Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer In Key West

Most people who live year round in Key West enjoy summer and I dare say, empirically, that most of them might very well prefer summer to winter.

Essentially there are two seasons in Key West, cool and dry and hot and and humid. I'm speaking in broad terms and winter is what the Keys are renowned for, when snow drifts are making life miserable Up North and the sun is shining down here.

However the bit I find odd is how people run "home" to furnaces in Iowa and Kansas in the summer as though escaping summer temperatures in the nineties moderated by sea breezes is a smart idea when you end up on a blasted heath with temperatures well above 100. I have been in Kansas in summer and it's no picnic, I can tell you.

Key West by comparison is refreshed periodically by downpours which bring all the excitement of crashing thunder and cracks of wild lightning strong winds and cool temperatures at least for a while.

It's true that winter is the season of culture in town with plays, visiting literary figures (also escaping the vicissitudes of winter) and all sorts of performances that enliven the town. However for those that seek the serenity of summer winter is a time when the town pullulates with people.

Once upon a time Key West died a tourist death each summer and the town suffered scarcity. These days we get visitors in summer and it's a different kind of tourist that fills the coffers in the "slow season." This is the time of year families come to Key West when school's out and foreigners populate the sidewalks of Duval Street.

However you can still fire a cannon down some streets and not hit anybody which, I have to admit, is really nice. No lines in restaurants, easy car parking and lots of peace and quiet for my headless dog to snuffle the sidewalks.

The city looks nicer too. Check out this off street parking spot: no car! Of course it may not be in Kansas, it might just be at work across town.

The date palms are flowering and looking good.

Later in the year the dates will go red but they won't mature properly I am told that's because the Keys aren't hot enough and dry enough to replicate a proper desert environment.

Some heavy handed irony will close out this essay on the best season of the year in Key West.

If we got two inches of snow in summer that would be interesting. Even though snow flurries have been recorded in the Keys the idea of frost ice or settled snowflakes is absurd enough to merit the sign. One inch would have been enough.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

I agree you have it tough down there. It's been in the 90's here in Montana which is hot, but I've seen it snow many Julys. We have had a bad fire year. The grass is so dry that even driving across it can start a wild fire, although most are caused by lightning. We had one in Eastern Montana that was 18 miles long a couple of weeks ago, just like the wildfires of the dust bowl. The wildfire season won't stop until the first big snows of September, so we have another two months of holding our breath hoping for no more fires.

Welcome back! Enjoyed your vacation blog!

Bob from Livingston Montana

Conchscooter said...

I wish you well. I worry about those western fires, the evacuations, winter mud slides, it's all so unbalanced when we are in the middle of hurricane season.

Amaranth Joule said...

Thanks for the photos of Key West; is that a "for sale" sign on that house? And, is that your house? Would you consider renting it to an old coot with very low income but who needs- i say, needs!- to leave the valley of upstate new york for sea level: my sinuses are very irritable here! Never had a problem with sinus pain/congestion until i moved to the valley (been a new yorker all my life; time to leave the hills rather than head for'em. So, what do you say? Oh, yeah: Do they really spray pesticide there to kill the mosquitoes?! Thanks for your site and reply. Susan

Conchscooter said...

Um, no, not my house, nor do I own rentals. I just take pictures of hopeful for-sale-by-owners. My dog gets itchy skin in the summer heat and humidity and some people get allergies from pollen blown over from the fields of Cuba. The mosquito control district uses pellets of a non pesticide spray that renders mosquitos unable to breed. The tin foil hat bridgades don't much like it.
Living in the keys is a bit tricky these days as the economy shrinks. Not like Detroit but not like it was in 2005.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Conchscooter!
I enjoy reading your blog daily. You are quite witty and the love for your beautiful Cheyenne is obvious. I enjoy the pictures of Key West and your travels. I'm still longing to move that way. We've had an absolutely miserable summer here in KY. My itty bitty garden dried up and died, as did most of my flowers. Everytime I mention wanting to move down there, someone will mention the heat, and I just say well it's hot here, then they mention hurricanes. My response to that is that they don't have a hurricane everyday.
My dream is to move that way, rent a cute little conch house and spend my free time exploring.
I've changed my name from wannabe Key-Westener to Wannabe a Conch.
Have a wonderful day Conchscooter!!

Conchscooter said...

I was talking with some people yesterday who agreed with my feeling that it has been extra rainy this year. Which is unfortunate as much of the country has shriveled up like your garden...key west will be here when you are ready. Xander judging by this summer it will be full of plant life well watered!

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Utah I learned that far off wild fires can bring horrendous air quality as well.