We’re walking on exposed lake bed. The ground is spongey and springy, not a place used to feet pressing down on it. The west edge of Lake Miccosukee is usually kind of a cypress swamp, and in the winter coots issue out of it to forage among the grasses in the open water alongside. Right now, though, the open water looks grassier, and I’m walking in that swamp. Miccosukee’s water is going down a hole. Continue reading Lake Miccosukee Sinkhole Hike: Floridan Aquifer Exposed!→
In 2014, we posted a look at the health of Leon County lakes. Noticing that a number of people are still visiting the page, we’ve produced an updated summary with current data for each major lake in the area.
Leon County has a good number of lakes where people can kayak, fish, or hike. We care about the cleanliness of these waterways because we want to play in and around healthy waters. Nature is key to Tallahassee’s quality of life, and a draw for tourists. Well maintained ecosystems and abundant wildlife are a part of that draw. Continue reading Lake Report 2016: Leon County’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Lakes→
Welcome to Part 9 (of 10) of Roaming the Red Hills, which originally aired on the April 14 episode of WFSU’s Local Routes. Through ten 3-minute videos, we’ll explore the natural soul of the Red Hills of Florida and Georgia, from the pine uplands down to its rivers, lakes, and farms. Thanks to Tracy Horenbein for creating original compositions for this video series. The series is narrated by Jim McMurtry.
For months, it looked like we wouldn’t be able to shoot our duck hunt video. Lane Green, retired director of Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy (and the Tallahassee Museum before) kept checking both Lake Iamonia and the Ducks Unlimited Migration Map, starting on November 21 when the season began. We exchanged e-mails every week or two, always with a report of little to no ducks. Visiting family in Massachusetts, I took a Christmas Day stroll in short sleeves, seeing hundreds of ducks on Duxbury Bay. Perhaps they saw no reason to fly south? As we approached the last week of the season, Lane kept reporting “only a handful of ducks.” We went ahead and scheduled a shoot for the last day of the season, Sunday, January 31. With low expectations, we scouted the site on the Friday before. Continue reading Lake Iamonia Duck Hunt→
Welcome to Part 10 (of 10) of Roaming the Red Hills, which originally aired on the April 14 episode of WFSU’s Local Routes. Through ten 3-minute videos, we’ll explore the natural soul of the Red Hills of Florida and Georgia, from the pine uplands down to its rivers, lakes, and farms. Thanks to Tracy Horenbein for creating original compositions for this video series. The series is narrated by Jim McMurtry.
“First impressions put aside, I soon began to appreciate that Jefferson County was- and for the most part continues to be- a beautiful environment.”
-Dr. Flossie Byrd, Echoes of a Quieter Time
Disappointed at being uprooted from Hanes City, Florida, the Byrd siblings soon discovered Lake Miccosukee, Ward Creek, and forests in which to play. Those Monticello woods and waterways fed them with ducks, geese, quail, wild turkey, and, as we see in the video, coot that would “fall off the bone”. In her book, Echoes of a Quieter Time, Flossie Byrd fondly remembers that “A number of the women were excellent cooks who could prepare ‘coons ‘n possums’ that were a ‘gourmet’s delight.'” (Page 86) It was an environment that entertained and fed Dr. Byrd and her sixteen siblings after the relocation of the original seven in 1940. Continue reading Cycling Monticello’s Historic Canopy Roads→
Last week on our Water Moves EcoAdventure, we showed images of polluted waterways south of Tallahassee. We in this area benefit from a large amount of protected lands, which surround us with scenic views as well as protect many of our rivers and streams. But Tallahassee itself is fairly urban; our paved roadways move pollutants into drainage ditches and sloughs instead of letting them sink into the ground to be filtered by the aquifer. Some waterways are more affected than others. Our lakes and rivers provide us with fresh fish and recreation; when they become compromised by algal blooms and other pollutants, they affect the health and economy of the communities around the resources. Continue reading Lake Report: Leon County’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Lakes→
The name Red Hills is perhaps underused by those of us who actually live here. That’s why the folks at Tall Timbers set out to reintroduce us to the area between the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers, from Thomasville to Tallahassee to Monticello. In defining this eco-region and the benefits we receive from living here, I gained a new perspective on our longer running exploration of the Forgotten Coast and its own gifts and uniqueness. I’ve often written about miles of unspoiled coastline and how that benefits our seafood industry. But any large healthy tree has an equally large root system that we don’t see, and for our estuaries these are miles of unspoiled river banks, sloughs, springs, and lakes. In our last EcoAdventure we hiked along sloughs in the backlands of the Apalachicola River floodplain, little fingers reaching into the nutrient rich muck to send it on its way to the bay. In the video above, we visit the lakes of north Leon County, through which water enters the Floridan Aquifer. This is our water, the water I’m drinking as I write this. It’s the water that feeds our springs, such as those that in turn feed the Wacissa River. That water emerges from Wakulla Springs, which flows into the Wakulla River and down to Apalachee Bay. Continue reading Red Hills Lakes | Kayak, Hike, & SUP Where Aquifer Recharges→