Saturday, December 19, 2009

Frightful Weather

One gets no sympathy when one complains about a cold front sweeping the Keys. These nasty weather "events" as meteorologists describe them sweep down from Canada on a predictable path and their severity across Florida can be anticipated by the damage they cause Up North. This one is reportedly setting records for snowfall in places not usually snowed under so for me to announce that I tremble at the thought of night time lows below 60 degrees (15C) does not, as it were, cut much ice with the parka crowd in the Great Snow Swept Suburbs.The fact remains I Do Not Like It, any more than the cyclist appeared not to. Yesterday I had to go into town briefly and leave the snug comfort of my home and while there I was caught by the approaching front. Rain squall followed rain squall and when I passed the ridiculous remains of a Fantasy Fest float in new Town the germ of an essay was born. WLRN-FM, Miami NPR (91.5 in thje Lower Keys) has been reporting a foot of rain fell Thursday night across south Florida and there were all sorts of thunderstorm, flooding and tornado watches in effect everywhere. Which all sounds rather dire by local standards but things will change soon enough.Anxious visitors monitor their weather information prior to arrival as though worrying about the weather will somehow secretly change it. I've heard a great deal of miraculous powers attributed to prayer but bending the weather gods to one's will is never one of them.The good news is that this stuff rarely lasts very long and indeed I write these words in the throes of rain and wind and black skies and thunder and all the rest of the drama, but by the time you read them the sun will be out, it will be cold (freezing cold if you count 70 degrees (21C) as zero, as many people do in the Keys) and the day will be bright and clear. The rain is thus nothing but a temporary impediment to enjoying the great outdoors.
Of course motorcycles were nowhere to be seen. Before the advent of Cheyenne (and my shingles, curse the pustules) I would have taken the Bonneville as rain is not a real impediment and hypothermia is not at all likely for the properly dressed rider. However even the moderately adverse weather kept all but the most desperate scooter riders of the road which made this bumper sticker smack slightly, and temporarily, of irony:
I stopped at the bank, dressed in my polo shirt and shorts and pondered the requirement for some people to drag out their jackets and rain gear at the first sign of weather. Lots of people love the cold and the promise of a front sends them cheering to their closets to pull out parks and furry boots and gloves and woolly hats. A modest rain jacket and sandals seems much the best compromise to me.With the south wind blowing I hoped for some wave action drama but instead I found a bunch of kite surfers doing their thing along the waterfront. This guy was tacking in the middle of the spume:
They were zipping along... ... fast enough that some drivers parked and braved the winds to watch:
The reef was doing it's job and keeping the waters flat even as twenty mile an hour winds blew steadily out of the south with gusts to thirty. The pink blob in the background is Key West By The Sea apartments:
My photographer's assistant was feeling cooped up and she knew this was her chance for a walk so she wanted me to take it and was looking longingly over at the greenery of the Bridle Path, inland from South Roosevelt Boulevard:Where the winds could be seen explaining where palm trees got their name. They are supposed to represent a human palm with fingers extended as you can see (?):
Roll on the sunshine as far as I am concerned...
...and I'll root around for some cold weather clothing if my wife forces me out of the house. I'm just glad I'm not facing snowdrifts in the driveway.