Here’s an up-to-date graph showing location of the wetting front in Big Cypress National Preserve relative to last year, the 10-year average, and some recent years of note (2005, 1998, and 1995).
It’s only July and the pinelands have already gotten had their feet wet for a half month.
If that seems early, think back just a few years ago in 2005 when 20 inches of June rain pushed the wetting front up into the pinelands for 6 consecutive months, from mid June to mid November.
That made 2005 an early, long, and deep wet season … capped off with an exclamation point of Wilma at the end. During the typical year, the wetting front moves up into the pinelands for about a 3-month span, usually between August and November.
When that happens, the wet prairies are over ankle deep in water, the tall cypress are shin deep, and the sloughs are at or above the knee.
Swamp walkers should take extra precaution:
watch out for potholes, watch out for floating logs, and watch out for cypress knees.
All will trip you up, but the submerged cypress knee will leave you with a pretty good shin bruise to boot, adding insult to injury, … or in this case, just the opposite: adding injury to insult.