My Walk With Nature Essay

1336 words - 6 pages

My Walk with Nature

In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie noticed while living in the Everglades that some of the Indians started leaving the town and heading east. She also noticed that the animals started to scatter as well. Janie asked one of the Indians why they were leaving and he said that there was a hurricane approaching. The park ranger that guided us on the slough slog informed the class that this is a fact. The animals as well as the sawgrass know when hurricanes are approaching. The Indians these days know when a hurricane is approaching as well. Yet, these days they most likely find out from the weather channel reports on their big-screen TV's in ...view middle of the document...

Mosquito fish nibbled at my fingers as I sat on a submerged cypress having our book discussion. Plus, I'm sure that for every animal that I saw there were probably a hundred more I missed. Would things still look the same this Friday? Or have the animals started evading Hurricane Michelle?

Hurricanes can extremely alter the environment of the Everglades. According to our textbook, Discover a Watershed, "in recent decades, three severe storms-the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Donna in 1960, and Hurricane Andrew in 1992-completely altered the character of vegetation in parts of the Everglades watershed, especially among the coastal mangroves from Long Sound to the Ten Thousand Islands"(Robinson 39). The effects of hurricanes are not all negative. "In all three species (red, black, and white mangroves), maturation of seeds coincides with the peak of hurricane season"(Robinson 43). The strong winds of hurricanes help to carry seeds to different environments. That is the main reason why the sawgrass blooms before a hurricane hits, to spread its seeds. But since hurricanes are not very common in November I wonder if Hurricane Michelle will have any positive effects at all on the Everglades. During our canoeing adventure at Nine Mile Pond, I did not notice many seeds on the red mangroves. Is Hurricane Michelle too late for the sawgrass to bloom as well?

It is being stated on the news that drainage has already begun in preparation for the hurricane. "The collective effects of wind-generated waves, tides, and storm surge causes flooding. If heavy, precipitation aggravates flood conditions- a storm can generate 10 to 20 inches of rain in a single day"(Robinson 44). Since we value our lives more than saving the Everglades, we choose to drain them. Hurston's story climaxed when her protagonist, Janie, experienced a hurricane in which Lake Okeechobee overflowed. A hurricane like this was a reality in 1928 when a "storm blew all the water out of Lake Okeechobee, burying more than 2,000 people in an avalanche of mud and debris" (Robinson 46). Then in 1930 Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed for flood protection around the lake. Man is more threatening to the Everglades survival than hurricanes. Man resorts to drainage to save his life. There are various stormwater pollutants that have serious effects on our waters. For example, pesticides from croplands, mosquito control and lawns cause a loss of aquatic microflora/fauna, sea grass mortality, altered aquatic populations, loss of recreational potential, and a reduction of sport/commercial fisheries. The Everglades suffer whether or not the hurricane hits.

The lives of my new friends (the deer, the cricket frogs, the mosquito fish, ...etc.) remain threatened regardless of the hurricane. "Because Everglades plants and animals adapt their...

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