Blissful days and balmy nights end as temperatures dip reminding us that elsewhere in the country bigger changes are taking place.  Changes are subtle here, but to the seasoned Floridian, the ultimate Southerner, they are obvious.  Here are the top ten ways we know it is Fall in Florida!    

The streets fill with snowbirds.

We know it is fall in Florida when the colors start changing on license plates!  Traffic is heavier than ever and there is no place to park at the grocery store!

The humidity drops!

When we head out the door to grab the Tampa Tribune we don’t break a sweat.  The temperature is still in the 80’s but the air is dry and we are thinking, FALL! 

We go to farmer’s markets and U-Pick farms while planting winter gardens.

We buy up hay and old cornstalks for our porches; grab fresh tomatoes, and avocados for guacamole.  We watch in anticipation as the Parkesdale Family Farm plants strawberries, hoping for the few winter days needed to turn them sweet. Early season Red’s, Hamlin’s, and Parson’s oranges are ready to eat and we buy broccoli, carrots, onions to plant in our gardens. We go to Pumpkin Patches, take Hayrides, and get lost in Corn Mazes! 

We stop watching to see what the coast of Africa has spawned.

Hurricane season is nearly over, we think about hurricanes rarely now as we prepare to donate our supply of emergency canned goods to Metropolitan Ministries for their annual holiday giving tent. 

We battle mosquitoes to sit outside, watch football and light fires.

Photo credit: Emily Rachel Poisel / Foter / CC BY

Hoping the smoke will shoo them away we light fires in our backyards and listen to crackle of burning wood as we cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning outside, swatters in hand!

We tease our northern friends socked in by weather with photos.

We are sending selfies wearing T-shirts and shorts from rooftop or outside bars like The Patio, to friends who haven’t seen the sun in days.

The A/C is off and car windows are down!

We hear music coming from other cars and hear the tick-tick-tick of something clicking on our cars.  Our auto mechanics are busier than ever checking out that ‘noise’ we did not know was there over the sound of A/C!

We hear lawnmowers occasionally and leaf blowers more often.

Photo credit: Dean Hochman / Foter / CC BY

The rains slow; grass stops growing while oak leaves and pine needles fall. We hear blown leaves skitter across asphalt as we drive down avenues covered with leaves blown into the street.

We get sick!

We are used to the germs we pass around to one another, but not those northern ones that blow in on a ‘cool’ front or come in on a snowbird! We don’t have antibodies for the ‘new stuff’ and pack into waiting rooms in offices and clinics across town hoping we aren’t stuck too long because, “It’s nice outside!”

We break out boots, sweaters and jackets.

Just like our northern friends we have a fall wardrobe. Anxious to wear these clothes we are often found perspiring underneath them on beaches and in parks, but hey, it’s all good, it’s Fall in paradise!

What would you add to the top ten ways we know it is fall in Florida?