Why do people often talk about the weather? I will admit being guilty of this type of mind numbing discussion, but nonetheless, I have always found it to be an odd topic. Maybe it’s an ice breaker or a way to ease into a more meaningful discussion. I realize that, sometimes, it is important to discuss the weather, for example, when one is planning a boating excursion, a picnic, or attendance at a parade (3 things I truly love!). But, on a day to day basis, it is quite trivial to me to spend time looking at the weather forecast, then discussing when we think it will rain. Rain does not bother me except in the 3 above conditions, boating, picnics, and parades, but some people seem to think a little rain is the worst possible thing that can happen on any given day. Believe me, there are far worse things than a rain storm! Similarly, many people complain about time changes, from standard time to daylight saving time and vice versa. Complaining about the time change does nothing to help the situation. Just set the clocks to the correct time, adjust outdoor schedules, as necessary, to take advantage of the daylight, and quit kvetching! When traveling to a destination that is cold or raining during a time when it is warm and sunny in Florida (which is, thankfully, almost always!), pack a coat, pack a raincoat, pack shoes other than flip flops, and get ready for something different. Isn’t experiencing new things one reason why we travel? And, if asked about your vacation, think of something interesting to say, such as, “Wow! The pyramids in Giza were awe inspiring!” instead of “The desert in Egypt sure was dusty and the weather was hot and dry.” Time is precious and surely, most of us can find something more meaningful to discuss than how hot it is in Miami. Yes, it is hot in Miami and it is cold in London, but what’s happening in the world today?
I admit to using weather as an ice breaker especially, in the winter when talking with folks in cold climates. I feel a bit smug. Of course, they turn it around on me when the weather is hot in South Florida with nearly 100% humidity. But, beyond ice breakers (which sounds weather related in itself), we know some folks who are weather watchers. These may be those who prompted Melissa’s post. For some of these, getting beyond discussing the weather is challenging. I will add to Melissa’s list of considering the weather for boating excursion, a picnic, or attendance at a parade with photography outings. I do consider the weather before venturing out, not just for comfort, but for the impact on available light. While cloudy days are sometimes useful for “soft” lighting, most of the time I want, and will wait for, clear weather for wildlife, landscape, or architectural photography. We know “watching” the weather is important for a variety of reasons, safety reasons, especially in a place like South Florida. Melissa and I were “surprised” once in a bad way by a hurricane that “snuck up” on us. We had been very busy and not following the news when Hurricane Andrew strengthened, sped up, and blasted South Florida. We did have a day or so to prepare and we were not badly impacted, but the surprise effect of that experience led us to being better prepared, and we added NOAA weather radios to our home and office to avoid such surprises. The active alerts provided by those radios have helped us minimize the impact of severe weather more than a few times, even if they do scare the heck out of us when the alarm sounds!