Essay — Listening to the Flowers

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Image source: HL Carpenter

Image source: HL Carpenter

Hot, cold, rainy, sunny—what will it be today?

Last week, Carpenter Country ushered in spring highs of eighty degrees. Pansies, delphiniums and azaleas bloomed beside a hibiscus. This week icicles festooned our fountain and temps dropped into the twenties.

And while Florida shivered, relatives across the pond said their weather was spring-like.

Today’s erratic weather patterns are called global warming and climate change. Yet historical records show extreme swings in temperature are nothing new. Fifty years ago, before a series of deep freezes, orange groves blanketed North Florida, legacy of the citrus first brought to the state by Spanish conquistadors five centuries ago.

Image source: HL Carpenter

Image source: HL Carpenter

Which makes me wonder what the early residents of St. Augustine and Jacksonville thought of the ups and downs of temperature. Probably they pulled on their woolies, kept their bathing suits close at hand, and hoped for the best.

So I’m going to ignore the icicles and listen to the flowers.

They may be shivering, but they already have a jump on the next heat wave.

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