Newcomers to Florida complain that there is no seasonal change other than the wet season and the dry season. But the signs of fall in Florida are just as definite as a color change in the trees--if you know what to look for. You know it's fall when you see pickup trucks with four-wheelers heading north--deer season is open in South Carolina! You know it's fall when you see cars with Florida State Seminoles or University of Florida Gator flags flapping on Saturdays as people head off to Gainesville or Tallahassee for football games.
For those who enjoy fishing, the first sign of fall is the mullet migration that begins in September. At first they come in a small trickle, a few schools here and there moving south along the beach. Soon they will come by the millions, moving steadily to the south day and night. They will be chased incessantly from the air by ospreys and pelicans and from below by sharks, mackerel, bluefish, and a host of other predators. You don't need a boat to see the fall migration. You can watch all this from the beach.
I love to fish along the beach in the fall just to watch the show. As I watch the mullet schools exploding with mullet going airborne to escape a predator, I wonder how many of those young mullet will live long enough to migrate north in the spring. And I wonder how God does it: how does He make sure there are enough mullet to feed all the birds and fish that feed on them? And the mullet have to eat too. How does God make sure there is enough plankton for the mullet schools to thrive? We eat the fish that eat the mullet. So in a sense, we depend on the mullet too.
I'm often reminded of what God said to Job: "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?" (Job 38:39-41)
Marine Biologists can tell you about the life cycle of a mullet. They can tell you when and where they spawn, what they eat, how long it takes them to reach adulthood and much more. But they can't explain exactly what triggers the southward migration every year. And who can explain how they seem to exist in enough abundance every year?
Sometimes when I see those huge schools migrating, I think of the dawn of creation: And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves with which the waters swarm, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas..." (Genesis 1:20-22).
You can watch those "swarms" of mullet passing on their way south and be amazed. You can attribute it, as many people do, to "mother nature" and good fisheries management programs that limit how many fish can be taken by fishermen. But what you're seeing is an amazing display of God's providence. God invites us to see His creative majesty all around us every day. We are meant to marvel at God's handiwork and ponder His glory in the world around us.