Monday, April 24, 2006

Farmer's Tan

I've been wondering why I have a farmer's tan so early in the season. It usually takes me well past June to show as much color on my face and neck and arms as I already have in April.

Today I figured out the reason. Wilma.

For those not familiar with hurricane damage you have to understand that the trees take a lot of damage from the high winds. This year we had brushes with Katrina, Rita and then finally Wilma, which considerably damaged the tree canopy in Miami Dade County.

I usually walk at lunchtime for about 15 to 30 minutes, to get some exercize and just to defrost from the endless air conditioned caccon in which I work. In the past I walked a specific route, staying as close to buildings or walking beneath the shade of the huge trees. (I have to be careful of sun exposure since I take blood pressure meds that make me more vulnerable to sunburn)

The trouble is I haven't adjusted my walking route and the majority of shade trees I relied upon for a shaded walk are gone. Destroyed by Wilma.

Oh sure, you can replant a tree for the one destroyed, but it will take 20 years to provide the same patterns of shade that had previously been there. Right now there is lots of greenery, and low growing shurbs and opened grassy space, but no more magestic banyons, ficus or oak trees.

That's why I have a farmer's tan.

No shade.

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