Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yep, It's A True Rainy Season

I've heard of a real Florida rainy season, but until this year I had yet to really experience one since I moved here about 9 years ago.  We had hurricane seasons, but the water table levels stayed relatively low since we didn't have The Wet Season.

I think the wet season is supposed to be roughly April through Whenever It Stops...maybe September/October?  I know hurricane season is officially over sometime in November.

Oh, the nay-sayers.  When we were getting quotes on having clearing and fence work done on the farm earlier this year, some of the local men who showed up to give us bids said they thought we were crazy wanting to clear and build on the land.  They said the road is under water every year, not to mention all the properties out there.  They warned of wetland environmental concerns, scrub jay issues, "this land is so far out no one will want to travel here to do any work," and so on.  And then they gave us exorbitant quotes.

There was much scratching, boot scuffling, and a little spitting here and there as they ticked off their long laundry lists of why it would be so inadvisable for people like us to want to actually LIVE on our land.  Mosquitos.  No one else lives out here.  Flooding.  Fires.  Full of rattlesnakes and rats.  Nothing will grow in the soil.  Too far from emergency services.   These men were also wearing sunglasses along with their caps, negativity, and rhetoric. It was so discouraging, if all they said was to be believed.  The whole time I wondered why they were SO intent on keeping us from loving our property.  We truly LOVE it.  Am I just a suspicious person, or were they working VERY hard to discourage us from living here??  What, do they get to hunt free out here if no one else is here or something?

I hate when people won't show me their eyes.  And no, it does not intimidate me.  It makes me wonder why they need to hide, but that's just me.

And I did point out that on our same road there is a gorgeous two-story house further down, and several others of varying construction types on the adjacent roads, all of which have been there and been in full use for YEARS.  And I don't think the hundreds of acres of orange groves behind our properties found the land to be tooooooo unfit for growing ;-)

I digress.  We did a lot of homework before we bought the property due to the fact we've been thwarted in land purchases before (major ouch there) and eliminated properties from our new wish list if they did not meet some of the Musts.   Must not have environmental issues present or future.  Must be able to be used for Ag.  Must be buildable.  Must have access.  Must be HIGH AND DRY.

Well, thankfully the farm IS high and dry.  That's not to say the road is, however.  It's never been paved or had rock or shell put down, it's simply at one time been scraped and had ditches put down.  So now after years of occasional wear, it has huge pits in it and no one has bothered to maintain it.  The only neighbor on that road whose family use it are relocating in the foreseeable future, so no effort has gone into its maintenance, or will, from here on out.

Jack went out the other day in between thundershowers and he won't try it again until there are a couple of days of dry in between.  He said the water was deep enough to go over a normal car's tire tops, and even for the truck it was a challenge getting down and back without being stuck.  All the ditches are saturated and overflowing and there's no shoulder to the roads when it gets like that.  I've been unable to get there for WEEKS and it's driving me crazy...I have this need to be on our land.

I think we'll have to ride out this cycle and just be thankful the water tables are being replenished.  The good report was that even with that much rain, the actual property was still high and dry.

I wonder after having planted some plants along the ditch to help stop erosion, and after having sown a few thousand seeds along there, if any of them made it or if they all got washed away.  I guess I'll know if I see cosmos and sunflowers volunteering along the neighbors' ditches :-)

In my thinking, this presents us with the challenge of making sure any structure we build out there will always be high and dry.  I have said I don't want a house with a second story in the event we aren't able to use steps easily in the future (as I well know with knee problems).  With this much rain, though, the idea of a very small home raised on concrete pillars has been put back on the table again.

I refuse to complain about the rain.  The ground has been hot and thirsty for so many seasons now, I simply cannot complain.  I love thunderstorms.  I've seen the devastation of flooding firsthand before and I don't love that.  But I just love the gift of all that water just now.

I'll be glad when we can resume working there, a day at a time, as we are able.  I long for it!  In the meantime, I guess it's time to learn about timing and letting the rain do what it does best...get things really wet!

It's strange.  Sometimes the less in control I realize we are, the less I fear the nay-sayings of others.  Like those men who gave us quotes.  They would be laughing about now, saying I told you so, and shaking their heads at the crazy people (us).  They also may never have the pleasure of experiencing the benefits of all the things they considered to be deficits, or maybe something else is their idea of a great location and a great day.  It's ok :-)

It helps us.  We need to know the possible extremes of our seasons.  It'll help us decide how the land would best be used, what materials to use, how and what to plant, make some decisions about layout and emergency scenarios.

And whether to build an ark to get to the mailbox down the road each day! :-D

How have you had to accommodate your climate's extremes...how have you used them to your benefit or what have you had to do to overcome them?   I'm very interested in knowing!

1 comment:

Carol said...

I think people like it the way it is and are afraid too many "outsiders" will come in and change things. Once they realize you are there because you love it as it is and don't want a mini mall etc down the road...they'll see you differently.