Porter Sink at Lake Jackson has reopened, and for the second time this summer, the lake north of Tallahassee performs its periodic disappearance act, about nine times in the past 184 years.
“It’s not at all like the last time I was here,” said Marcelle Praetorius, who was walking Tuesday morning on the mud-covered lake bed near Faulk Drive.
Praetorius is a bird watcher who records his birding locations and dates on an online site. She finds that a dry-off at Jackson Lake provides first-rate birding opportunities.
Read (and see) more about Lake Jackson:
Insects feeding on plants that bloom in the wet conditions left by a lake draining lure birds and other critters to the site: “It’s a boost to the ecosystem,” said former fisheries biologist Michael Hill.
On Tuesday, Praetorius had the lake bed to herself with two white pelicans and a blue heron, watching her from across a cave, and a flock of seven ospreys flying above.
Ten days ago, during her last visit, she said that she and a reporter were standing underwater.
âThe lake was closer to what it was then,â Praetorius said.
Jackson Lake is a closed system, fed only by precipitation. It rests on a bed of limestone riddled with holes that allow water to flow into the aquifer.
This flow becomes more noticeable during prolonged dry spells and can cause the lake to seemingly disappear.
James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CallTallahassee
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