I visited Lady Bird Lake this past Saturday. I spent thirty minutes exploring the lake on a stand-up paddle board and another thirty minutes sitting on the shore. Both experiences gave me incite into the ecosystem at Lady Bird Lake. The small area I explored had an abundance of life on all levels.
One thing I was looking out for was diversity of species. During my visit I saw fifteen turtles and three ducks. I also saw many dogs, Dragon Flies and Grackles. Hydrilla was growing on the shore and extended at least fifteen feet out on both sides. The turtles had some difficulty weaving through the Hydrilla. Each time I inched near them in my paddle board, they took a few seconds to be able to retreat beneath the surface. The closest I was able to be to one of the turtles was about three feet. About six of the turtles had matured to full size.The ducks rested upon a piece of floating wood while they washed their feathers. There were two female ducks and one male duck. The dogs were friendly to other dogs and ran along with their owners upon the trial. Dragon Flies bounced from plant to plant all over the lake. Along the shore, Grackles and other birds lingered near humans in hopes of receiving some food. There were many trees thriving along the shore. The weather was cool and there were few clouds up above. A soft current nudged my paddle board towards S. Congress. There was life and activity all along the lake.
I felt most inspired when I dedicated time to observing my surroundings upon the shore. I felt immense satisfaction and gratitude for sharing this area with all the other forms of life. Some troubling things I contemplated were the prevalence of the invasive species, Hydrilla, and the future of this lake. I also wondered about my interactions with the turtles. Did their struggle to weave through the Hydrilla make them more vulnerable as a species? Were the turtles slow to move because they are desensitized to being in close proximately to humans? I reveled in pleasure at the scarcity of pollution and trash in the area. While refrained from using technology for most of my visit, I did listen to a Young The Giant song called “Camera.” The rhythm and lyrics were instrumental in ensuring that I was present in that moment. My greatest take away was profound respect for the area I explored.
“And with each gust a wisp of smoke from my chimney bears witness to whomever it may concern, that the sun did not shine in vain.”
This sentence meant so much to me, because I was reminded how rarely I appreciate the benefits nature provides to me. I felt so inspired by how hands this experience of burning wood was. With each day I want to have a more intimate, informed, and personal relationship with the resources I use.
The link to the song I listened to: