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  1. Florida

Dearly beloved, we gather here to say goodbye to spring. It has died.

In Tampa Bay, the time has come for our annual reckoning

Lovely weather passed through the atmospheric veil in Tampa Bay recently, making way for mucky mornings, churning air conditioners and premature tropical tempests.

The shift to storms and sweat happens every year, of course, and leaves residents with the ominous knowledge that summer is coming (and it’ll stick around through November.)

We remember pleasant weather fondly.

Sara Maiorano, a doctor of physical therapy from Oldsmar, mourns the time she loses every day straightening her hair as she fights the humidity. During Florida’s long summer, she remembers stroller walks with her daughter, outdoor brunches and dinners and trips to Honeymoon Island to watch the sunset.

At St. Petersburg’s Sunken Gardens, the rising temperatures mean more space for visitors, at least, but also an end to the wall of bougainvillea that blooms when the nights are cool and the days warm.

“Once those start to fade, we’re a little sad,” said Jennifer Tyson, education and volunteer coordinator. “But we’re always looking forward to the next bloomers.”

As if in tribute to the loss, the shell gingers there are quite nice right now.

Bob Funari prunes the Asian Cap shrubs in the Wedding Lawn at Sunken Gardens on Friday. "There are places to get out of the heat if you are walking through," Funari said, but his job keeps him in the sun. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

“I miss time spent in my personal garden,” Tyson said. “It’s always a little tough to get out there during the heat of the day...But it’s just a matter of getting up earlier.”

Or going out at night, says Chris Kiddy, who works for Hillsborough County’s Conservation and Environmental Lands Management department. That’s the way to continue hiking in Tampa Bay.

The toughest thing for him now is “honestly, just being able to go out in the day.”

Beautiful beaches, cool pools and the incomparable pleasure of a cold beer on a hot day do offer solace in this difficult time.

Tampa Bay’s open-window weather is mourned by natives and transplants, who tease family and friends on Facebook November through April with screenshots of 70-degree forecasts and, when it dips into the 50s and 60s, selfies with puffy vests and furry boots.

In lieu of flowers, condolences can be sent in the form of sturdy umbrellas.

How will you remember cool weather? Send thoughts and photos to Kristen Hare at, and we’ll share them on Instagram @werememberthem.

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