Monday, March 29, 2010

Miami Grey-Out

This was the view from my window this morning—

Normally, I see the bay, buildings, foliage, boats. Today, all was awash in a downpour so intense that the view was completely obliterated. During the five previous winters and springs I've spent in Miami, I've never seen anything like it. Last year, it rained barely half an inch in five months.

This year, nothing has been normal about Florida weather. Like much of the country, conditions have been bizarre. The cold "snap" that began here in early January wound up sticking around until mid-March. Warm tropical air started to seem like a figment of my imagination. I'm not complaining, exactly. Most of the winter felt like fall in New England—crisp, cool, and sunny. But the unusual temperatures have taken a toll on the local flora.

Most of the tropical plants that thrive in South Florida can withstand one or two nights in the thirties, but night after night proved simply too much for many. Palm fronds turned brown, then fell off. Sea grape trees shed their big round leaves. Bougainvillea lost all their riotous color. Hopefully, most of the damaged vegetation has merely suffered stress and will make a comeback. But at the moment, the sad-looking foliage serves as a reminder, if we need one, of the fragility of our environment.

Today's weather wasn't especially cold, just stormy, with a tornado warning thrown in to make things interesting. Not quite what the Florida tourist industry wants you to hear. But as I write this, the sky has cleared and the sun has come out. I think I'll take Cosmo for a walk and soak up a little vitamin D.


  1. I love the photo of the dew drops on your window.

  2. Yesterday we had torrential rain, wind with gusts to 60mph, thunder, lightning, hailstones the size of marbles, and this all topped off with occasional bursts of sunshine. My gosh, you'd think it was March. But I must admit our weather has been more radical than usual. bonnie