End of road?
Or just a momentary reprieve

There’s a saying that …

The darkest hour is just before the dawn.

Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

Well, sometimes you don’t even have to wait that long. That’s where campfires come in. There have been a lot of major inventions over the eons. The toaster. The comb. Just as seen on TV products. The list goes on. But has there ever been as good an invention as the campfire? Maybe the wheel. But that’s splitting hairs. The truth is that the there’s really no other antidote out there for what ails the soul than spending some quality time around a campfire. At least for my money. And campfire’s are usually free. That’s the best part.

Find out more about the campfire talks at Campfire Park at https://campfirepark.org.

Talking Tree
Firelight Radio presents

Welcome to Firelight Radio …

Where we tune in to the Nature Folk Movement (NFM).

Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

What exactly is the NFM? It’s the feeling that wells up into our hearts and minds when we gather around a campfire — the crackle, the glow, the aroma and the strumming. Here at Firelight Radio, we’re campfire inspired and guitar guaranteed. You’re always gonna hear a little crackling and you’re always gonna a little strumming. It’s where we get back to what’s important in life.

On today’s episode, we talk to a tree.

Actually, it’s the tree that does most of the talking.

Just a tree
And why that's good enough

When is a tree …

More than just a tree?

Available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

Answer: It’s true, some trees are more famous than others. South Florida’s most famous tree may be at the “Lone Cypress Tree” at the shores (or what used to be the shores) of Lake Okeechobee. Or there may be a stately Royal Palm Tree or Royal Poinsettia Tree that really stands out in your mind. In the neighborhood across the road from where I live there’s a Ficus like no other tree I’ve ever seen. It has multiple trunks — a solid dozen of them — and consumes what appears to be the better part of an acre. But really in my book a tree is a tree and worthy of a second look, especially if it’s doling out a nice patch of shade.

Fakahatchee Freeway?
Deep Lake Road isn't bad either

Nothing against the number 29

In my mind it’s just as good as 41.

SR29 is more damaging than the Tamiami Trail

My beef is this: People drive on State Road 29 all the time thinking it’s just another country road. But how could they not? All anybody knows it by is the stand-alone and rather non-descript alphanumeric code — SR29.

The road is greatly underappreciated, and a missed opportunity in my book. Consider for example that it cuts through the heart of the Big Cypress Swamp, straddling two of the region’s most famous strands (i.e. Fakahatchee and Deep lake Strands). And did you know it passes right by Deep Lake, one of South Florida’s most iconic natural ponds? The Lake in fact was the road’s original destination … before it got extended north. And here’s what bugs me most about non-descript SR29: it completely severs flows to the crown jewel of the Big Cypress ecosystem — Fakahatchee Strand. 

Call me a dreamer, but in my opinion a name change (i.e. rebranding) to the road could be the first step (i.e. a catalyst) to getting it fixed. How does Fakahatchee Freeway or Deep Lake Road sound?

Quandary of the double drop
When counting twice is okay

When does one rain drop …

Count as two?

Available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

Maybe the better question to ask is when a rain drop only counts as half.  As good fortune would have it, the talking guitar from Firelight Radio podcast welcomes Bob from Go Hydrology into the house (and by “into the house” we me “at the campfire”) to discuss how hydrologists “deal with” rain drops that fall between the cracks of two seasons, with the million dollar question being this: Is it every appropriate (or scientifically accurate) to count a single rain drop twice. Find out the surprising answer in this illuminating episode of this “campfire-inspired and guitar-guaranteed” podcast.

Go Hydrology 2.0
Learning to embrace the blog

Well it took a while, 

And it’s still a work in progress …

Available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

But finally I’ve turned the corner on a “new and improved” version of Go Hydrology.  Or maybe it’s the same old blog?  In fact, fully embracing the “blog” element of my work was a major breakthrough event.  I’d previously short of shunned the term, and in that spirit tried to turn it into more of a static website.  Then came the meteor strike of the Nature Folk Movement (NFM).  It not only expanded my repertoire of topics, it made me think very hard (and allowed me to experiment) on the structure of Go Hydrology.  The result?  The blog is now front and center with the caveat that behind it working in the background is a powerful and easy to navigate database, also known as a Table of Contents (TOC).  

What exactly is the NFM?  It’s a return to nature and the simplicity of its cycles, and most of all rethinking and recapturing the old traditions and values we used to adhere to prior to getting consumed in our smart phones.  And thus the humble goal of Go Hydrology and the Nature Folk Movement (NFM): To connect people with the water cycle and the way we did things in that mysterious geologic epoch called Before Phones.  Oh, and BTW: Beware of the Boogie Phone!

Find out more about Go Hydrology 2.0 in this podcast.

More than just a Rock
Introducing Rock E

You know the old expression:

“If the walls could talk.”

Available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

In the Everglades, the same applies to the rocks, but with a twist: Even when people notice them they are just as quickly ignored. The reason? It probably has something to do with all the other sights — wading birds, alligators, flowers … the list goes on. Also factoring in is the flatness of the landscape and the fact that most of the underlying rock is covered with water or a layer of peat. Another knock against Everglades rocks: There are really no scenic outcrops or dramatic geologic outlooks.

I’m not saying you have to forget that other stuff, but we can’t forget that the underlying limestone forms the foundation of it all. And rocks, believe it or not, are a lot more charismatic than you think.

And if you don’t believe me, watch the above video and listen to what “Rock E” has to say. I think you’ll be impressed.

animation tree

Geology of a tree?
When a topic gets away

Have you ever started on a topic …

Only to get distracted on a different path?

Brought to you by Firelight Radio

I started off trying to talk about geology, but the next thing I knew I was rambling on about a tree. But not just any tree! And that’s when it suddenly dawned on me: cypress trees first took root in south Florida in the footprint of the Lake Okeechobee some six thousand years ago. None of those trees are still living today, but there is one special cypress tree on the outskirts of Lake Okeechobee that may very well be the most famous tree of all. The only problem: it got stuck on the wrong side of the levee. In this podcast, I explore the options for connecting the “lone cypress” with the larger ecosystem. And BTW: the Firelight Radio podcast is hosted by a guitar, i.e. you can’t have a nature-folk movement without a guitar by a campfire … that’s just obvious.

Firelight Radio Podcast
A list of recent episodes

I know what you’re thinking:

Isn’t it odd to have a guitar hosting a podcast?

Available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

Answer: If we consider that Firelight Radio is a podcast about spreading the Nature Folk Movement (NFM), you really can’t have a “back to nature” movement without a guitar by a campfire … that’s just obvious.

As for a “talking” guitar, well the truth is, despite his looks — and yes, he does look like an acoustic guitar — he really isn’t that good at playing, or finger picking at least. That’s where the talking part comes in. (Although he does a little strumming, too).

Firelight Radio (FLR) is campfire inspired and guitar guaranteed. You're gonna hear some cracklin' (we're still working on the campfire aroma part) and you're gonna hear some strumming.  FLR is where we gather 'round the campfire to decompress and talk about what's important in life.  

In closing, I’d say this. Yes, it is a bit unique. But when it comes to the Nature Folk Movement (NFM), getting back to the campfire with a (talking) guitar is what it’s all about.

Go to Podcasts

Okeechobee Foothill?
How time turned a dike into a levee

For as easy as it is to see on a map …

Lake Okeechobee is deceivingly hard to find on the ground.

Map of Lake Okeechobee

The reason?

Hoover Hill would seem partly to blame.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Sometimes called a levee and other times a dike

The earthen embankment both blocks the view from its base and promises a scenic vista from its top only to leave you wondering –standing at its crest and looking inward — where the lake starts and if it’s there at all.

Hoover Hill (left) and Lake (right)

With everyone thinking about how to optimally regulate the Lake’s stage, its important to remember that from a design standpoint, the dike-turned-levee was built first and foremost to control (repress) water levels on the outside, not inside, of the levee …

And with the design goal (on the outside) being dry arable ground.

Read more