He poled up the creek, away from the juncture with the river. The
small tributary narrowed and soon they were both ducking under lowhanging
cypress and oak branches. She saw a bull gator sunning itself
on the bank, lazily watching them go by and ignoring this midday
incursion into its domain. When Rand could pole no further, he tied up
the boat and jumped into the shallow water, lifting Julia and following
the creek down along a sandy strip.
“What is out here? It seems like the middle of nowhere.”
“It is,” Rand said, “but that’s what makes it special.” Despite the
poling he showed no strain carrying her and since her feet were bare
and the ground was rough, she didn’t encourage him to put her down.
Besides, she rather enjoyed it, though she’d never tell him so.
He walked past the sand into a hammock of live oak sprawled out
like a dowager who’d loosened her stays, and emerged on the other side
to a pool fringed by sand and boulders on one side, bushes bright with yellow berries and more oaks and laurels on the other side. Rand
carried her past a pair of mossy-backed turtles sunning themselves on a
fallen log, over to the boulders and set her down atop one flat as the
table she’d stood on earlier. The sun shone hot on the pool, an open
patch in the thickness of the woods. The stream they’d followed ran
from it, water rushing rapidly through. When she looked over the lip of
the boulder into the pool, she saw why.
The water was crystalline and turbulent, gushing up to fill the pool
and overflow into the creek. She could see grasses waving on the
bottom as if whipped by a heavy wind.
Floridians have a saying: "We could use a good tropical storm 'bout now." When the water levels are low in our aquifer, a soaking or two helps recharge the groundwater supply.
A "good" tropical storm is one that rolls through, dumps a few inches of rain, then blows back out to sea without downing too many trees or causing lowland flooding.
Debby is no longer behaving nicely. Oh sure, she started out well, bringing some much needed water to our parched area. We had wildfires and watering restrictions this spring, and record low rainfalls for the past few years have left their mark in slow and low springs and rivers and disappearing lakes. But over 10" in two days with more on the way? That's a bit of overkill.
So move out to sea, Debby. We'd much rather let that good water soak in and welcome one of your sisters later this summer.