Saturday, May 29, 2021

Chitty Chatty

I’m crossing over SR44 on the Chitty Chatty bridge thinking it’s a cute name and wondering how the The Villages thought of it. Heading south a little further along I cross the new iron bridge over Chitty Chatty Creek where I stop to and I’m surprised at the significant flow. I guess I’d thought the flow out from the Okahumpka Swamp wetland to the east would be very slow.

Chitty Chatty Creek Bridge from Morse Boulevard
From the bridge I can see the creek pass through a culvert under Morse Blvd and I decide to go with the flow and walk across to Morse Boulevard where I see a gauging station as it flows into the Continental Country Club. The gauging station is significant as I subsequently found the USGS has records of Chitty Chatty Creek back to the 1950’s. So now I have no clue where the name came from but I do know the flow is currently about 5 million gallons a day.

              Morse gauging station and Chitty Chatty bridge in Continental CC.
Entering the country club through the Morse gate a couple of hundred yards to the south I follow the creek as it winds its way naturally and through canals to where it feeds Lake Okahumpka.
              Magnificent Cypress trees by the path and the exit into Lake Okahumpka.

I have since been told that Chitty Chatty was an indian chief which I do not disbelieve but I have been unable to find any record of his existence.

A caveat: The Continental Country Club does not like Villagers trespassing on their property and can be quite unpleasant. On this occasion I was agreeably surprised to meet several of the residents and we had a nice chat about the history of the area and its waters.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Hogeye Sink

It’s February and I’m riding along the trail just south of the turnpike to the Hogeye Sink bridge. At that time of year there is limited vegetation and looking toward the turnpike from the bridge it is easy to see the culvert where the water flows under the turnpike from Lake Okahumpka into Hogeye Sink. On the other side of the bridge I can see the water flow into the lakes of the sink.

The word “sink” or “drain” in a place name usually indicates where water drains into the aquifer whereas a “spring” is a source of water from the aquifer. In the Okahumpka Swamp area the aquifer is somewhere between 50 and 130 feet below the surface.
But all the science aside, I am fascinated by the appearance that this is a stream to nowhere and head down the recreational path to Marsh Bend Trail to see the other end of the sink.

I hop over the fence on Marsh Bend Trail and walk to where I can see the last lake of Hogeye Sink where there is a gauging post with a bird perched atop - the bird may not be there when you visit! There is no flow here as the water drains into the aquifer  .  .  .  .
  .  .  .  only to reappear at Warm Springs behind the Fenney Recreation Center. Well, some of the water will take this route as the aquifer will acquire water from other sinks and drains and also feed other springs in the area.