Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Liquid Sunshine

Well, if it's not one thing, it's another.

We've been having a whole lotta brush fires this year. They would be forest fires anywhere else, it's just that from Central Florida southward, what we have can't really be called forests. Just sad lookin' pine trees and palmettos. Until this past week we were eight inches of rain below what we should have received by this time of year.

But lately we've been getting a decent amount of rain and it just seems weird. Florida usually gets plenty of rain despite it's nickname. May through September, you usetacould count on a rain shower almost every afternoon. (Usetacould is a time honored southern phrase) But for the past eight years or so, it has been way too dry.

So now that the rain is kicking up a bit, things are getting nice and green like the old days and though things have been trying to bloom despite the dryness, it's getting really tropical here again. Grass growing extra fast. Trees and brush getting dark green instead of that sickly weak green from too little water.

Today is giving us storms and rainage from Alberto, the year's first tropical storm. It was one of those mornings that has everyone driving with their wipers going light speed and hunched over their steering wheels hoping for that extra smidgen of visibility.

All the retention ponds are filling up and making the landscaping look alive instead of dry and pathetic.

This morning I got up and sat outside before daylight on the back patio for a while and watched the distant lightning of the approaching storms. The breeze was really warm and wet. It was a really nice change from what we've been having lately.

Florida usually smells SO good. It's pretty much impossible to describe a smell in writing unless I happen to pick the perfect analogy for you to understand, but Florida in summer should smell like a mixture of pine forest, flowers, and a touch of salty air. But we've found out with all the years of drought, that this smell is totally dependent on having enough rain.

This morning, while sitting outside, that smell was in the air. Just two weeks of occasional rains and the real Florida is beginning to reappear to the eyes and the nose. It hits me every time I walk outside, at work or at home, and it's really nice. Like when someone walks by with pleasant perfume or cologne on, it's a nice little mental lift.

Here's to ya, rain. What took you so long?

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