September Blues

September has always felt like the Florida year’s longest month to me. For the love of God, haven’t we suffered enough? I mean, the heat wave started in April. And now it’s the ninth month and in our hearts we know we might not experience a cool breeze until November, and we’re crazed, as crazed as can be.  Where I live in West Florida we were gulping Gatorade until December last year. Don’t worry. I didn’t hurt anyone.

Still, the signs of the coming fall, even in humid September, are unmistakable. During my bike rides in St. Petersburg I start to see migrating bald eagles and other birds of prey soaring above my city or perched on the tops of pines.  I see thrushes chowing down on the fruits of Beautyberry shrubs on street corners. Songbirds on the way south, including warblers and even the occasional rose-breasted grosbeak, sometimes stop at a favorite place of mine, Fort DeSoto Park, for chow and rest. Watch for folks toting binoculars. On the beach, you might see sanderlings, black-bellied plovers and least sandpipers, just back from raising families in the frozen north. But prepare to sweat off the mosquito repellent you applied only an hour ago. A Florida September is not a Gershwin tune. It’s the blues.

One more thing makes the month drag on for men (groused the cantankerous old bastard!). It’s the tropics, which also stay hot in September. Northern friends and relatives are wearing flannel shirts, drinking apple cider and watching their pumpkins get bigger. Me, I’m wondering if I might have to put up shutters one more time.

I love Florida as all of you know. But do you mind if I dream of a slightly cooler future?


  1. I start the countdown to cooler weather on August 15, 60 days. College Football is starting, that is a surer sign of cooler. We are now 45 days out and the expiration dates on food are showing October dates, more signs of cooler from the grocery store.

  2. Lovie’s Grandmother Dolly came to Hollywood in 1937. She had a saying about the Florida weather.
    “Honey, if you can live through June, suffer through July and survive through August you’ve got it made. ” Dolly passed on in 1974. I’m sure her saying would now include some extended months. As my Mom used to say..”It’s hotter than the hinges of Hades.
    I have noted the change of light as the sun slips South and that mysterious hint of Florida fall air I. The mornings…early, like 7AM.
    Enjoy your return to the mountains. We’ll keep it warm for you on the home front.

  3. I love how you read my mind, Jeff. Misery loves company.

  4. Kimball Love

    Totally agree, Jeff. I think what makes it so painful is that we all long so for October. My fervent prayer is to see no love bugs in December like last year. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I have to admit that freaked me out a bit. Enjoying your blog.

  5. Nancy Randall

    Love this story! Seeing my relatives in Ohio wearing their hoodie sweatshirts & building bonfires is almost more than this old Florida girl can stand.

    • Yes, my Yankee relatives drive me nuts. Of course, we’ll have our revenge in February.

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