Sep 4, 2017

Florida Groundhog Day

South Florida doesn't have a winter, therefore by definition it can't have a Groundhog Day?

Or is it just hiding in plain sight instead?

Is that a cloud ... or Giant Groundhog?

Groundhog Day on the continent is a celebration that celestial winter is half way done. By contrast in south Florida we are content to never let winter never end.

Our summer on the other hand is another story.

What continental transplant (me included) hasn't at some point during Florida's unending summer craved a little dose of fall air, especially come Labor Day when friends and relatives from "up state" and "off peninsula" are just beginning to rejoice in the first of many rounds of crisp autumnal air. Meanwhile down on the south peninsula we are left to sweat out another six weeks of Old Man Summer. It usually isn't until Mid October that finally (and at long last) a cold front blasts through.

In my mind that's what makes Labor Day South Florida's Groundhog Day equivalent.

Only south Florida's groundhog doesn't emerge from ground to look for his shadow: It appears as giant cloud (see photo above) ...

Casting a shadow on us instead.

Sep 2, 2017

The problem with (cypress-connected canal) plugs

This is a view of one of six new (i.e. improved)
canal plugs on the west side of the L-28 levee,
looking North
Do you see how the plug is tied into cypress?
The canal can easily flow around the west end
of the plug as a result.
Here's a closer look at the flow-formed channel
where the plug and cypress meet, looking West

Aug 30, 2017

Emergency pumps



And down
the other side of
the L-28 Levee
All three photos were taken along the eastern boundary of Big Cypress National Preserve, a few miles north of US41 on the L-28 levee.  Emergency pumps were installed a few weeks ago to help lower high-water conditions in Water Conservation Area 3A (WCA3A). Top photo: Inlet side of one of four emergency pumps along the L-28, looking east into WCA3A.  Middle photo: On the inlet side of the pump looking west across the levee towards Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve.  Bottom photo: Freshet of water being released on the west side of the levee.

Aug 29, 2017

River of grass fed swamp

Water is gushing into Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve across the L-28.

To be exact, I counted 12 locations.

(1) S-12A looking southeast
Mile 0

(2) S-343B looking southwest
(That's the Tamiami Trail to the left)
Mile 1

(3) S-343A looking West
Mile 2

(4) First of four temporary
pumps, looking North
Mile 4

(5) Second of four temporary 
pumps, looking North
Mile 4

(6-8) Third and fourth of four temporary pumps
and the S-344, looking North
Mile 12

(6-8) Same spot as above
looking Southwest
Mile 12

(9) First of three breaks in the tieback
looking Northwest (the water in the gaps
flows from right left)
Mile 17

(10) Middle of three breaks 
in tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 17

(11) Third of three breaks 
in tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 18
(12) Northern terminus of L-28
Tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 19
More proof that the swamp isn't just a rain-driven watershed.

Next steps: How to get more?

Aug 28, 2017

Map of L-28

Color coding on this map
shows the approximate timeline
when the drainage infrastructure
around the L-28 was built

Aug 25, 2017

Rainy day swamp

A rain-fed watershed, yes ...

But the swamp depends on headwater flows too.

This video shows the two in action.

Minor swamp landmarks

The swamp is an easy place to get lost.

Flat, full of trees, few paths and landmarks even less.

Opposite 180° views of the same spot
Left - path out, Right - path in
That's where the sentinel cypress knees (shown above) come in handy.

I regularly use them as a guide to find my way into and back out of the center of this cypress dome.

As seen about a week ago.