Florida is a popular place, and not just with humans. New plants, animals and microbes are moving in, too, and trying to carve out (sometimes rather successfully) a new place for themselves.

Hole in the Donut (in reverse)

It’s not always possible …

To restore a wetland to exactly how it was before.

Hole-in-the-Donut now (i.e. a few years after rock-tilled
soil was scraped away, pinelands in the background)
Hole-in-the-Donut (immediately following scrape down)
Hole-in-the-Donut after fallow rock-plowed farm fields
went feral and became infested with Brazillian Pepper 
Artists interpretation of what Hole-in-
the-Donut used to look like when it
was active rock-plowed farm fields
Hole-in-the-Donut prior to rock plowing

Hole in the Donut is the case point.

Once upon a time it was pine flatwoods. That was before it was rock plowed for farming, and before those fields went fallow and filled in with Brazilian pepper, and before efforts were made to get pines to grow back.

The eventual solution was to scrape out the makeshift soil.

That turned it into a herbaceous marsh.

Gift that keeps giving

The origin of Brazilian Pepper is self descriptive …

But Ba-zillion pepper probably describes it’s inorexable math.

Can you count the number of berries. I lost track at 256.

As festive as it looks,

It’s a scourge on the swamp.

Especially when you consider that’s just one bush.

“Turnaround” river

Just a few years back,

Turner River’s headwater pools were all but clogged.

Let’s just say paddling
was a chore

The cause?

Submerged aquatic vegetation had grown too thick.

The good news, and take heart:

Today the channel is clear and paddle friendly again.

The Turner River
is a hydrologic restoration
success story

What was the magic wand?

My current line of thinking is that we got the water right.

Just upstream we added a new series of culverts.

That helped to spread the water out in the form of sheet flow, just like the river likes.