Jun 28, 2017

Source of the river?

The pools at the headwaters of the Turner River ...

Are are actually described as a terminus (from a navigational sense).

View of Turner River where it crosses
the Tamiami Trail looking Northeast.

Turner River Road is in the background.

It's source is the swampy watershed that surrounds it on all sides.

Thanks to installation of new culverts under Turner River Road with the help of Collier County, the Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC's) Aquatic Habitate Restoration/ Enhancement (ARHE) program, and the South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT) the river's "water source" has been expanded.

Jun 27, 2017

Don't blame the rain!

The only antidote to too much rain ...

Is letting it spread out.

Otherwise it piles up in one spot.

Of course that's easier said than done.

Jun 26, 2017

Flow reversal (at the Turner River!)

Usually Turner River is fed from its headwaters ...

Flowing from north to south.

Except in this case.

Water (still) on the rise

Swamp levels have started to subside ...

But in Water Conservation Area 3A water continues to rise.

Calendar chart showing
where the water table in 3A is
now relative to the historical record

That's because inputs flowing in exceed outputs flowing out.

A lot of water managers are discussing options to help spread the water out.

Hint: That could mean more water for the swamp.

Jun 25, 2017

Did somebody say "drought?"

It's easy to forget ...

That a month ago we were still in a deep drought.

The same culvert in June (top)
and May (bottom) as seen a few
miles north on Turner River
Road looking south

Now here we are knee-deep in a record-wet June.

Jun 24, 2017

Spreading the water out

The flip side of the bounty of rains that has filled up the swamp ...

Is the epic volume we are simultaneously losing to tide as a result.

New culverts as shown above are helping retain more water longer in the swamp.

Jun 23, 2017

Back by popular (water) demand

There has been a lot of interest ...

In seeing more photos from the storm earlier this June.

Above is a Power Point of photos we took a few days after the storm. Enjoy!

BTW: Two weeks later, all the water you see over the roads has now receded, although some limestone roads are still closed as they are being repaired.

Jun 22, 2017

Old farming footprint

Swamp buggies sort of resemble tractors ...

But the days of farming The Big Cypress are long gone.

Can you see the furrows?

Tamiami Trail near Barnes
Strand (behind) looking East
mid June 20th, 2017

Yes, the furrows are visible from the sky.

But from ground level you'd swear they weren't there.

How about now?

round view
looking East

Sometimes you have to be far away to properly focus in.

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.