Tuesday, October 2, 2007


photographs by John Tarnowski
This may looks like just a side yard, but it is also part of the Peace River watershed. It's our own "river of grass," to borrow from Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The green swale disguises a commodious trough that slopes gently away from the neighborhood road, descending about ten feet in elevation over 330 yards. Deep in the woods, the slough reaches an arm of Joshua Creek, and the rainwater runoff it carries burbles into that more robust flow. The confluence eventually reaches the Peace River, which snakes through my little town, about three miles from here, before joining the Myakka River and forming the estuary that gives rise to Charlotte Harbor. Another body of water on our little acre is the artificial pond, pictured at the bottom of this page. It was excavated to provide enough dirt to form a small hill on which to build the house we live in. The pond is always full of water -- and wildlife -- but its level rises and falls dramatically with the cycles of the subtropical wet and dry seasons.

It's clearly part of the local watertable, just as the newspaper reported.
The cedar-stained water of a Joshua Creek feeder marks the boundary of our little acre.

Photograph by John Tarnowski

Laura Schmid's article in the morning Sun, "Water projects unveiled," helps remind readers of the interconnections among yards, neighborhoods and the regional water supply. The dog-and-pony show by quasi governmental types with flip charts, maps and Power Point presentations that she attended was, most likley, a bit dull. But she served her readers well in covering it.

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