My First Day of Observing Nature

  • Date: 09/14/13
  • Place: Blunn Creek
  • Time Start: 11:00
  • Time End: 12:10
  • Temperature: 91degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Weather: Sunny, No clouds, 10% of rain

After Exploring Blunn Creek Nature Preserve for an hour and a half to find a perfect spot to start this project, I decided to backtrack to the beginning of the trail where I remember seeing a lady sitting on a rock, soaking in her natural surroundings. I decided that this would be a good place to observe nature.She wasn’t their when i got there so i sat on that rock and began my project.

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1379614_10202245451884717_2044110540_n.jpgOn the left of me sits a live oak tree, possibly a young one considering how thick the trunk is. Its branches are covered in Tillandsia recurvata most commonly known as moss balls, which are related to spanish moss and pinapple but it is not truly moss because it flowers and seeds. They are epiphyte because they do not attach themselves to the oak tree or absorb water/minerals from the tree, instead they benefit the tree because they are a nitrogen; that is, they are able to convert atmospheric nitrogen (which is unusable to plants) into a form that plants can use. When they fall to the ground around the tree they fertilize the soil for the tree to grow. In the center of the tree lies a hollow area burnt no doubt by humans recking havoc on nature once again but the tree lives on blooming with healthy, green leaves.

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the right of me lies a Ashe juniper tree with its bark going in all directions like it does and in some areas there are yellow spots around the tree, although i don’t know what it is. Once again you can see that this tree has been touched by man with carvings of letters written into them and sharpie markings, but the tree lives on blooming with healthy, green leaves.

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Both of these trees also face the obstacle of growing out of a cliff where stones are in the way for the roots to grow so they adapt by twisting around the rocks to place their roots. Between this rock I sit upon, there are two of the most common and native species of Austin, Texas, which are important organisms of the ecosystem in Austin. I know that every once in a while people volunteer to go help plant these native trees and pull up the invasive species surrounding them.

Animals: I saw Squirrels playing with each other although i wasn’t fast enough to take pictures, pigeons, birds (sounds), mosquitoes, i did not observe many animals although i did hear them.

Fun Fact: While exploring Blunn Creek I noticed many prickly pear cactus with white fluffy fungus looking things growing on them. i remember learning in a class last year in Environment & people that on these cactuses there are larvae from the Cochineal Insect which is widely used in dyeing clothing because when you poke it you can see that it makes a deep magenta color.

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