weeks of winter. Guess what? That is fine by us! Florida totally rocks winter!
Why Florida Rocks Winter
The truth of the matter is, that while the rest of the nation battles snow storms-( they’ve even named them this year, like hurricanes, and last I heard they were on the letter ‘J’), the residents and semi-residents of Florida are experiencing the best time ever. Now is the time to be in Florida!
- Perfect weather. Sure it gets cold – like 44F in the morning, but by 1 pm it’s a beautiful 75. By 4 it’s 77. Not too cold and not too hot. It’s like Goldilocks getting it right.
- No bugs. Along with this nice weather comes a plethora of bonuses, like lack of bugs. It’s too cold for mosquitoes. Woohoo. That means we can stash that lemony-basil insect repellent until it gets warmer.
- Perfect hiking weather. Cooler temperatures means perfect hiking weather. You see, Florida tends to get unbearably hot during the summer- you can stand still and sweat. This cool weather is great for getting outside and exploring.
- Perfect paddling weather. Okay, so we may not want to go swimming- but then again, we may, but now is the perfect time to hit the paddle trails. Not too hot. Not too cold!
- We can go swimming! Sorry, not meaning to rub it in, but Florida’s natural springs push out millions of gallons of water daily usually at a 72F temperature. That means warm water- even when it’s cold out! Gotta love it!
- Manatees. This cooler weather brings all of those slow moving sea-cows in droves to the natural springs. Now is the perfect time to catch a glimpse (or a dozen) of this endangered Florida species.
- We see birds- lots of birds. If Ornithology is your thing, get thee to Florida in the winter. Birds from all of those snowy regions chose this peninsula as their winter vacation destination. Just today I’ve seen cardinals, sparrows, robins, some little green fluffy guys and a whole lot of others which I have no idea what they are. Don’t worry, they’ll get fed. The bushes in Florida are loaded with berries, providing an ample buffet for our northern guests.
- Slow moving reptiles. Ah- I knew there was a good reason I liked this cooler weather. Our cold-blooded critters, like snakes and gators, have blood that matches the air temperature, so they tend to be slow moving, even lethargic during the cooler weather. Suddenly walking the gator gauntlet on La Chua Trail is not so scary. And paddling down the rivers, there is less likely to be gator activity ( good for those gator-phobics like me!) However, you might find these cold-blooded critters sunbathing on your trail as well!
How are you going to enjoy these next 6 weeks of winter?
If you haven’t already seen this comedy, check it out: Groundhog Day (Special 15th Anniversary Edition)
Eager to hit the trails? Here are some reading suggestions to get you started:
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