After returning from a weeklong trip to snowy Washington D.C., I was pleased to find that the weather in Austin was a hot 80 degrees on March 31st. I revisited the creek at Blunn Creek Nature Reserve to see if the warm weather had brought about any changes.
Upon entering, I found that the chopped trees that had previously sat by the entryway for the last two months were no longer there. There was also a pathway made up of woodchips leading down to the creek. Although the cleanup was nice, it definitely made it seem like humans had been there. It reminds me of a quote from A Sand County Almanac, “all conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.” It seemed like the “Reserve” had been through so much care by humans that it no longer had that wild charm that it used to. When I first visited three years ago, it was easy to get lost trying to find your path along the way, and that was part of the fun.
Once I made it down easily to the creek, I saw that the first stream still had a waterfall, though it seemed quieter, indicating that there was less water flowing through. Another indication of humans was that there were new logs laid across the stream, perhaps for people to walk on to cross over, (though they seemed unstable). The second stream still had dry rocks and is still by no means a creek, but the puddles seemed to be a little fuller. There was also a lot of what I thought was pond scum, but after further research I found is protein and algae that resulted from no movement in the water. It looks like white foam and it seems soapy.