Wednesday January 26th 2022
Today was the second day in a row dominated by full cloud cover, rain and drizzle. It was also the forth day in the last five that was better for indoor activity than outdoor activity. Unlike the above normal conditions most of the month of December, the second half of January has been filled with below normal conditions. It was another dreary and cool day. The high temperature was in the low fifties.
I was up early to make another reservation for next winter. I successfully booked two weeks from December 26th to January 9th back at Lake Manatee State Park. The new booking software continues to be a challenge to navigate. Last May the Florida State Parks switched from the Reserve America booking system to another service. The Reserve America Software isn’t perfect, but its wide use has reduced many of the bugs in the user interface. I haven’t encountered the software used by the new service anywhere else. It may be a better underlying system, but it has lots of bugs in the web interface. The biggest problem is the way it formats the information on the screen. Lines can wrap around at random points and formatted text can be compressed into narrow columns for no apparent reason. It makes reading the display a challenge. Perhaps the most annoying issue is the information it remembers between uses. It often displays information about the last park for which you investigated reservations instead of the park you requested.
I got two short walks in around the campground today. During the first walk I had to take refuge under a picnic table shelter while a rain shower moved through the area. It was only a few minutes but represents the unpredictability of today’s weather. The walk at the end of the day was dry. Tomorrow is forecast to have a lower probability of rain, but it will still be a cloud filled day. The weather forecasters are hyping Saturday’s weather. The high temperature is supposed to be in the low forties and Saturday night is forecast to be in the twenties. The dreaded Central Florida Hard Freeze is coming. With most of the citrus groves replaced by housing developments in this area, I don’t think it is as big a concern as it once was. Most to the groves are now twenty to thirty miles south of here and toward both coasts.