Swamp Rules

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Weather Drop

Wrong way clouds?
Winds shift and unleash from the west

South Florida’s clouds are larger than life …

And unleash torrential rains.

You know it’s a strange day in the swamp when the summer afternoon clouds are moving from West to East

And most of all …

They move the wrong way.

Unlike properly-behaving clouds on up the continent that predictably move from West to East (i.e. the Westerlies), south Florida’s summer clouds migrate from East to West on the wings of the Trade Winds.

But it was a lucky day, too, judging from this lucky pond apple find!

Except today.

As for why?

All I can say for certain is that I got thoroughly wet.

Talking to plants
And how plants talk to you

This cypress dome may look dry …

But it’s showing water in two ways.

Soggy peat and dry water rings, south of the Alley

First, the peat is still soggy.

The water table was about a foot below the surface. That’s high enough for the peat to wick some moisture up, especially in the lowest spots. Also factoring in was a recent rain storm that wetted the peat top down.

Second are the high-water water rings around the fluted trunks. That’s the tree telling the water cycle how high it would like to be filled up. Word is the sky could start obliging in about a week (fingers crossed).

Before I left the dome I made sure I told the trees that.

Rules and their exceptions
And why both count!

The rule of the swamp:

Cypress take the low ground and pines the high.

Lone pine in a flooded prairie

Yet I’m always struck by the variability.

Whether it’s a lone slash pine (above) in a prairie surrounded by mysterious dwarf cypress snags, or a sabal palm tree (below) in the middle of the dome.

The large cypress snag in the deepest part of the dome made sense, but the high-ground loving sabal palm next to it made me scratch my head.

Rules seem to want to be broken in the swamp.

Florida rain proverb

The rule of thumb on the Iberian peninsula is:

“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the Plain.”

South Florida is still waiting
for it’s first “Big Rain Month”
of the year

When it comes to the south Florida peninsula,

And last weekend’s rain:

The rule of thumb can be described as:

“It rained most, along the coast”

Radar-derived image
of past week of rain
across south Florida
Florida’s Southwest Coast, Miami East Coast and south of Tamiami Trail got walloped with rain, but the heart of the peninsula, not so much.  
Caveat: That proverb only applies to this past event.