Floating islands

Florida has lots of islands, and lots of water surrounding them, on top of which are many things that float:

Turns out it also has “floating islands!”

When big rains follow an extended drought, the rapid (and deep) submergence of oxygen filled peat, plus some wave action, can cause the peat to become buoyant – and then “pop up” from the bottom or simply dislodge from the lake shore:

Thus a floating island, or tussock, is born.

Where it goes from there is the whimsy of the wind … and water levels. Sometimes they get deposited up on higher terrain. Other times they drift ashore to the dismay of property owners. Other times they won’t go way.

In the Everglades many “tree islands” formed from the same process.

The photograph was taken by Matt Hasty on one such island in Lake Jesup (Seminole County) during the multi-day “no name” storm of mid May. Those rains popped lake levels up 4 feet and, in the process, also brought some new floating islands to life.

Excellent photo Matt!

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