Trekking upstream …
Is pretty simple in the swamp.
Following the levee also helps
Usually it means traveling north.
Ask any canal …
It’s goes is plain and simple is to drain the swamp.
What the canals didn’t bargain for …
Was the strategic addition of earthen plugs.
We added those plugs primary built in the higher-ground pinelands.
That allows water to pool up behind the plug.
And discharge under the road through the culvert just upstream.
We’re in the heart of the summer,
But in some ways the sheet flow season has just begun.
|The colors on this historical|
calendar tell you where the wetting
front was from 1991 to present
It isn’t until the chart above turns “purple” or “black,”
That the swamp’s shallow sheet of water rises into the pine islands.
Last year (2019) that happened for a week or so, the year before that (2018) not at all; and the ear before that (2017) almost 7 months!
Yes, that was a record deep (and long) summer inundation.
And more proof that no two water years are the same the swamp.
There’s something about this canal …
I’ve never liked.
|Who says gators like canals?|
This one got thwacked on the head
by a high-speed boat
Maybe it has something to do …
With it cutting off California Slough.
Maybe it has something to do with it …
Stealing water from the adjacent swamp from below.
|It’s a tough life|
being a cypress dome
right by a canal
The only good news:
Latest word is that this canal may get filled in, at least partially.
That’s better than the status quo.
The slug of wind-blown saltwater …
Didn’t need canals (it was that strong).
|From top to bottom, Top: Panorama of the confluence of Turner River Canal (left) and Tamiami Canal (middle) looking east at HPWilliams Park, Middle: the first of five culverts that feed water from the Turner River Canal (middle) to the Turner River, looking north, and Bottom: Halfway Creek looking north at the Tamiami Trail. Can you see the boulders? That was an old plug that washed out over time.|
But coastal-connected Halfway Creek Canal helped amplify the event.
The bad news:
The canal is as dry as it gets.
The good news is that drought relief is on the way.
The same canals that whisk water out of the gator’s swamp home,
Also serve as the creature’s “life support” during dry springs.
|Tourists love seeing gators,|
Sadly too often it’s in canals.
As seen at HP Williams Wayside
Thus raising the question:
Are canals good or bad?
Answer: Filling in and plugging canals helps keep water where it belongs, in the swamp, thus ensuring that gators can not just survive, but thrive, across the entire landscape (not just near roads) and in the process, wallowing out deep water refugia where fish abound and birds can roost.