Monday, April 8, 2024

Eclipse Eclipsed

  I had an appointment at the local hospital today - spanking new and more like a spaceship inside than a place of healing and already too small, with all the population growth around here, when I saw a crowd of doctors and nurses outside, staring up into the bright blue Florida sky. Had they walked out, finding it all too much? No, I realised, they were trying to see the Eclipse, I don't think with much success. If you could see anything at all down here in Florida, it was just a sliver. "I think it did get a little bit darker", someone said, hopefully. Up north, it was a big event. My neighbour said her grandchildren in Ohio got the day off school. Probably because the school didn't want to be sued if the kids burned their eyes off. Of course we should have watched it from western New York and had the whole caboodle - except it would probably have been cloudy. 

   But never mind. Every day brings a different kind of beautiful sight in the sky. 

Florida Gulf Coast sunsets are famous but this was dawn. 

From our front garden

 And here is an actual sunset-from-the-beach (the greeting of which is a regular evening ritual for the neighbours). At this stage it may not look like much.

But after the sun went down the delicate colour spread all over the sky.

With some intriguing cloud formations. 

  It was quite the show and well worth waiting for. And you didn't have to faff around with special glasses.

  And here's another kind of show,  from the tree at the back (which we always thought was an orchid tree but which my plant recognition app bossily insists is a kind of ebony. That doesn't sound quite right, unless they're the same thing.)  We were convinced it had expired after two hurricanes and a drought in quick succession. A month ago it appeared as dead as a doornail. And now look at it. Just in time for Easter. 

We have had some blustery weather though. People choosing the wrong week to come down might have been a little disappointed with the Sunshine State.  But year-rounders, that exclusive club, love it when it's cool. Wind and rain? Bring it on! 

And here's another spectacular effect, closer to the ground this time. After a few windy days this is what happened to the poor beach.

Making walking along it something of an adventure. But these things do have a knack of straightening themselves out again. That's the wonders of nature for you. The north can have its Eclipse. We are managing fine.