Jun 21, 2017

Nowhere fast

It's been two weeks since the big rainfall event ...

And still that giant pool of water is still there.

About a mile north of
Upper Wagonwheel Road
looking south

That's not really all that surprising.

After all, swamps are designed to drain slowly ...


And spread their water out.

Water backed up behind
Upper Wagonwheel Road
looking Southeast

Note to self: We need more culverts under that road!

Jun 20, 2017

Fish crossing

When water rises over the road ...

It carries with it fish, too.

Lower Wagonwheel Road
a week and a half ago
looking East
A bit of a contrarian, this juvenile Jewell Cichlid was swimming "up current."

Jun 18, 2017

Roots of the willow

The problem was as complex and exasperating as they come for a home owner.

Each spring, especially the wet ones, our basement “took in moisture.”


Fortunately my father had a solution:

He would plant weeping willows in the back yard, by the fence line – five to be exact. That would solve the problem.



Never a student of botany (to be honest, I’m not sure how his theories took root), my father's faith in the weeping willow was to him as clear a fact as there ever was or would be in the world:

At the dinner table, on his way out the door to work, or to anyone who would listen, he would tout the divine powers of this miracle tree and its prodigious powers to suck wet earth dry and underground rivers barren.

I was a grade schooler at the time, so I had no reason to question his selection of tree, or doubt his declarations of its moisture wicking properties … but it certainly laid the seeds for future doubts.


The flooding in the basement never abated, but – as my father would tell it – that was only because “the trees need to grow bigger before you see the full effect.”

As proof he would point to the middle willow, which sprouted taller and fuller than the rest: “That’s because its roots tapped into a main channel of the underground river,” he would explain.

Years later, when confronted with mounting evidence of omnipresent spring moisture, he held firmly to his original vision of botanological victory:

“Just think how worse it would be if I hadn’t planted those trees.”


You see, my father was not a man whose mind could be changed easily … if at all, and in that regard his faith in the weeping willow never dimmed.

Instead, his awe in the underground stream only deepened and widened ... “wherever it is and however it flows.”


It was more powerful than the weeping willow.

In my Dad’s way of seeing things, that was one mighty river.

Jun 17, 2017

Determined water

They often say "water has a mind of its own."

In this case it was dead set on getting to the other side of the road.

New culvert looking south
about a 5 miles north
of  HP Williams

Not that the water was picky:

Above the water went through a new culvert.


Below (and farther south) it over topped the road.

Turner River Road a week ago,
a half mile north of HP Williams
looking south

There's no stopping water when it gets in that sort of mood.

Jun 16, 2017

Scenic view of giant pool

Upper Wagonwheel Road (up-down)
at intersection of Turner River Road
(left-right) looking West

Nosing towards a June record rainfall

Halfway through June 2017 ...

That rainfall tally is already at 85 percent of the swamp's record June high.

The above chart displays monthly rainfall for Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve.  Blue bars show actual rainfall, the gray background shows historical statistics, 1983-present

That happened in June 2005, i.e. the year of Wilma.

Jun 14, 2017

Low-level dam

The limerock road is about 3 feet higher ...

Than wetland grade.

Upper Wagonwheel Road
looking Northwest

The water on the north side is about 1 foot higher than to the south.

Giant pool (in the swamp)

A giant pool formed on the upstream side ...

Of Lower and Upper Wagonwheel Roads.

Looking Northwest

Above is a view of the intersection of Birdon and Lower Wagonwheel Roads.

Below is a view of the top of Birdon Road where it turns into Upper Wagonwheel Road.

Looking West
The tree line to the west is Deep Lake Strand.

Jun 13, 2017

Front windshield (and rear) views

Driving east on
Lower Wagonwheel Road
on Friday June 9th

View from the back window,
looking west, at State Road 29
canal overflowing its banks

Jun 12, 2017

High water over low road

Water piling up behind Upper Wagonwheel Road ...

is a common wet season sight.

Intersection of State Road 29 (left)
and Lower Wagonwheel Road,
looking North

But behind Lower Wagonwheel Road ...

Not so much.


It has eleven sets of double and triple barreled culverts along its 3-mile stretch.


Ground view of same intersection,
looking Northeast

Also factoring in was the State Road 29.

The glut of water caused the road to over top at the confluence of both canals ...


And sheet flow across the lime rock road at several spots.