Oct 29, 2014

Tentacle Tree

Some say the pond apple
are the swamps spookiest

What lurks inside?

Many a good swamp creature
make a snag home

Oct 27, 2014

Caution: Where alligators roam

Who says you don't leave tracks in the water?

Here's a case where a gator left a clear trail.

The path not taken
Only I never did see the gator.

Even though it looked like it had recently been there.

As seen earlier in September 

Was it coming or going?

I didn't get any closer to see.

Oct 26, 2014

King of the creepy cypress


Took a Wrong Turn and Kept Going
Land of the Living Zombies
Can You See the Ghost?

Beware: Haunted Hike

Some trails are better walked in broad daylight ...

And at all costs to be avoided at night.

Day: Strangler fig wrapped around a cypress.

Night: Hand of a giant ghoul squeezing an unsuspecting hiker.

Day: As scary as this tree is in broad daylight I don’t even want to think about what it looks like at night.

Night: See Day.

Day: Spiderwebs inconspicuously placed along the side of the trail.

Night: Giant banana spiders spin webs face high across middle of boardwalk.

Day: Do you see the shadows of giant cypress in the photo? They're the Ghost Trees of the Fakahatchee Past which, clear cut and logged in the 1940s, reappear at the marsh every Halloween for a swamp reunion. Apparently some get there early thus explaining the shadows.


How would I know? I high tailed it out of there fast (...while it was still light!)

Oct 25, 2014

Oct 24, 2014

Marl meanderer

A narrated walk through a flooded marl prairie

As the (swamp) water cycle turns

All our staff gages are numbered in “tenths of a foot.”

If we could label them by “habitat type” this is what they might look like instead.

The above animation shows the annual
rise and fall of the water table

The swamp appears to have peaked for the year.

That's not unusual.  By late October water levels are usually on their way down.  This year however the fall peak was not as high as usual.  The hydric pines saw water for three months and the higher mesic pines none at all (other than from direct rain). The long-term trend is for waters to rise shallowly into the hydric and mesic pinelands for around 15 and 3 weeks per year, respectively … usually during late summer and early fall.

D oes that mean a "dry" dry season is in the works?

This years rise of the water table in the swamp was not as high as previous years.  Hydric pines shallowly flooded for three months, but mesic pines remained dry.

Answer: (click read more below.)

Oct 22, 2014

Dwarf and dome

Marl Prairie is still flooded,

And the cypress needles are still green(ish.)

Must be October.

Oct 21, 2014

Dry season outlook?

Last few dry season rain totals have been down.

Will this year's El NiƱo reverse that trend?

The ENSO index plays an influential role in how much dry season rain falls in south Florida. The above graphs show a comparison of the ENSO index to dry season rain totals from 1950 to present.

Only time will tell.