Aug 7, 2020

Sheet flow gets stifled

The concept on sheet flow ...

Is that water spreads out evenly everywhere.

OK Slough is slumping
well below its normal wet
season level

But the rise of the water is variable, too.

Cowbell Strand is in full summer saturation mode.

Meanwhile, OK Slough is just now barely getting wet.

As for the reason? 

Blame some combination of the residual effect from the deep spring drought, lack of recent rains in that area, and the nearby canal that is whisking water away at a healthy rate.

Aug 6, 2020

The swamp that didn't change

Believe it or not,

That cypress knee is six feet tall.

During wetter times,
this cypress tendril connects
OK Slough to East Hinson Marsh

But what struck my attention was at its base:

No water, it was completely dry.

That was back in April

Hard to believe 4 months later it's still dry.

Meanwhile, across the swamp at Cowbell Strand water is overflowing into the prairies and up into the pines.

Aug 5, 2020

Tree planting ceremony

It's never a bad time to "plant a tree,"

Especially when it honors a man who loved them.

Billy gave the trees a voice

Thank you Billy Joiner for all that you did!

Aug 4, 2020

Tribute tree

Billy Joiner loved trees ...

And Mountain Dew.

Planting the tree,
a tamarind

Watering the tree,
with Moutain Dew

The placard

He got both at his tree planting ceremony.

Jul 30, 2020

Hurricanes past (and present)

For such big (and slow moving) weather events,

Hurricanes strike and then move on quick.

Historic calendar of Hurricanes
that made landfall in Florida,
1990 to present

Wilma (2005) was the perfect example.

It churned out in the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan for days (even a week) before it began its slow march towards the Naples coast.  And then a day after it passed a cold front moved in -- cool weather and brilliant blue skies.  It was hard to believe the storm was even there at all.  (Other than the destruction.)

Thus the need for the calendar chart (shown above).

It's a good reminder of storms past ...

And our entry into the heart of the new season to come.

Origin of a storm

Hurricane season isn't just about ...

Where they make landfall.

August typically marks
the beginning of the Cape
spawned storms

It's also about where they originate ...

And their travel path.

Those prevailing paths vary by month.

Jul 28, 2020

Hurricanes by month

Hurricane season is two months old ...

But it's only now the season really begins.

Chart showing monthly
distribution of hurricanes that
made landfall in Florida

Over 75 percent of the storms that make landfall in Florida at hurricane strength ...

Occur in the three month span of August, September and October.

September leads the way with over 40 percent.

Jul 27, 2020

Coastal flowing swamp

Where is this strand going?

You can see it as a shimmering sliver of blue in the background.

Here's the look south towards
the undeveloped coast

It's called the Ten Thousand Islands coast.

The strand is called Gator Hook.

Where fresh and saltwater
make a brackish water mix.

Farther upstream it crosses under Loop Road,

About 2 miles north of Sweetwater.

Farther north this is where the freshwater
sheet flow gets its start

Here's a look at where
the photos were taken on a map

Jul 26, 2020

How to: Identify a coastal swamp

From ground view,

It's hard to tell its a coastal swamp.

Can you see
the dragonfly, too?

Unless you get lucky ...

And see a Coast Guard plane flying overhead.

Jul 24, 2020

How trees inform water

The good news:

The swamp has finally rebounded out of drought.

Simple cross section
showing current stage relative
to a month ago, a year ago
and normal levels

he bad news:

The sheet flow season has not begun.

The problem is sheet flow is so slow, it's hard to see.

That's why we use water rising to the base of the "lone" marl prairie pine trees as a guide.

More good news: That could be a rain storm away!

Jul 22, 2020

Game changer?

Just when July was looking dry ...

Two days of weather moved in.

Chart showing weekly,
monthly and yearly rain
totals for the Big Cypress

That has the swamp eyeing an above-normal rain tally for the month.