Once again, I continued my observations at the Roy G. Guerrero Disc Golf Course and trail. March proved to be fairly chaotic weather-wise, what with the high winds, cloudy days, and seemingly random cold fronts that came and went. Regardless, Spring has most definitely sprung. My most recent visit this weekend was much different than my previous visits, due largely in part to the temperature, but also in part because of the time of day I visited and the length of time spent there.
I recently made the decision to make this park the focus of a final project for a photography class I’m taking. This week I decided to make final observations for the month while spending extra time and care to photograph for my portfolio. This meant that I was out there for several hours. As usual, I geared up with my friend’s Hasselblad medium format camera, some film, and my phone to take notes and measure the temperature and humidity. It was fairly warm out there.
I began my journey around 11:30 and ended up taking a break back at my apartment around 12:45. I returned to the trail around 1:15 and continued until about 2:30. I began my walk by noticing how many bird calls I could hear around me. I was rather taken aback by how exuberant and by the number of birds I could hear, considering that it was still late in the morning. I also noticed a great number of swallows this time around the trail, far more than in previous visits. However, I did see less cardinals this time around, which lead me to wonder whether or not they are generally more active in the mornings and closer to sunset.
These observations and the time of year and day reminded me of this quote from A Sand County Almanac:
A cardinal, whistling spring to a thraw . . .His arrival carries the conviction of a prophet who has burned his bridges. A March morning is only as drab as he who walks in it without a glace skyward, ear cocked for geese.”
I also noticed that there were less blooms on the trees at the end of this month than there were in February, but there were far more flowers were in bloom along the trails edge. I noticed a great deal of these small, white flowers. Alongside them, I spotted a few butter cups and some lovely purple little things for which I have no name.
I stopped several times to photograph with this tricky camera for my class, along with snapping quick shots on my phone for the blog. The whole thing was quite meditative—combining my two great loves for nature and photography. This trip I ventured closer to the stream. I noticed this large collapsed tree.
After taking this shot, I went closer to the water. I noticed that the creek was even more littered that I had previously suspected. Despite this, I still found the whole place rather peaceful. Through the last couple months, I also noticed that it appears that someone is removing the shoes I often ind thrown into the tree branches, as I only counted two pairs this time around.
The park was far more active this last visit: all the baseball and softball fields were a bustle with games and people cheering. it was actually quite the site to behold. With each stop I made to photograph with the Hasselblad, I began to feel much hotter. The temperature rose steadily throughout my hike, and I would later discover that I made a huge mistake by not wearing sunblock…
Because I was a bit preoccupied with photographing, I didn’t get to venture quite as far this time around, but I did return to the place that I had taken my panoramic picture last month. I noticed that the brush piles had been cleared, and the foliage over all appeared much greener, excluding the grass.
After a couple hours, I headed back to my air-conditioned apartment to cool off before heading back to the photo lab with a fresh exposed roll of film and a pretty ripe sun burn. All in a days work! Here’s the final measure of the temperature
Maria D. Minor
ENSP 2324.02, Spring 2014
Dr. Michael Wasserman