Local Weather Conditions
MarshBunny Notes
The St. Johns River The Intracoastal and Beyond
Low Water
Lake Sawgrass, low water

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.

The 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!

Under 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.

Quite a few people have been attacked this year, too, which is very unusual.

<<< The bottom of Lake Sawgrass can be seen all the way across - the deepest spot is no more than 3 ft. deep.

Peb pushing boat
Some parts of the river are so low you have to get out and push your boat through.

The pipeline exposedA 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.

Large motorboats 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.

A muckhole
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 feeding in a grass bed
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!

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