It starts far off some time between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. You hear it rumbling like an unbalance train coming from the inland areas. Then night comes across the river with a wall of rain. The water crest and white caps as boaters race toward the shore and your head feels like its going to explode as the pressure drops. A flash of light severs the sky and the lights go out. The modem in your computer gets fried before the air slams back together with a terrific rumble that makes you feel like that unbalanced train is running directly over your head. You take in the sent of burning electronics and you decide that storm season has officially begun in central Florida.
From early June to October, it storms over the east coasts of central Florida most afternoons between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 pm. So if you plan to boat, swim, hike, surf or do anything that requires a lack of lightening, get up with the Sun and get back inside by 3:00 pm. The storms clear out by early evening leaving the air cool and fresh. The hours of the storm are the perfect time for a mid-afternoon siesta, just don't forget to unplug your computer and modem before you doze off.
The most annoying itchy insect bite you can get in Florida is form the fire ant. Some people are allergic to them and can die or pass out from the bite. One fire ant bite will probably only annoy you, but the little @&$*##$&’s use team work and you are likely to be bitten by several at once. Luckily they are easy to avoid. The only time I get bitten is when I unwittingly stand on top of one of their nests or dig one up in the garden.
The nests look like spread out piles of grainy grey-brown dirt. The ants themselves are small and red brown. I’ve never seen a fire ant nest on the beach, they tend to put them in the grass or along the edge of the road.
How the bite happens:
The ants will swarm on your body part, most likely you foot, and then bite all at once. As the bite is happening, it stings like a burn. The ants will stay attached to your skin by their mandibles until you brush them off. Check all your skin and cloths in the area of the bites to make sure you are rid of all ants. They will crawl up you pants legs.
If you think that you have been bitten by fire ants, immediately take an antihistamine like Benadrill. Put ice on the bites or soak them in cold water. This is the only thing that will quell the itch. DO NOT SCRATCH the bites; they will swell up! This will be very difficult because the bites itch like fire! The itch is so intense that it triggers a feeling of panic. DON’T ITCH!
If you start to experience tunnel vision, feel shaky, have a shortness of breath, or if the area of the bites begins to greatly swell (my foot swelled up with a mound the size of an orange) call 911 or go to the emergency room.