Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clay Island

The canals on Clay Island are full of alligators, most are large and crusty. One 15 footer crossed the path but was too far away for my camera.

ClayIsland is a peninsula in Lake Apopka. It used the be the site of muck farms because of its rich soil. After generations of taking water from the lake for irrigation and putting it back in with phosphates and nitrates from fertilizing and toxic residue from spraying, people had to move because the became sick and the Lake had died.

St. Johns River Water Management District bought the land and is restoring it. right now, it is a wetlands with long canals and abundant wildlife.
Great blue heron

Butterflie on pickerel weed

In addition to adding aluminum sufate as a floccating agent, the residue from NuRF is sprinkled on the ground in order to prevent leaching of nutrients back into the water. Tehre is no fancy machine from Germany, but the area is very large which helps in restoring water quality. Unfortunatley, Lake Apopka's watershed does not provide clean water. There is still a long way to go to clean up this lake.
The hill in the background is Sugarloaf Mountain, the second highest mountain in Florida. It is part of the "ridge" that runs down the middle of Florida and peters out north of Lake Okechobee
The ridge is the remnant of ancient sanddunes that separted the gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean when most of Florida was under water.

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