Sep 8, 2011

Pond apple rise higher than Lake O

Usually I think of pond apple as being low and deep,

But compared to Lake Okeechobee they are actually quite high.

Lake O is still below 11 ft with not much wet season to go

Here’s why:

As of the start of the week the Lake was only at 10.76 ft above sea level.

That’s 4 feet below the twenty-year median for September and from an ecological standpoint means all the interior-levee littoral wetlands are dry. Low spots in the marsh don’t start to hold water until 11 ft above sea level and higher. The record dry plunge for the Lake occurred in 2007-2008 when the water line stayed below 11 ft for 511 consecutive days (as shown in the calendar graph below.) Currently the Lake has been below 11 ft for around 3 and ½ months, or about a hundred days in comparison.

Blue and dark blue is where Lake water was high

But back to the pond apple:

The graph below shows a comparison of water elevations for Lake Okeechobee, adjacent Loxahatchee and – much further south – Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve’s Mullet Slough. Mullet Slough has rebounded 4 feet since the spring compared to Lake Okeechobee’s only 1 foot.

That puts the swamp’s floating pond apples two feet higher than the surface of its once headwaters Lake O!

Even the low-lying Big Cypress Swamp boasts waters higher than the Lake

Still, at 2 and a 1/2 feet deep ...

The water under those pond apple is pretty deep.

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