Florida is an eclectic mix of a place. It sticks out oddly into the Atlantic, a bit like a big hook nose at the South-Eastern end of the US. This unusual shape and position makes it a unique natural ecosystem with a semi-tropical weather pattern (perfect, as it so happens, for growing citrus fruit), and literally oodles of rivers, coast and beaches (~11,000 miles of waterways and ~2,276 miles of tidal coastline in fact). It’s along this massive coastline where the daily rhythm of the tides mixes fresh-water discharged from underground aquifers (water-bearing limestone layers and Florida’s main source of water), with salt-water from the ocean, supporting all the variations of wildlife and unique flora which that very strange marriage entails.
What this means, apart from an almost infinite supply of oranges, of course, is that you can watch the sunrise on the East Coast, paddle fresh-water rivers and go wildlife spotting for lunch, and finish your day surrounded by mangroves and soaking in the sunset on a beach the West. There’s literally no-where else in the US where you can do that and it’s one of the many reasons Florida is such a hot winter destination for “snowbirds” and tourists.
We’ll be spending a bit of time here in the South, “wintering” as they say, while the Northern areas enjoy the big freeze. The cold will make it here, eventually, but in the meantime we’ll be walking the beach and watching the warm sunset in our flip-flops. There’s more coming to this story…..