Saturday, November 12, 2005

Change Of Seasons, Change Of Climate

In the collage above, you have two sets of before and after views.
In North Florida, summer is the season of daily afternoon thundershowers...we get a lot of 'em. Between the daily rains and the occasional hurricane, ponds and swamps stay nicely full most summers.

Fall and Spring are considerably drier. Cool dry air pours down and gives us blue, cloudless skies for a few months, before and just after Winter.

Winter can be pretty wet at times. We can get heavy rains for days when a cold front stalls over the area. The combination of cold Canadian air and warm moist Gulf air produces a lot of precipitation. It gets cold here and it's a damp cold that goes right through you.

(Before you chide me about it getting "cold" in Florida, let me just say I have been on the Athabasca Glacier, Mt. Ranier in the winter, and honeymooned in Banf also in the winter. I've been on a SAR hike in the Great Smokies in blowing snow with a wind chill of 20 below, my beard was a solid mass of ice when I finally got off that I have been cold before and it does get cold here.)

So there!

Anyway, the top two pictures are my amphibian pond that my buddy Billy scooped out this summer. The left photo is summertime, a few days after he dug it. The right photo is this week. This is actually what I wanted to happen. This pond is supposed to be a fishless, intermittent water hole for my frogs and salamanders. The weird tower is a boy built jumping in the new pond structure...which was supposed to be taken down by now.

I think the bottom photos really point out the difference in the two seasons. The summer view of the pond at left is such a luxurious expanse of rampant green growth. The pond is nicely full (it had been way out of it's banks for months) and the dock is barely above water.

Contrast that with the right view, which was taken last week. The water level has dropped exposing sandy banks and the dock sits high above the water. The plant growth is much thinner now and everything looks tired.

The low water allows me to get into the main pond and pull algae and trim back the black willows that would enclose the whole pond if I allowed them.

No problems with water quality yet, but if the winter rains don't come, the low water levels could cause some low oxygen days for my bream and catfish.

I don't really have a name for my pond...we just call it, "The Pond".

If it dries up completely, I'll just call it Lake MargueritePosted by Picasa


pablo said...

Nice set of photos. Funny that some people want their body of water to dry up.

ominous anonymous (per pablo) (OA) said...

FC -- Lake Marguerite? In one sentence you have proven that you know cold.

pablo said...

Is your soil really that color or is it some photographic artifact?

Floridacracker said...

I only tease people who can take a joke...hope you're smiling. :)
I don't want it to dry all the way of course.
Soil? Did you call my sand soil? This is my soil, white quartzy sand that was under the Gulf only a few thousand years ago. Your RR soil is what we dream of...ours is porous and with 65 inches of rain per year all nutrients are washed out of the topsoil.

You're right, I will go stand in the corner for a few minutes .

Hick said...

That is a wonderful collage. They don't even look like the same places.

I spent some time in Pascagoula, MS in the fall and I thought the weather was lovely. I didn't know about all that rain and stuff.

Of course, I thought Wisconsin was beautiful in the Spring until I moved there and discovered that there were actually only 2 weeks of Spring. The rest was cold, cold, cold winters and hot and sticky summers. I found a husband and moved back to CA. Phew.

roger said...

nice ponds.

i think pablo has a dull chainsaw you could use to cut down the unwanted structure.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great look at the changing seasons, and the impact on your pond. I was so surprised that you get 65 inches of rain per year. Wow. That's a lot of rain. We only get 20 inches (we're in the rainshadow of the Olympics), but Seattle only gets 40. Your summertime photo is so lusciously green. Summer out west is when everything is parched and brown. I have to admit I am surprised by how different your seasons are there from ours. It's like another country (or planet)!

swamp4me said...

You could always put a gator in there and let it wallow out a deeper spot :)
Of course, that wouldn't do much for your fish population...

Floridacracker said...

If you remember the story of Smiley and Patience...there was a gator once...

It seems like 2 different places sometimes, such a contrast between the sweatbox summers and the airconditioned falls.

The amount of nails my son and his buddy used precludes any sawing in those 4x4's.

That's the average...anywhere from 55-65 inches. A hurricane like Frances can drop your annual total in 24 hours. Whew!