You’ve read Go Hydrology, and you’ve look at its many hydrographs, photographs and short narrative piece on what’s the water cycle is all about in south Florida. Now – even better – you can buy the T-Shirt. More about the T-Shirt. I sighed up and was improved for an Merch by Amazon account. The advantage of Amazon is that you can get one-day delivery and return any product you don’t like free of charge. The downside, they use Print On Demand (POD) which basically means that that Amazon gets 15 dollars of the $19 T-Shirt. The good news: The more T-Shirts I sell the lower my production costs become.
Whatever the case, it’s just good to have some merch up on the site. People have been asking to do that for years. The more we spread the story of the water the more likely we’re going to get buy in for protecting it. My opinion.
Answer: It’s called the water cycle approach. In a nutshell, the water cycle serves as proxy and/or handy complement to the seasons. That’s particularly important in south Florida because we don’t have the traditional winter, spring, summer and fall that they enjoy Up North. For one, we don’t have snow. Two, spring is a time of drought not flood. Three, our clouds move the wrong way. The list goes on.
Make no mistake: The water cycle approach works in all climes, and for any watershed. But it also makes sense that it was invented in the Big Cypress Swamp. Why? For one, it took a National Park Service hydrologist to incubate on and implement the idea. Who else has one foot in the water and one in the data as much as me? Two, the swamp has an intermittently hyperactive and dyspeptically dormant water regime. Feast and famine happens every year, without fail. It’s called the wet and dry season. If water is life, the water cycle is also part sport in south Florida.
In my opinion, the water cycle is even more enjoyable (and rewarding) to tune into than your favorite home team. Disclaimer: I am both a Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins fan, although my hometown team and the team I love most is the Baltimore Colts.
And who’s to say it wouldn’t have been the perfect spot. At the confluence of where the Chesapeake and its main tributary meet, two centuries ago it was hard to argue it wasn’t the perfect spot. Eventually of course they picked Washington D.C., in part because the Potomac was a deeper water port, and Havre De Grace was shallower and silting in. Or maybe there were other reasons, too. My point: Havre De Grace went on to miss out on being the state capital (to Annapolis) and county seat (to Bel Air), too. Talk about a fall from grace! Or maybe not. Havre De Grace has an eclectic charm all its own, and is somehow preserved in time. So maybe swinging and missing at all three was its saving grace.
It makes me think about Maryland at large as being my “home state.” People always ask me: “Bob, where are you from?” My knee-jerk reaction is to say Maryland (the full state). But really when I think about it there are only two counties of the 23 that I know really well — Harford and Baltimore Counties — and can truly lay claim to knowing if not as good as the back of my hand, then as well as the bottom of my feet will ever know.
Or is it the watersheds I know best? As a kid my brother and I worshipped Deer Creek. Sometimes we told our parents we were going to church we’d drive there instead. The Gunpowder was our other spot. Unlike Deer Creek that flowed into the Susquehanna River, the Gunpowder emptied straight into the Bay. Both cut deep valleys into the Piedmont Plateau imparting a rolling landscape in reverse: the highest spots the highest remnants of the flat plateau and the waterways forming the base of the large hills.
So, am I a Marylander or a Harford/Baltimore Countian? Probably a Deer Creeker describes me best. Standing on top of the King and Queen Seat looking down, sometimes I wonder why I ever left.
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.