Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”
-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
Although I did not include it in my September Land Ethics blog, during that month I visited the Blunn Creek Nature Preserve on multiple occasions. I would run from my dorm, Basil Moroe Hall, through the nature preserve. Along the outside last time I had seen the cactus fields, many of the cacti were covered in fruit and both the fruit and the plant itself looked dried. There were even whole pieces are dehydrated cactus turn brown laying on the ground by the fields. Depicted below are a few plans that showed significant improvements in the health conditions since I had last visited. Also there’s a picture of a fungus us on that were not present or visible during my last trip. Since my visits that month I noticed a lot of changes not just on the outside of the park but the inside as well.
This month I chose the Blunn Creek nature preserve for my November land ethics blog. I visited the park on Saturday 8th, Saturday 15th and Friday the 21st. On the eighth, I went from about 4 to 5 in the afternoon and the temperature stayed around 70° only fluctuating 1 to 2° up or down. The round was mildly damp due to some rainfall that had occurred in the previous days. After a cold front moved in later in the week, on Saturday the 15th when I went the temperature was between 42 to 43°F. And it sprinkled a little bit on the way to the nature preserve, however, it did not rain while I was there. On Friday the 21st, I went from 10 to 11 in the morning and while I was there the temperature increased from 61°F to 64°F with mild precipitation.
I must begin with the disclaimer that this has been an abnormally wet November in Austin and that while Austin is not in a drought, majority of Texas is. While working on my blog this month I found majority of the plants to be in good health, although one week when I went I found some tall grass to be extremely dry. I think I was mostly due to the amount and length of that plan within that area. There was so much I don’t think that there was quite enough water to support them on. I was extremely lucky to find a Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and get a picture of it. I saw Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) and a bird that I believe to be a White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). Unfortunately, I was not able to get picture of either.
I chose the quote at the top of the blog because looking back thought the book I realized that I did not understand this concept. I thought I understood this when I read A Sand County Almanac. However, I now realize that this is a skill that is being developed through the process of going to make observations approximately once a week and reflection.