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Sarasota Autumn

Sarasota Autumn

People exploring the possibility of relocating to Sarasota to study at SSMT may wonder about  the weather here. Today seems like a good day to muse on the weather, as this morning it feels distinctly like Sarasota fall.

While there is certainly a subtlety to the seasonal differences in Florida; there is magic in that first morning in the fall when the temperature drops into the 60’s and the windows are thrown wide. Fall is more muted in Florida than in the rest of the country, but it does come earlier in the Sarasota area than it does in south Florida. We open our windows in Sarasota and Bradenton when the A/C units are still humming steadily in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Naples. This year that first cool morning came in the second week of October, and by this morning it was a refreshing 50˚. By the afternoon it still is warm enough to dip into the Gulf of Mexico.

Muhly Grass in the SSMT Parking Lot

Fall colors may be more subdued in Southwest Florida too, but it’s here for the discerning eye. Leaves don’t turn until November or December, but October brings a profusion of distinctly autumnal pinkish-purple blooms on the native muhly grass. These lovely purple squirrel tails last about a month, and precede leaves turning various shades of yellow and red on the native trees of southwest Florida.

By Thanksgiving the native red maples usually turn deep red, and by New Year’s Eve my Sweetgum drops its gumdrops and turns reddish orange.

Fall Sweetgum
Live Oak, Sweetgum & Pygmy Palm

The Live Oak in the  foreground on the left of this image (taken in my driveway last December) won’t turn yellow until March, and often the new buds of spring push off the old leaves, so that – for the Oaks – fall and spring happen in the same week.

The seasons may be subtle, but October, January, April and August are different enough to appreciate each in its own way – and the clear cooler air of fall is one of the loveliest times in this year-round paradise we call home.


About Joe Lubow

Joe Lubow is the Owner/Director of SSMT.