We have been in a drought for the last 3 years. Not only does it make our
lawns brown and our gardens limp, but it creates a fire hazard and lowers the
level of the river.
marsh adapts, but a lack of water causes special problems.
Alligators have to go where the water is, and since they
are territorial that means that they have to get aggressive
and take over someone elses space. Right now it is mating
season and that makes them pretty aggressive, too!
these conditions you frequently see articles on the news
about alligators being found in places they don't belong
and attacking animals they wouldn't ordinarily bother.
a few people have been attacked this year, too, which is
<<< The bottom of Lake Sawgrass can be seen all the way
across - the deepest spot is no more than 3 ft. deep.
parts of the river are so low you have to get out and push
your boat through.
A natural gas
pipeline passes through the marsh. A canal was dredged
to lay the pipeline underwater, but the river is so low
now that parts of the pipeline are sticking up out of
the water. In all the many years I've been on the river
I have never before seen the pipeline exposed.
can't get into this area where the pipeline is exposed,
but airboats travel these trails a lot. PVC pipes with
reflector strips were set in place as markers so the airboat
drivers can see the hazard in the dark.
Normally underwater, this area has
turned into a nasty muckhole. Unless
you have an airboat you aren't going over top of this
stuff. Even with an airboat you need to cross a muckhole
with caution. Muck is very sticky and can create a suction
on the bottom of your boat.
Birds seem to
enjoy drought conditions more than the rest of us. Warm
weather makes the hydrilla and other water grasses grow
profusely. When the water level drops the grass is exposed
to the birds and they are able to easily catch grass shrimp,
crawdads, frogs, salamanders, minnows, fish, snakes, mussels...
all the yummy things that normally live there!