MARK POPE: ‘Weather’ Or Not [OPINION]
Weather or not
Welcome to the official start of fall, which began on Saturday. Bah, humbug. It’s still summer here in south Louisiana. We will still see 90-degree temperatures in October, and no trees, deciduous or not, are even thinking about turning colors or dropping any leaves for quite some time. Speaking of the colors of autumn, we don’t see much of that here in our subtropical climate. Oh sure, the chicken trees show subtle shades of color later in the fall, but it’s not much to write home about. Have you ever seen the autumn colors in places like the Smoky Mountains or New England? Now that’s natural beauty that comes with the changing of the seasons on an annual basis.
So what’s my point? I’m just preparing you for the upcoming winter, and whatever that may mean for us here in Acadiana. The Farmers’ Almanac says that here in the southeastern U.S. we will have a warm wet winter. Don’t know about you, but I enjoy cold spells in the winter. Changing weather for the winter season, in my book, goes right along with living the cliché “variety is the spice of life.”
I mean think about it . . . we sweat profusely for six-plus months of the year. Can’t we get a break during the winter months with some drier, colder months? My favorite months of the year are October and November, which along with May, are our driest (less rainfall) months of the year. Think about those Arctic or Canadian fronts that come down and push all our moisture and humidity back into the Gulf. We have severe-clear blue skies, with 50- to 60-degree daytime temperatures, and very low humidity.
But we all know that, as a general rule, winters don’t get too cold here in Acadiana. I recall Christmas about 20 years ago. I was visiting family in Baton Rouge. It was 80-plus degrees with high humidity and windy conditions – Yuk. Air conditioning working overtime on Christmas Day! It comes with the territory, I guess, but I prefer cooler temperatures on Christmas Day.
So maybe tourists will not flock here to Acadiana to behold the beauty of the “color of the chicken trees,” but our food, culture, and hospitality are sure-fire reasons why people want to come to Cajun Country. And we are still the “Sportsman’s Paradise.” There aren’t many places in the U.S. you can go for a Christmas gathering and savor the flavor of venison-sausage prepared by a knowledgeable, experienced Cajun cook.
So tune up that A/C and be prepared to use it this winter. We Cajuns know how to enjoy life, and how to make the best of what ever comes our way . . . weather or not.