Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summers Over — NOT!

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Labor Day 2009

Here in the United States we celebrated Labor Day this past Monday and for most residents that day is the symbolic end of summer. The weather is starting to turn cooler, kids are going back to school this week or next and as I travel around the blogland, I see Fall headers appearing on some of my favorite blogs.

This is not the case here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, as well as most of the state. Our weather is still hot, maybe not quite as humid as it was, but still hot, hot, HOT! The kids already went back to school on August 19th, our palm trees don't change color, and it is not the end of summer for us.

Instead, we are looking forward to our perfect beach weather returning, the Gulf of Mexico cooling off from bathtub temperatures to something cool and refreshing, and being able to venture outdoors without dripping sweat in a matter of moments.

On Monday Kelli Malfronte of our local Bay News 9 staff, a transplanted New Yorker, ask a few Floridians, what marks the end of summer here?

Well Kelli, for me I know summer is ending when I can once again turn off the A/C that's been running 24/7 since May and can throw open the windows without fear of climbing into soggy sheets when I go to bed at night.

Others answered Kelli's question as October, more specifically — Halloween. By then the air is cooler and you actually have to wear shirts with sleeves, usually short sleeves, but the tank tops I live in are usually put away by Halloween.

Then there are those who answered Thanksgiving marks the end of summer in Florida. Steve, who has lived here since the late 70s, says, "That is when the weather starts to mirror what the weather is like at the beginning of September for the northerners."

The most telling answers Kelli reported were, "…when the snow birds start to arrive, when the first cold front comes through, when the days are noticeably shorten and when hurricane season ends."

Yep, those snow birds arrive in droves to enjoy our almost year-round summer and when hurricane season officially ends on November 30th, we all breathe a little easier that we don't have to pay attention to what is going on in the Atlantic for a while.

So, while many of you were celebrating Labor Day as the end of summer, I was just celebrating another day at the beach. I left home just before dawn and headed down to Indian Rocks Beach, about ten minutes away. Of course, I had to snap a few photos to share with you before I settled in to relax and read a good book.

Moon In Clouds

See the moon just to the left of that large cloud mass? The moon was there one moment and gone the next. Sometimes you're looking in just the right place at the right time. You can click any of these photos for a larger version.

Great Blue Heron

Immature Laughing Gull

Note: This refers to his plumage, not his behavior.

Ruddy Turnstone
Sandpiper Family

Pelican In Flight

Beach Walkers

I call these folks beach walkers as opposed to beachcombers. See how straight their shoulders are? This is a dead giveaway! Beachcomber's shoulders are stooped from looking for shells and other treasures on the beach — I'm a beachcomber.

My Beach Chair

By 10:00 it was getting too hot and I headed back to The Hut and the A/C. I, for one, am looking forward to the end of summer, when I can spend all day on the beach again!

Hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day!

I've linked this post to Outdoor Wednesdays courtesy of Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer, Waterside Wednesdays thanks to Barbara @ The Book Blog and for the first time @ Watery Wednesday. Wednesdays are so fun and the links on all these blogs will lead you to fabulous photos from other participants!

36 Thoughtful Comments:

Grits414 said...

I love the beach also! Nice post!

Mumzie said...

Take me away to the beach! Love the moon clouds. Very nice pictures. Mumzie :)

Love Bears All Things said...

I enjoy the beach more in the Spring and Fall. I don't like the humidity of Summer. We've seen a break in it here and there but it isn't over by any means. It was very hot Friday and Saturday. Days are getting shorter.
Mama Bear

Marsha said...

How wonderful to live so near the beach and be able to relax, read and book and people watch. I love the beach walkers vs. beach combers...I'm a beach comber too ;)

I hope you can throw wide open those windows soon! I'll have snow and a furnace running by then.

Coffeedoff said...

Lovely set of photos!

Barbara Jacksier said...

I loved the bird photos. I've been collecting some for my website lately (but haven't posted them yet)).

You're so funny -- and so right-- about the beach walkers. Fun post!

Maya said...

I'm a beach walker + beachcomber! Regarding AC..., I definitely don't need that up here in New England. It's neat..., the best times are still ahead of you! I have to admit that I envy you just a little bit.

Riet said...

How wonderful to live at the beach and in Florida of all countries. Lovely pictures too. Have a nice day

cherry said...

love all the pictures very pretty
hugs, Cherry

Sunshinemeg said...

Great post. Good work hut! I love when the windows can finally be opened. For us here in Maryland that time is now! Highs in the mid 70's this week and cooler at night. It is great to get that fresh air again. Hope it cools off for you a bit soon. Enjoy the res of your week.

chandelier magic beach house said...

Thanks for stopping by - and for the great comment. Had to quickly come over here and I could see after the first paragraph I would be a follower.

So nice to meet you - I'll be back to read and catch up.

Marsha

Vicki ~ FL said...

Great post Rhonda, I totally agree with everything you mentioned. Being about 90 miles south of you it seems as if summer lasts a bit longer down here. I, too am a beachcomber....love collecting seashells and looking for sharks teeth!

Mary said...

Wonderful photos today, Rhonda. You make me want to be there and I hate the heat :-). I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Drawn to The Sea said...

The autumn blogs are a little surprising to me... summer lingers here as well, almost exactly as you describe (except a little way from the beach). Reminds me I need new screen doors.

Lovely day
Julia

Cindy said...

What a lovely beach! We don't have the ocean to enjoy anywhere close to us, but we have lots of beautiful lakes with some great beaches! Even with white sand! I really enjoyed my visit today! Hugs, Cindy S.

Tootsie said...

we went to Florida three years ago over Christmas...all the locals kept looking at us in our shorts and t's...and saying..."Canada?"
lol
I loved your comment about the air getting cooler...you are a hoot...and I am loving your blog! welcome to my blog reading list new friend! I do hope you will come by and visit me again soon!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Hey Rhonda! Lovely beachy shots -- guaranteed to make me mourn the passing of our northern summer even more!
I turned off the AC 2 weeks ago!
Cass

Pam said...

What a lovely post, I love your photos of the beach... thanks for stopping by.

OceanDreams said...

My weather was nice during Labor Day weekend as well, glad it was this way for you. I love your photos - you always capture the beach perfectly.

Thanks for your sweet comment about my race!

Lemondrop Marie said...

Lovely beach photos, I especially enjoyed your birds- immature ones and all.

eileeninmd said...

Beach scenes are always wonderful. Nice photos, I enjoyed them.

Tammie Lee said...

Your photos are absolutely beautiful. The colors and subjects thrill me.
Spirithelpers

J Bar said...

Lots of great summer shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pat said...

I enjoyed the pictures at the beach. Ahhh... I'd like to be there! Except I can't tolerate humidity. We're the snow birds you referenced, but we go to Arizona - the dry heat. LOL! I do miss the ocean, though. I love the warm sand between my toes. I'm not a swimmer though - in fact - I'm afraid of water. Will only walk in up to my knees, MAYBE up to my waist!

mbkatc230 said...

Beautiful beach shots Rhonda! I love the cloud photo, and the Great Blue Heron is just beautiful! Reminds me of a funny story I heard on KUT the other day - it seems a woman in Austin was all excited that she had one in her yard, stood there taking pictures of him for quite some time. It was only later that she realized most of her beautiful koi were missing from her pond! Hope you are having a great week. Kathy

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Rhonda
I'm late doing my blog rounds this week.. crazy busy..

Well You have quite a few of my loves this week.. The beach, clouds and of course ... the moon..

Lovely images... and well sort of jealous you have summer all year..but then again.. mine's just starting.. Have fun.. x Julie

James said...

Great photos!

Ebie said...

Hello, Rhonda, been catching up with my blog hops. And thanks for joining us in Watery Wednesday, it is a fun spot to cool off with our hot weather. You have beautiful beaches and these photos are a scenic beauty! Love the birds and the horizon. Can't believe, your before dawn, am still sleeping!
P.S. Remember Santa Monica Pier? Celebrated its Centennial last night 09-09-09 and we were there last night for the fun and fireworks!

Turquoise Diaries said...

Keep hanging on to summer... Kovely beach photos..

Roberta said...

I am a beachcomber too and a confessed wanna be snowbird! Lovely pics! Smart, lucky girl!

Debby said...

About ten of my friends and I spent Labor Day in Clearwater Beach. We rented a townhouse over there and had a blast! Summer won't be over in Florida until January! HA!

Renee Finberg said...

nice post.
i love your pics. i live in fla fla land too.
thanks for your comment.
xx

Jane said...

Great bird and water photos!

I have walked that beach more times than I can count...My boys attended IRCS, and during football training (2 a day) I would drop them off, have breakfast on the beach, beachcomb awhile, then pick them up...and do it all over again in the late afternoon. The rest of the year, I would follow a similar routine, but often went to Sand Key park or Clearwater for a change. What a great way to start the mornings!
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Fifi Flowers said...

GREAT photos! LOVE the last one!
You are sooooo funny... you left a FAB comment on my blog!!! LOL!

Light and Voices said...

Right now I would like to look for seashells, read a book or feel the sand in-between my toes. Beam me up Scotty. Ta Ta For Now.
Joyce M

Peg @ Bloomfield Farm said...

Enjoyed this cute post! You are very lucky to live near a beach. I only get to the beach once a year and I guess that makes it extra special.

I just scrolled down and found your list of blogs and I plan to check them out. Love your "why I'll never loose weight" category... blogging is beginning to increase my waistline too... all those great sounding recipes!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!

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