Shrinking “islands”

The cypress have gone under, now the water line is creeping up into the “pinelands” — or “pine islands — as we call them.

They are wetlands to be sure, but we call them “islands” because they are the last patches of land to get swallowed up by the encroaching rise of the summer water line.

That usually happens sometime between August and October in Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve, but this year — thanks to a rainy early start to July — the islands have already begun their summer shrinking act.

Swamp stage is about 4 inches above the 15-year early July average, and about 4 inches below the early July high-water record (set in 2005).

And can you believe it:

We have wildland fires too during the wet season. That’s what explains the singed canopy, although some trees escaped seemingly untouched.

Like water, fire has a mind of its own.

By the way, the photos were taken in late June before the islands started to shrink.

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