Do you hear it?

Off in the distance there is a faint sound that can be heard especially as 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts come up from the south.

Yes, that is the sound of laughter.

Who is laughing and at whom is that laughter directed?

Those guffaws are coming from the golf courses, cabanas and backyard patios of places in Arizona, Florida and Texas where a portion of Minnesota residents I call the jocular snowbirds are now residing.

After making it through the more ideal weather of Minnesota’s spring, summer and fall, those snowbirds fly the coop to keep up with those temperatures that never include a negative. Just so you know the temperature in Houston, Texas and Miami, Fla. when this was written was already over 70 degrees.

Of course, those jocular snowbirds are laughing at the rest of us who have opted to stay in the cold winter climate that is Minnesota in February. We may argue about being hardy northerners who can take the below zero temperatures, but when the thermometer does not get out of the negative numbers or low single digits for days on end even the most cold tolerant of us have to be wondering why on earth we stay.

Some have no choice, as they are still far too young to split their time in two places, while those who could continue to shiver simply because they are not the warm weather types.

Yes, there are some people who would prefer the colder temperatures of a Minnesota winter over the heat of a Phoenix desert any day. (One has to wonder if there is a flip side to the winter snowbird where people actually get out of the midwest during the heat and humidity of June, July and August making their way to visit the penguins in Antarctica or the puffins of the Arctic Circle.)

I may never become one of the jocular snowbirds even as their numbers seem to be growing with each year, but I think that has much more to do with the chance to gripe about the weather.

I have no idea what they talk about when it is always 70 degrees.