Everyone from Texas knows that the weather can change more quickly than you can change your clothes to suit its needs. November has been a month of high’s (made hotter by that sweater you probably threw on in the morning when it was the low 40’s) and low’s that gave even the temperature in Jo’s a run for its money. This month we also experience quite a bit of rain, and by quite a bit I actually mean several days of flash flood warnings and soaked jeans and shoes. Generally I try to visit a new location in Austin each month for my log, because I want to fully represent the diversity Austin has to offer but instead I returned to a previous site.
My last entry was about the barren green belt of Austin, Texas, saturated in chalky stones that lined the would be river; this month I revisited the popular Austinite hiking ground and experienced a different side of it. This trip was a bit muddy, a bit messy and a little wet at times when I thought it would be fun to try to gently cross the quickly moving water… it goes without saying that I failed miserably. This month the trees were beautiful shades of dead, amber and gold and for a few days (at least when I was walking through the green belt) it was like Austin had experienced Autumn! This time again though I heard very little movement in terms of animals, aside from the people you would run into along the trail. I did see one little squirrel though quickly scurrying between the bushes and among the rocks (precariously avoiding the water) as squirrels do. Some of the foliage was decomposing on the banks of the flooded waters if it hadn’t already been swept up into the rushing water. The algae that was once dried out, returned to the side of the rocks and served as substance for the biotic life residing in the little pools and stream. Birds flew over head and chirped loudly between their perches on the trees. I felt really content standing completely still in this environment, as the wind flirtatiously played with my hair, providing my neck with a kiss of cool relief. I hadn’t realized until this semester how important it was to make time for nature; these walks proved to help maintain my sanity, especially with graduation approaching so soon.
“It is fortunate, perhaps, that no matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all of the salient facts about any one of them.” – Aldo Leopold
This quote really resonated with me this month because not only am I still unaware of the inner workings of the green belt, I still am unsure of the facts of life. I can experience and live and things can repeat themselves (as it so happens in nature, draught followed by floods and so forth), I still never know what expect. I believe this is what keeps life interesting and also what keeps nature interesting; things are always changing, no matter how often I experience it.