Tall order to re-fill

The swamp has rebounded, but it still has a ways to climb:

The pinelands – our highest country – are still dry.

Last year the pinelands stayed wet for 4 months.

Compare that to the wet prairies which stayed wet for 7 months, cypress for 8, and swamp forest for 9 months.

Usually those “deeper wetlands” stay wetter for longer: but this year’s spring drought quickened the pace of the water table decline.

Swamp stage is currently “normal” for mid June.

That’s a bit of a surprise considering the chart-topping rains we had in May.

Does that mean that June rains have been unusually low?

Not really:

The month isn’t over, but – at least over the Big Cypress – we’ve had our normal wet season pattern of rains.

This hydrologic mystery is better explained by the swamp water exemption to the meteorological rule (actually, it’s more of a wise tale) that “all droughts end in floods.”

When the water table bottoms out as low as it did this spring, the swamp turns into a giant “dried out” sponge.

May rains always have to “re-soak the sponge” before they can “re-fill the swamp,”

Only this year, the sponge was especially thick.

That made it a tall order to “re-fill.”

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