Mar 8, 2012

Swamp's topographic "slight of hand"

Some people go to Corkscrew to commune with nature …

Others put their plant and bird spotting skills to test.

Swamp ecologist at work
I on the other hand go to check on my hydrographs.

By check I mean cross-check to make sure what they are showing matches up with what is actually there in the field.

Hydrographs need to be field checked


On this particular trip I was focused on the pond apple.

My hydrograph showed them to be dry, i.e. water levels had dropped about a half foot below the pond apple forest floor. I was happy to visually (and in first hand) confirm that my hydrograph was correct, or mostly correct. One spot showed pond apple to be plentiful in what appeared open water.


I was baffled:

Could the pond apple really be that wet?

Pond apple took root on tussocks
where once was just open water

The trick was they had taken root on slightly elevated micro-islands of peat, rock and old tree stump remains called tussocks.

The swamp’s topographic slight of hand almost tripped me up.

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