Precipitation Celebration

Life-on-the-Edge

This year South Florida has had the worst drought since 1932, when rainfall record keeping began. Here, we depend on the Biscayne Aquifer for our water. Recently, its level dropped an alarming and unprecedented foot in two weeks’ time. Saltwater intrusion threatens our wells. Lake Okeechobee, the back-up source for South Florida’s water, is so low that additional water restrictions have become effective. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that as of a week ago we officially entered the rainy season. Clear cerulean skies have given way to billowing cumulus clouds. Once again we hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Night skies flash with lightning.

Ominous-rain-cloud

The rains have come! It seems as if all nature has burst forth in celebration. Parched lawns and gardens have greened.

May Morning Rain

May Morning Rain

Plants burst into bloom.

Heliconia Rainbath

Heliconia Rain Bath

Snails prowl on rain-slick twigs.

Snail-1

A Turn for the Better

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Treefrogs can be heard singing in the night. When day breaks they seek out shady places to hide and rest.

Top O' the Morning to You!

Top O' the Morning to You!

Brown Anoles seek their mates on water dappled leaves. Males flash their dewlaps. Look at ME!

Lady Anole

Lady Anole

Gentleman Anole

Gentleman Anole

In the freshened grass, baby toads perfect their hopping skills while feasting on tasty insects.

Oak Toad in a Forest of Grass

Oak Toad in a Forest of Grass

Is it possible that our drought will end? Perhaps this season’s rains will restore the thirsty Everglades and refill our aquifer. We hope so. For now, it seems that all of nature has joined in a precipitation celebration.

Note: Even if the drought ends, all is not well. We have aliens in our midst. At least two of the animals featured above are invasive species from Cuba, the Cuban Treefrog and Brown Anole. As adorable as they may seem, they’re in the wrong place. The presence of non-native species in South Florida threatens the survival of native populations and upsets the ecological balance of the habitat they invade. Just writing this post has made me more aware of the dangers exotics pose and what I can do to help re-establish nature’s intended balance. I encourage you to research the natural balance in your area and learn how you can preserve it.

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10 thoughts on “Precipitation Celebration

  1. I am so happy you’ve gotten the rain you needed! These pictures are extra special to me since they’re from the backyard I love. I especially like the treefrog; he could be on a gretting card or poster! It’s amazing what you can do with your camera. Thanks again! 🙂

  2. Karen, you keep getting better and better– what beautiful photos. Your love of nature is captured in each photo and your concern for her well being in your words. Your photos always leave me in awe of our Creator.

    blessings …

  3. It seems my first comment is lost. Have you experienced that?
    It is so difficult to write the same words once more.
    It is a beautiful series of natures best.
    My favourite is the green frog posing for you, ready to jump if you get too close.
    -But it is difficult to pick a favourite among these good pictures.

  4. How do I express my gratitude for your kind comments? I sincerely appreciate each of you. Photography has helped me to see so much more thoroughly than ever before. I have learned that wonders abound if we just take the time to see. We mustn’t allow the fast pace of our lives to steal that from us.

  5. When I was in Orlando just this past February there was fire warnings because it was so dry. Some fires had already been burning in other parts of the state. I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks all the rain Florida has been getting and hope it starts to refill the water tables.

    Up here in New York, we have been battling a couple of invasive species in our waterways, the zebra mussel and water chestnut. The chestnut clogs our rivers and the mussels deplete oxygen in the water. Native species can not compete and die off.

  6. Love that tree frog photo. We have finally had some rain these last two weeks. 10 inches in our yard. Our plants are “very” happy.

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