Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lakefront property

You may remember a photo from a few posts back of the pretty green field behind my house. Its official designation is Water Retention Area, part of the city’s plan to prevent flooded houses. Many of them are huge deep grassy pits. Most of the time they’re just grass that needs mowing, but yesterday they caught the overflow from a ‘tropical disturbance’ that brought strong winds and heavy, heavy downpours. I heard the weatherman say that cells in the Cape Canaveral area were dropping rain at the rate of nine inches per hour! Our Saturday and Sunday varied from sprinkles to medium showers that delivered 2 inches of rain according to my rain gauge. Little did we know that 3AM Monday morning it would be our turn for the deluge.

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This is the largest WRA in our subdivision - about a half acre dug out to a depth of 12 to 15 feet that’s never had more than a foot of rain in the bottom since I’ve lived here. From seeing the debris line it came very close to overflowing Monday morning. It makes for a lovely view, doesn’t?

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Here’s the ‘field’ behind my house. I parked behind the house after a Sunday trip to Walmart because it’s easier to carry in heavy garden items. I did think of moving the car back to the driveway but then forgot. Woops. It was squishy Sunday evening, but you could see grass. The WRA slopes down from my backyard about four vertical feet, then goes out level for about 75 feet, then drops again another 4 feet, goes another 30 or 40 feet and finally rises up about 6 or 8 feet on the other side. It’s at least 500 feet long where the water is.

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Monday morning I awoke to DH saying, “You’re wheels are in the water.” What!?  Fortunately, Tom had no appointments yesterday or today so I borrowed his truck to go to work since my car was landlocked.

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Ellie thought, “This is weird.” Or maybe not. At fifteen and a half she’s become a pretty blasé dog.

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I was shocked to see the wheelbarrow filled with water almost to the top. They said we got 3.75 inches, but we’ve had that much before without this much accumulation even on top of two inches the previous two days. That’s a lot of rain!!

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This is where our street tees into the next street, a definite low spot, but the truck had no problem with the several inches of water. The yards to the right in this photo were quite flooded, and the houses, probably built in the late 70’s were at or below the level of the crown of the road and very close to having water inside. More recent building codes require the house slab to be 18 inches above the crown of the road. It makes a difference. Sadly, Ocala had a lot of flooded houses and businesses.

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At 5:30 Monday evening the ‘lake’ across the street had dropped only about a foot. By this morning it was down about halfway. Sandy ground is great for shedding rainwater but not so great for gardens - for the same reason. It leaks like a sieve.

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Also at 5:30 Monday the pond out back had receded just a bit but not enough to move the car. Of course, the car probably would not have had a problem in a few inches of water, but I hate to destroy the grass that’s now on the mushy bottom. I got the car out this evening.

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This is a photo of nature having the last laugh. You see the two small light areas to the right of the baby daylilies? That’s sand – depressions in the bed. My soil at and to a decent depth below the surface is black because of the organic matter that I’ve added. Pour on a bunch of water, and there’s the beach sand. The question is – where’s the organic matter? I wonder if I should feed again. Food gone bye-bye.

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  1. That's a lot of water, Shelly !!!
    I would feed again those plants . Some compost ...
    Have a good week !

  2. We were predicted to get over 3 inches. HA! One tiny/short downpour early Sunday morning, and a few sprinkles that was it for rain. What we did get was LOTS of wind.

    Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Wow, we missed all of that traveling, the weather was fantastic until we hit Roses Unltd. in South Carolina. It must have been pretty rough at the ranch, we had reports of down trees and 2 fences down. Great post, love seeing the world through your eyes!

  4. That's a lot of rain! Good planning to have those areas for water runoff. But, wow - it really shows how much water builds up and then runs though the sandy soil! I think it certainly wouldn't hurt to feed again - as you say, all that was there is now gone.

  5. Hi Sherry, the first photos look pretty scary to me, yikes! So much rain! You seem to be taking it pretty cool and I really admire you for that. Hope your area is not getting any more downpours that it can not deal with. Wishing you, your garden, and Ocala all the best!

  6. Sherry, when it rains in your area it really rains! Seeing all those "lakes" is really fascinating. Only thing missing is the ducks!