A Nice Day at Blunn Creek Nature Preserve

I visited Blunn Creek a nature preserve right next to St. Edward’s for my monthly nature blog entry. The day was beautiful, clear sky and perfect weather. It was exactly 79 degrees outside with no chance of rain. Out of the countless scenic sites within Blunn Creek I decided to choose an overlook over the creek itself as my primary location of observation. On my way to this spot I had the luck of seeing a baby bunny hopping across the trail. I was frantically trying to get my phone out to snap a picture of it, but couldn’t get it out in time before the bunny was high tailing it back into the shrubbery. I also observed several birds on my way to the creek as well. When I arrived at my place of observation, I noticed countless types of vegetation just within the close proximity to where I sat. There were cacti, trees, shrubs, weeds, grass, moss, and even algae. The moss and algae were extremely prevalent within the creek itself and made the water a greenish hue. Also to be noticed was that the creek was not entirely natural unlike what I had first believed. It was obvious that it was man made, due to the perfect cuts to the stone surrounding the creek bed. I believe this was done to ensure a clean flow of water down the creek especially when it’s flooding here in Austin. Man’s presence at the creek was also seen through all of the trash that I saw both in and around the water. Like the “creek-bottom pasture, flooded with trash lodged high in the bushes” , the water itself was riddled with shopping bags, cans, and even a giant piece of metal debris that I included in my pictures (Leopold, 127). Also there was a tree that apparently had been torn down that was lying in the creek itself. During my hour at the water I only saw three other people walk down the trail. I thought a park so close to campus and on such a nice day would have many more visitors. One other observation I made was the astounding array of different colors of leaves. Some trees were dead and barren while others had fully restored to their natural green and were full of leaves. I believe this was due to the sporadic weather in Austin in the past few months. Some plants have naturally started blooming while others still are waiting for the weather to become warmer. Another weird thing I noticed about the trees was that the majority of them were leaning northward. I don’t know if this was just a coincidence due to the small area I was in, or maybe because of something such as wind or nutrients. On the way back down the trail I noticed a sign depicting all of the invasive vegetation plaguing the preserve. The sign illustrated that invasive plants cause major environmental damage and which costs over 137 billion dollars each year to fix. Austin Parks and Recreation are actively working to remove invasive vegetation and reestablish native plants back into the preserve. Overall, I realized that in order for Blunn Creek to have a healthy ecosystem it needs to be better protected both from man’s disturbances and from its natural predators.
 

Austin's Least Wanted

Austin’s Least Wanted

 

Sign in the park

Sign in the park

 

Algae growing in the water

Algae growing in the water

 

The creek

The creek

 

Moss ball from the tree

photo (11) Moss ball from the tree

 

Metal trash in the water

Metal trash in the water

 

Fallen tree

Fallen tree

 

Tree holder debris was all over the preserve

Tree holder debris was all over the preserve

 

Moss growing on the rock

Moss growing on the rock

 

Location

Location

 

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