Fish, tulips, wet woods

Joe Shaw
Tue, 05 Jun 2007 17:26:51 PDT
And are the mosquito fish the sort which will burrow into the mud as the 
water evaporates and survive in a little capsule (somewhat as those west 
coast frits might do) until the next rain?

Hi Gang,

In cool wet periods the woods behind my house stay flooded for months.  The 
forest slowly drains into a low area at the back of my lot, and then the 
water runs off across a meadow.  In heavy rains, when the soils are 
saturated, water accumulates in the meadow for days at a time.  The meadow 
water is apparently deep enough to encouarge mosquito fish (Gambusia) to 
traverse the 1/8 mile from a pond to my backyard. Wet springs are wonderful 
and the frogs start in January and never seem to stop their music until hot 
weather.  This year the cool spring has provided excellent conditions for 
crayfish, frogs, snakes, a few turtles, myriad invertebrates, and mosquito 
fish.   Last year the low area never accumulated water for more than a week 
or two at a time, and no mosquito fish were apparent.  This year the water 
has been continuously present for more than 6 months.

Of course the fish are doomed, my yard alwasy dries in time and then I must 
mow the thic.  In the interim the fish are very welcome because the do keep 
mosquitos controlled in my backyard.  However, it really doesn't matter 
because the adjacent soggy woods seem to provide enough breeding places for 
unlimited mosquito numbers.  It can be a real blood bath some evenings as I 
work in the garden.

The extra water is good for native irises, Crinum americanum, H. liriosme 
and other plants.  Proabably the whole area will be bone dry by the end of 
June.  Summer heat takes the water away quickly.

The forest behind me is full of trees and shrubs that tolerate or enjoy 
seasonal flooding:  dwarf palmetto, willow oak, water tupelo, yaupon, red 
maple, and others.  Though they are found in wet areas these plants all 
endure fair amounts of drought.  These plants are all clearly intelligent, 
but I think not so intelligent as tulips.


Conroe TX

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