From Florida Trails by Winthrop Packard
The Southeast trade winds, blowing across the Gulf Stream and over the Bahamas, bringing fresh sea odors to Florida, here pass a long line of the islands which bar off the Indian River from the ocean. Here north and south meet and merge most curiously and at this time of year one has reminders of winter or of summer according to the direction of the wind. Ten days ago this came out of the north and froze oranges on the trees well down into the middle of the State. Here the cold was not severe enough to do that, but the cocoanut palms over on the Indian River bore frosted cocoanut one morning and all tender vegetables such as beans, eggplants and tomatoes were killed outright. The Oranges have not minded the temperature of twenty-six degrees which came to them. The yellow fruit hangs like golden blobs of sunshine all about. There is far more brown in the landscape than is wont to meet the eye and tell the tale, not only of a temperature that has been below freezing, but just what plants are on the northern edge of their limit. The brown guava leaves whisper the story; the banana plants, killed to the stalk, shout it loud. So do the fields of pineapples. This is a country of pineapples plantations. They cover the ridge next to the Indian River, clothing it in prickly green lances from the river banks to the savanna behind it, for miles on miles, running north and south. In places these are under sheds, acres in extent. In others the wide lagoon of water on the west protected them and they are but little harmed. In others the full blight of the cold has worked in them and their green lances have turned a sickly, straw yellow. On such fields the crops for this year is ruined, and many acres of newly set young plants are killed to the root. Thus does winter set his mark occasionally even on this semi-tropic land.
This book and hundreds of others on the history and scientific study of the lagoon, are available to the public at the MRC Library of the Indian River Lagoon. Please call (321) 504-4500 for more information.