Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/660

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water, many miles in width, like an inland lake, and reaching far away, hundreds of miles to the south, fringed by green inlet and headland, bearing the tropical foliage of cypress and orange, palmetto and palm; when the mild sunshine, falling so softly upon forest, bank, and river, has penetrated him till he feels a gentle warmth flowing through his veins; when a delicious languor has possessed him, and it would seem perfect happiness to rest in the genial sunshine forever then he knows he has found the sweet do-nothing land of America.

Warmth is life, cold is death, and the medical study of climate is only an analysis of those conditions of heat which will best secure an abounding vitality in the healthy human organism, or restore a shattered organism to its normal physical relations.

Men, like children, continually cry for the unattainable. We would like a land in which a perfect June always prevails.

What are the factors in the climate of Florida? Heat, water, and light—warmth, moisture, and sunshine.

The health resort of Florida is the peninsular portion, averaging one hundred miles in width and projecting southward over three hundred miles, amid the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

It is a flat land, composed almost entirely of sand. So much does it resemble a jetty of sand, such as we see formed at the confluence of streams, that it may appropriately be termed an ocean sand-bar, with everglades, marshes, and lagoons in the southern portion, testifying how recently, geologically speaking, it has emerged from the depths of the sea. Around this sickle-shaped peninsula the Gulf Stream, with an average temperature of 86° Fahr., sweeps from the southernmost point along the eastern shore at a distance of ten to one hundred miles from the coast. Across it the salt-laden breezes of the ocean continually play, by day and by night. Upon it the warm rays of a semi-tropical sun almost continually shine.

What are the results of these physical conditions, stated in the exact terms of meteorological science? For this purpose it is not necessary to array long tables of average temperature, mean monthly range, rain-fall, barometric pressure, relative humidity, etc.

It is sufficient to know that the average temperature of Jacksonville, for the month of November, is 61° Fahr.; December, 54° Fahr.; January, 55° Fahr.; February, 57° Fahr.; March, 62° Fahr. The rainfall in November is 312 inches; December, 3 inches; January, 3 inches; February, 212 inches; March, 412 inches. St. Augustine, Palatka, and Gainesville average 2° or 3° warmer than Jacksonville. At St. Augustine the rain-fall is less than at Jacksonville, being, November, 1·2 inch; December, 2 inches; January, 2 inches; February, 1·6 inch; March, 2·3 inches. The mean monthly range of temperature for these places during the winter months is between 20° and 30° Fahr.

These figures indicate a mild, equable, and sunshiny climate during winter for all that portion of Florida frequented by invalids, embrac-