Wind and Water

Friday December 21st 2018

Yesterday’s heavy rain gave way to strong winds and occasional rain. The rain was annoying, but the wind was dangerous. I’m glad I wasn’t driving the motorhome today. The wind was reported at thirty to forty miles per hour at the coast with gusts much higher. The Sunshine Skyway bridge across the mouth of Tampa Bay was closed most of the day do to the high winds. A gust over seventy miles an hour was measured on the bridge.

View upstream from the bridge over the Myakka River, The area in the center of the picture was solid land instead of two islands. On the left of the picture the narrow strip of land completely cut off the water behind it before the rains came.

I’m fifteen to twenty miles inland from the gulf. The wind was probably five or ten MPH lighter, but the gusts shook the RV at times. My sewer hose kept getting blown off its elevated slinky bridge. After resetting it twice I gave up. Tomorrow I’ll try again. The only thing that didn’t seem to be impacted by the wind was the Crazy Cardinal. It still tried to attack the side of the motorhome several times today.

View down stream from the bridge over the Myakka River. The area on the left behind the narrow bank was all dry and green grass prior to the rain storm. Access to the water on the right was much more restricted.

During one of the periods between rain storms I road my bike over to the Myakka River bridge to check the water level. Just getting there was a challenge. I had to dodge many three and four inch deep puddles and navigate around downed branches and palm fronds in the road. Deeper standing water was in the woods just off both sides of the road. There was clear evidence that the water was over the road a few hours earlier.

At the bridge over the Myakka River the landscape looked very different. Broad areas that were green river banks two days ago were now covered with water. Backwater ponds that were either cut off from the main channel or narrowly connected were back in the current of the river. Even the alligators didn’t have as much space to get out of the water. Most of the birds were back in the trees and tall grass to stay out of the wind.

A Great Blue Heron all tucked up against the wind along with a pair of Limpkins (I think). The alligator doesn’t seem to care about the birds.

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