By Emily J. Minor
Sure, it’s still steamy here. Everyone up north is putting on cashmere and decorating the front door with a wreath of dried flowers. But us? We’re still avoiding an 11 a.m. tee time.
Afternoon tennis, anyone? Um, maybe next month.
Indeed, finding fall in Florida can be tricky, so we’ve pulled together some ideas for celebrating our (nearly imperceptible) change of seasons.
One involves doughnuts.
Indulge in the pumpkin. We mean pumpkin anything. Pumpkin is the autumnal food of the gods, and there’s no reason to snub anything pumpkin. Make a pumpkin pie. Eat a pumpkin doughnut. Toast a pumpkin Pop-Tart. We also suggest bringing darker colors back into your life, at least for the season. Brown nail polish. A burnt-orange tie. And smells! Don’t forgot the smells. Applewood candles, potpourri of mulled cider, and maybe one of those weird cinnamon brooms.
Movie day. We’re not asking you to live a total lie, but a little pretending won’t hurt. Strike up this plan: Choose a day off. Turn down the AC to 68 or so. And have a Fall Movie Day Marathon. Here are some suggestions with great scenes of autumn: Cider House Rules. Stepmom. Good Will Hunting. Far From Heaven. We have to throw in Autumn In New York, just because.
Road trip. This one is simple but requires a plan. Get in the car and drive to Jacksonville, check in at the bed & breakfast you’ve booked in advance, then take a hike on the Woodland Trails. The park offers 18 miles of dusty paths. And there are fall leaves! Beware, though. October nighttime lows in Jacksonville typically fall into the 50s. Take your sweaters. (How many times are you going to hear that advice in October in South Florida?)
Plant a garden. Now is the time to show off to all the northerners. Just as their crops are drying up, yours are coming to life. Cucumbers. Kale. Broccoli. Lima beans. We know they hog the water, but what about a little patch of impatiens too?
Day trip. There are places you can drive to for a touch of autumn. We like Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market in Boynton Beach and Flamingo Gardens in Davie. Bedner’s (bedners.com) practically oozes fall this time of year. Fields of flowers. Apples displayed in wood-slat bushel baskets. Hay rides. At Flamingo Gardens (flamingogardens.org), a 60-acre wildlife sanctuary west of downtown Fort Lauderdale, conditions are ideal for bird watching. Grosbeaks, warblers, tanagers, orioles and thrushes are among the species migrating south this time of year.
Signs all, of cooler days ahead.