Florida Guide > Other Florida
Our first glimpse of Florida was actually the view out of the airport doors, as they opened wide in front of us, to reveal the dark velvety sky of Miami.
We could hardly contain our excitement as we gazed up at the tall palm trees outlined against the night sky, and the feel of the hot, moist air which engulfed us is a memory which has never faded.
In fact, Floridian skies feature large in our memories of our many visits to Florida. I love to walk out of the front door of our beautiful villa and look up at the cloudless azure sky above me. It seems to go on forever, and appears larger and higher than our British skies, which so frequently are cloud covered and appear to enclose us in greyness. But in Florida there are sometimes wispy white clouds scudding across the sky, at other times there are huge fluffy clouds, casting shadows to relieve the noonday sun.
But strangely enough, I am most fascinated by the tropical skies, bringing the sudden rainstorms which may be a daily event in the hot summer months. The day may start with cloudless skies, but as late afternoon approaches you can look up and see the sky begin to darken. It changes from a deep blue, to a deep purple, edged with a peachy hue, before changing to a dark grey. These skies can appear rapidly, the bright sunshine disappears with these portents of rain. The air becomes heavy, and suddenly the rain falls in torrents. It is quite amazing to watch, especially if it combines with the deep rumblings of thunder, and the jagged zigzags of lighting. These silver flashes lighten the sky and form a wonderful contrast to the darkness. It is even more impressive when the storm clouds cover only half the sky, whilst the rest is bathed in sunshine.
Then as suddenly as they appeared, the thunder clouds roll back to reveal another perfect blue sky, for these tropical rainstorms seldom last long. The air is freshened, the grass sparkles with a million jewelled beads of rain, and the glorious Florida skies return to their former glory.
But maybe my favourite Floridian sky of all is that which accompanies the sunset over Lake Davenport, the beautiful 600 acre lake set in a conservation area in which our villa is built. It has to be seen to be believed. Dusk falls rapidly in these sub-tropical skies. The sun, which has been so high, suddenly starts to set, casting fingers of gold across the water, with the promise of yet another glorious day in Florida tomorrow.
The final rays of the sun disappear below the horizon, and the sky turns from a spectacular pink, through peach and then to deep warm purple, before darkness finally wraps its velvety cloak around you. As we stroll gently back to Tropical Dream Villa we listen for the sounds of the cicadas, and plan the next day’s adventures.
But maybe the saddest sky we have experienced is the black sky that we can see out of our aeroplane’s window as we leave our much loved Florida. As the huge jet pounds down the runway, and our aircraft slowly rises higher and higher above the beautiful city of Orlando, we see below us a patchwork of twinkling lights. It’s as if Christmas has come early, and it catches us unawares, giving us a tingle down our spines. The reality that we are homeward bound finally sinks in, and we wave a sad goodbye to the place that has become like a second home. But it is a sadness tempered by the thought that we will be back, and will stand outside Tropical Dream Villa again, looking up in awe at the beautiful azure skies of Florida.
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Page added on: 3 October 2006
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