I thought with the restoration of my shoreline complete I would never have to worry about erosion again. But I had failed to consider Murphy’s Law and its corollaries.
- If anything can go wrong it will.
- Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
- Mother Nature is a Bitch.
I mentioned in the first post on this topic that in 2008 South Florida was experiencing a severe drought. Thankfully, the situation has improved greatly since, although we are still under some water use restrictions. But even in a period of drought this area still gets a lot of rain. We have a rainy season which lasts about 7 months, and heavy rains are not uncommon in the dry season.
In either season the heaviest rains don’t help our water shortage problems very much. Those rains add more water to our rivers, lakes and canals than they can hold, and most of the new water has to be emptied out into the Atlantic Ocean to prevent major flooding. This process takes time, so the water levels stay abnormally high for a few days.
What does that have to do with my shoreline? Well, (1) after a heavy rain storm the water level in my lake rises several inches above the shore, often covering the grass inland a foot or two, (2) there are lots of large fish in the lake and (3) to these fish grass is a yummy treat!
These %$#%^ fish began to eat my lawn! All day long for several days after a heavy rain I would look out my kitchen window or my sliding glass patio doors and see several fish feasting on my grass. They would take off as soon as I would slide the door open – but would quickly return when they felt the coast was clear. I was able, just once, to sneak around from the front of the house and approach the shore from the far side of the lawn on tiptoe and capture two in the act. You can just barely see the 2nd fish approaching above and to the left of the fish in the foreground. The circular ripple at the above right is the result of another which had sensed my approach and beat it. Judging from the size of the floating coconut the fish in the photo is around two feet long.
This has been happening every time the water level has crept up onto my lawn.
Under normal circumstances this would probably not be a problem. This variety of grass sends out runners and grows fast – so I would expect the lawn to recover. But only a thin layer of sand exists between the sod and the erosion bag. Over time I’m sure the sand gets more like regular soil as mulched clippings decay and sink, and earthworms tunnel about and defecate – but here the layer is so slim that it gets easily washed away. Somehow the grass senses that there is no soil to grasp and push roots through.
It is now two years since the restoration – and in that time I have lost a lot of my shore, exposing a large portion of the erosion bag.
Notice all the weeds in the above photos. Up to about five feet from the shore my lawn is virtually weedless. Alright! I confess! I hire a lawn service to fertilize and spread weed killing chemicals. I’m sorry – 😥 – absent those chemicals my lawn would rapidly become 90% weeds. However, the law prohibits spreading those chemicals close to the lakes, rivers and canals – thus I have weeds and sickly grass near the lake.
So here I am, two years later, after all the expense and aggravation, faced with the necessity of restoring my shoreline again. Or, live with the certainty that in a few more years all of my lawn above the erosion bag will be gone. Grrrrrr… 😡
Soon, probably this summer, I’ll contract to have some form of rip wrap installed, and have soil and sod laid to cover the areas where the erosion bag is exposed. That’s what I should have done in the first place. 😕
AND IT”S ALL WILMA’S FAULT!!!!!