After Hours

Team Fire

Water doesn’t sleep at night, nor does a hydrologist (at least not right away). Join us around the campfire to for some good old fashioned songs, talks, book reviews and our podcast.

Lake Okeechobee

Okeechobee Foothill?
How time turned a dike into a levee

For as easy as it is to see on a map …

Lake Okeechobee is deceivingly hard to find on the ground.

Map of Lake Okeechobee

The reason?

Hoover Hill would seem partly to blame.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Sometimes called a levee and other times a dike

The earthen embankment both blocks the view from its base and promises a scenic vista from its top only to leave you wondering –standing at its crest and looking inward — where the lake starts and if it’s there at all.

Hoover Hill (left) and Lake (right)

With everyone thinking about how to optimally regulate the Lake’s stage, its important to remember that from a design standpoint, the dike-turned-levee was built first and foremost to control (repress) water levels on the outside, not inside, of the levee …

And with the design goal (on the outside) being dry arable ground.

weekly wave banner

Rainfall fizzle?
Or can the summer clouds still deliver?

First the good news:

Fall is near.

rain machine
Summer rain machine gets mothballed in 3-4 weeks

Now the not so good news:

The summer rain clouds still have work to do.

Here’s a closer look at the rain chart: https://gohydrology.org

Featured video: Steam rising out of the swamp after an ice cold rain.

Book review: Land from the Sea

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big weather

Steaming swamp
Think hot asphalt after a cool rain

From the distance it looked like smoke …

Or maybe dust kicked up from the limerock road.

It looked primordial, but it was actually super chilled

Only upon closer inspection did we see it was steam.

The source?

Similar to a hot asphalt road steaming after getting cooled down by an afternoon shower, the wisps of water vapor hovering over the cypress stand were the result of an ice-cold drenching from a super thunder cell.

The super cell, looking north, about 15 mile east of the strand

As good fortune would have it, I actually took a photo of the thunderstorm about an hour before and 15 miles upwind from the steaming strand. The air among the wisps was incredibly cooled and the fragrance from the cypress intense. Landing and walking in the water was further proof.

The water was chilled as if it had hailed.

birds eye view

Origin of domes
And how geology controls the show

What came first:

The depression or the dome?

Answer: Cypress domes form in shallow surficial depressions in the swamp’s underlying caprock, but that doesn’t explain why some depressions capped by a cypress dome and others, right next door, form a tree-free herbaceous marsh.

It might have something to do with the thickness of the marl.

Cypress dome and circular marsh

Or maybe fire frequency or flooding depth also factors in.

Mark it down as another mystery of the swamp.

weekly wave banner

Labor Day in Florida
Or should it be called a different holiday instead?

Labor Day is celebrated up North on the continent as the start of the fall season – sweater weather, brisk mornings and pumpkin spiced dishes of all sorts. Can you guess what holiday Labor Day better resembles in south Florida?


a. Valentines Day

b. Father’s Day

c. April Fools

d. Groundhog Day

e. Fourth of July


Answer: https://www.gohydrology.org

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Song of Week

Bobby Angel Campfire

Ballad of a Florida Panther

Bobby Angel’s ballad of a Florida panther …

And the transportation engineer he teamed up with to fix a road.

Bobby Angel is a troubadour of the Nature Folk Movement (NFM)

Stay on after the song …

To hear Bobby Angel dish out the inside scoop on the making of his smash hit, including never before revealed details on his first sighting of (what he thought initially) was a “large dog,” why they used to be more rare than seeing Ivory-billed woodpeckers, the movie magic of he videos opening scene, and how the use of silhouettes make the video pop.

After Hours Lineup: campfire songs | campfire talks | book reviews | podcast

Campfire Talk

After Hours Lineup: campfire songs | campfire talks | book reviews | podcast

Book Club

After Hours Lineup: campfire songs | campfire talks | book reviews | podcast

Podcast

Lake Okeechobee

Okeechobee Foothill?
How time turned a dike into a levee

For as easy as it is to see on a map …

Lake Okeechobee is deceivingly hard to find on the ground.

Map of Lake Okeechobee

The reason?

Hoover Hill would seem partly to blame.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Sometimes called a levee and other times a dike

The earthen embankment both blocks the view from its base and promises a scenic vista from its top only to leave you wondering –standing at its crest and looking inward — where the lake starts and if it’s there at all.

Hoover Hill (left) and Lake (right)

With everyone thinking about how to optimally regulate the Lake’s stage, its important to remember that from a design standpoint, the dike-turned-levee was built first and foremost to control (repress) water levels on the outside, not inside, of the levee …

And with the design goal (on the outside) being dry arable ground.

Podcast Archive

After Hours Lineup: campfire songs | campfire talks | book reviews | podcast

Daytime Topics: Water Cycle | Watersheds | Table | Ecology | Weather | Control | Cultural | Tidal