Tuesday November 18, 2014
McKinney Roughs Nature Park-LCRA
Cedar Creek, Texas
I went to Mckinney Roughs Nature Park this morning. The weather was partly cloudy with the temperature at 43 degrees fahrenheit. It was colder than when I went in September. I was wearing layers of clothing and a big jacket.I took the Riverside Trail and then went to Valley View Trail to see the amazing view of the valley. However, this time the spider web wasn’t there. Or the spider. Nature is always changing and that’s good because it always pleasantly surprises . I continued my way to Riverside Trail to go check out the river next. As I was getting closer to the river, I started thinking about how the trees near the river are so different. They look more tropical and the soil around them is always moist. I learned later on that most of these tall trees are called bald cypress tree and grow up to 110 feet tall ! They are found in riparian areas. Usually many trees block the way towards the river and is hard for me to get through the trees, especially if the water elevation is high. However, this time there was less water than when I went in September. Perhaps because the weather was colder. Since there was less water I was able to get closer to the river. There was an area in the river with many rocks. I saw in the map that this was a scenic point and it was definitely beautiful. You could hear the water flowing over the huge rocks. I jumped from rock to rock. Then I saw a white bird. I don’t know what kind it was but I tried to get closer to it and it flew away. That bird was one of the first big animals I had ever seen at that park to date. I also smelled a lot of alfa grass. It reminded me of the smell at my grandpa’s ranch full of cows and other farm animals. After staying there for a little while I went running the riverside trail more. I had not done this before but I wanted to see where the river view ended. I ran and it ended a few feet after. I then took a trail called Bluestem and I was no longer stepping on moist soil. It was all sand and pebbles. It was also hotter on this trail. The sun hit this trail directly. There were no longer tall trees to block the sun’s light. I took off my big jacket. It was getting so hot I decided to go back to headquarters.
Wednesday November 26, 2014
I went to Mckinney Roughs this afternoon at 3pm. I took my 17 year old brother and two little sisters. The weather was at a sunny 75 degrees fahrenheit. It was so hot ! I observed more tree leaves had fallen and more trees were turning colors to either yellow, orange or red. I noticed this because on the valley view scene outlook pictures I have from October and the 17th of November all the tree leaves were green and plentiful and now they were mostly orange and with less leaves. Also on saturday the 22nd it had rained the whole day and some parts of the trail’s soil were still wet. My two little sisters ran over the mud after I told them not to. They also grabbed some sticks and started running around with it poking trees. Kids really love nature. I observed that as well. My family had never taken my little sisters to a park before. I think we should take them to parks more so they can also develop an appreciation for nature. I know now that I’m older I have definitely started appreciating nature more. This environmental class sparked my curiosity to all the wonderful things nature offers to us.
“Perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip, in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom ” (Aldo Leopold, pg 113)
I chose this quote from Aldo Leopold’s book because it relates to my little sister’s experience with nature. The wilderness gave them a type of freedom and thrill to run around and explore everything nature offers.