“Roof-ladder” wetlands

Now here’s a Florida wetland
that you’d need a ladder
to climb up into the uplands.

Paynes Prairie.


Uplands and lowlands in south Florida are just a “step stool” apart.

The bluffs that surround Paynes Prairie — which was once filled with water like a shallow lake (enough to float a boat on!) — are twenty to thirty feet high …

Or a good “roof ladder” climb.


Where exactly did all that water go?

Add it onto the long list of Florida’s hydrologic mysteries.

Legend has it that it naturally sunk below ground through Alachua Sink in the 1890s

That turned the shallow lake into a steamboat-less prairie …

Scenic in its own right, but apparently not the lost scenic wonder — one of Florida’s primary attractions — before it abruptly vanished.

I was utterly amazed when I saw my first Florida “spring:”

Water quite literally gurgles to the surface.

If a “sink” is the opposite, as its name would suggest, I’m assuming that means it gurgles things down …

Or at least it once did when that great shallow lake went down.

That’s a scary thought, no?

I’ll find out for myself in two weeks when I’m there.

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