Fire Season and the explosion of riches

Let’s continue exploring what Fire Season is all about here in Southwest Florida.   This is the time of year when people are visiting us from the Northern United States and Canada.   People stay for a week or two or more, perhaps a couple of months.  To the visitors, it is warm here, compared to Michigan or Ohio, or Pennsylvania, where it is below freezing.  Consequently, January-February- and March is when we have every imaginable festival going on.  It is an explosion of riches.

There are:  Food festivals, arts festivals, medieval faires, music festivals; Concerts, Circuses, and Open Houses and parades of homes, and street parades, and more.  There are also all the fund-raisers events going on.  The charity balls, the galas, the silent auctions. Most of these events are held on the weekends.

And there is typically at least 3 different things you want to do each weekend, and people have to make decisions about what they will attend, and what they will have to skip this year.  (Of course, some events may migrate to the net town up the road, next weekend so if you want to catch it, you could go on a road trip.)  Most people have a limited allowance of money or time to spend on all this activity.  You have to budget accordingly.

But in a few months, all that activity will die down.  The Snowbirds will leave, and it will become too hot to have festivals outdoors every weekend.  (At least, too hot for most people.)  There will still be some events like boat races and the seafood festivals.

SO the yearly influx of people is like a fuel for the fire of the yearly smorgasbord of festivals.


Is It Fire Season, already?

I think we are starting Fire Season, a little early this year.  That’s Fire Season, according to the Florida Earthways Path, which is a spiritual way of honoring life in Florida.   In the Florida Earthways Path, there are four seasons:  Fire, Rainy, Hurricane and, Dry.  They are not all the same length.  They do not coincide with the four seasons you may be familiar with, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

How do you know when it is Fire Season?  When things are burning!

Keep in mind that Florida is the Lightning Capital of the World (at least, Tampa Florida is,) and it would be logical to think that fire season happens in August-September-October, when we have all the thunderstorms.  Except as you know, we have lots of Hurricanes then, and they are the main focus so that is Hurricane Season, not Fire Season.

Fire Season always immediately follows Dry Season.  Fire Season happens when things have gotten so dried out, that things ignight or combust.  They do this because of sparks.   This time of year, the major contributor to Fire Season, are sparks from other fires.  People set fires in Florida for several reasons, this time of year.

1.  First, people are trying to stay warm.  Laugh all you want, but when the daytime temperature gets down to about 60 degrees, Fahrenheit, Floridians start whimpering and turn on the heat.  If they don’t have central heat, they light space heaters, or build fires in their fireplaces.  So, this is the time of year you can buy firewood at the local Publix.

Signs of Fire Season-firewood - Copy

These little fireplace fires create a bit of smog on our otherwise pristine air quality.

2.  This is also the time of year when the forest service conducts its controlled burns, to clear the underbrush in selected areas.  They do this to reduce the quantity of fuel available in a forest fire.  (Seems to me that many times, the controlled burns get loose, and cause more fires.  But that’s a matter for a different post…)

3.  This is also the time of year when some farmers need to burn back old growth.  (Think Sugar Cane.)


Heading Into Fire Season

We are heading into Fire Season here in Southwest Florida.  How can I tell?  In the past two weeks, the day time temperature has hit 80 degrees every day.  It is Hot.  People are talking about how hot it is.  The psychological shift that year-rounders under go, to cope with the extreme heat we know is coming, is underway. 

It isn’t Humid yet.  (Humidity is the province of Rainy Season.)  It is Dry and Windy.

The Yellow Blossom Trees are coming into bloom.  {I’ve got to get a good picture of them THIS year!  I think I missed them last year…}

And, the Live Oak trees have flowered and dropped their seeds.  I call this stuff, ‘oak skree.’  I’ll post a photo of it, in a moment.  I gather this stuff in broad daylight and put it into whatever container I have when I see it.  Sometimes I gather it in an empty to-go drink cup; this time I gathered it into an empty bag from Wendy’s Drive Through.

I use oak skree  ceremoniously, the way some people use Sage, (*) but you have to watch out because oak skree burns FAST.  It is not a lazy, meditative smudging tool like Sage is!

(*) see “Uses of Sage,” in the next post.

moving from Hurricance Season to Dry Season

We have left Hurricane Season in the dust and are now well into Dry Season.  I think this happened a few weeks ago, but I’ve hit a kind of writing rut. 

We were fortunate in Southwest Florida this year, because we didn’t have any major Hurricanes hit us.  (I think we didn’t even have any minor ones hit us.)  Hurricane Season represents the time when the air and the land and the water bodies, are full of moisture. 

After Hurricane Season ends, we move into Dry Season.  It won’t rain on a daily basis again until April or May.  So, the air and the land and everything on it will gradually dry out. 

SOmetimes, (like this year) the drying out won’t be gradual.

We are in for a big Fire Season this year.

more later.

Why write about Mulch?

Mulch! by WhaleMaiden April 2010


Mulch is the marker between the end of Fire Season, and the beginning of Rainy Season.  Mulch is the last of the ‘red’ things that you will see in Southwest Florida.   Although it is fake-fake-fake, it looks pretty good on green suburbia yards.  And this is the time of year when people get out in the cool time of day and do some gardening.  (Almost everybody does this; we haven’t done any gardening lately.)  Once you get the “flower beds” weeded, and put down a thick layer of Mulch, you can kiss the weeds good-by for a couple of months. 

That’s gardening in Suburbia.

The Spiritual Aspects of Fire Season

The Spiritual Aspects of Fire Season.

In my opinion, the point of following a Path is to bring about positive, meaningful change in your life.  This is similar to goal setting, creative visualization, and manifesting desired changes.  Keeping in mind that the Seasons follow one after the other, then work we do now, was developed in a previous season.  And, whatever we do “now,” lays the groundwork for something we will do “later.” 

Remember that symbolically, Dry Season represents the East, Fire Season represents the South, Rainy Season represents the West, Hurricane Season represents the North.  The Center is Spirit.   Fire Season follows Dry Season.  In Dry Season, (Air=Intellect) it is time for new ideas to spring forth as more and more of what was grounded, previously, now symbolically dries up into the Air.  So, the Idea is developed in the Dry Season.

Fire is symbolic of passion and creativity.  This is a time to discover what you are passionate about, and what is it that you create.  I believe everyone is capable of creating something.   When you think about the Idea that manifested in the Dry Season, do you get excited about it?  Do you think about ways you can make your idea happen, how to create it?  That is the work of Fire Season.

We will return to this discussion later.

Out to the Beach — Sanibel in March

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to go out to Sanibel Island for the morning.  My Daughter, Agatha, had a school assignment out there and I went along for the ride.  It was sunny, but windy and cold!  I was also surprised at how foggy it was.  So of course, the first thing I look at when I am at the Beach, are the Waves in the Gulf of Mexico.(*)  And then, I look left and right.  Then, I look down at the Beach itself. 

I saw an “earth circle,” which is what I call a natural formation that makes a circle.  (A Medicine Wheel.)  This one is made of a spindy vine of some kind.  I saw a nice Pen Shell.  Note the air holes in the sand next to it.  Those may be from sand crabs.  The purple pointy object, is a small Sea Urchin.  It was smaller than a golf ball.  The last photo (with the snake looking object,) is a Welk Egg Case. 

(*)  You must keep in mind that the Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico which is to the West.  I’ve been here in Southwest Florida for almost 30 years.  However, I spent my formative summers at the Shore, which faces EAST.  So, anytime I am orienting myself even to this day, I have to consciously think about where I am.