The retaining pond alongside Kingswood Terrace Road in Stuart, FL, , recently drained and searched, is fenced off from the road. Until recently, what appeared to be cement-lined troughs carried rain-water into the pond from the road at various points beneath the chain-link fence, including water from overflowing slough on the other side of the road.
Actually, there is reason to believe that the troughs were at one time tunnels made by gopher tortoises. Recently, more chain-link patching was applied to block small-animal passage through the troughs. Tortoises (and other creatures) then began living in fear, causing erosion when dragging themselves from the sluggish water of the slough towards troughs that have been sealed off; the chemistry of fear produces gulleys in the soil leading from the ditch-like water-stream that connects with the retaining pond at the end of the road.
During past weeks, yellow blinking night-time signal lights warned about three such gulleys of crumbling soil that connected directly to the murky waters of the slough, extending almost to the roadway where elderly condo complex residents drive their cars, ride their bikes, or occasionally walk along Kingswood Terrace Road.
Last night, it was a relief to see that the gulleys have been filled in with soil and smoothed over using some kind of equipment.