After thinking of how this blog entry would go in the beginning of the semester, it has come to the end of it for the year. I must say it was interesting seeing changes go by month to month. From this weekly event, I began to better understand how we as humans impact our local community day to day and how our actions in the environment can affect our future without realizing it. I found out how even my surroundings are affected in my area, and how projects that we think are beneficial for us are not always the case.
For the month of September I began my study at the Harris Branch Park. Through my observation I noticed how nature was playing its role and how we were negatively affecting it. It seemed like a big park that has been cut down little by little to the point where no one would want to come for a walk in an afternoon at this park. After learning more about the environment in class, I realized something should be done before the entire park vanishes. I noticed how species that we consider as a pest in our houses lived in this park, and questioned where they would go if human activity destroyed all of this. I was curious if this pest that we call ants that lived on the trees would migrate over to houses and invade our homes just like we invaded theirs. I felt that this was an example of why human interactions can cause extinction on a species.
For October, I went to Copperfield Park. This park made me understand better how we as humans can combine with nature. We can make a beautiful place next to a creek along with trails to prevent major physical barriers like roads that block species from going to the other side. The biodiversity was fantastic in this park. Different kinds of plants growing together in a circle was what made me realize this. The amount of people that I observed that came in the afternoons was another factor that made me see that this is something we must support more compared to the previous park I observed at Harris Branch.
November was different than the previous two months. I had the opportunity to be where the Colorado and Pedernales River split near Spicewood, TX. I realized at this moment that nature is more beautiful in the rivers, but we take too much advantage sometimes from it. Realizing how we use our water supply with little care also made me question the same subject at Harris Branch. How long will this last if we don’t do anything about it? I pictured this again after we had brought up the Medina Lake in a class presentation that is currently in a severe level. Thinking of the drought issues Austin says it’s in, I decided to go to a small lake that lies behind the Harris Branch neighborhood and observe the events at this place. There were ducks and more people walking around. I noticed ant piles on the sides of the concrete, and ducks at the small lake. As I went through the trail I noticed more destruction, of course these were branches that had fallen off trees and not a severe destruction by humans. It made me see again how we can combine with nature just like at Copperfield Park.
Overall through attending these four locations, I experienced the different ways we interfere with the environment. During the three month’s I also experienced the changes in temperature and weather. Most of September was warm in the upper 80’s and rainy, while October began to cool down to the 60’s. November was when the major changes in temperature began, going all the way down to the 40’s and surprisingly up to the 80’s near the end. An affect from Global Warming I would say. At the same time it’s the beginning of changes in season from autumn to winter. I for some reason did not see much change in tree’s until my last week in November. During that week, I started to see leaves falling.
In conclusion, from these blog entries, and the lessons from class, I understand why nature is a fragile and an important component that we need to take care of. It’s the major supplier of life and we as humans know what is it that we can do to prevent damage in our environment. We need to step up our actions and prevent further disaster from continuing. We know it because there are parks out there that make a great example of the way we can combine with nature, one being Copperfield Park that I observed. There are also other parks that show how continuing destruction would just lower down awareness on blending with the environment and that I experienced it with Harris Branch Park.
From the word cloud, some of the most common words that were used were creek, water, nature, trees and beautiful. Clearly many people know what it is that lives outside our doors and how it looks, but unfortunately not enough people are doing what needs to be done helping the environment maintain sustainability. During Dr. Robert Musil’s lecture he mentioned some issues that Rachel Carson talked about the environment. Musil also mentioned that Pope Benedict is aware of this too. Pope Benedict once said that, “In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God’s creative activity. The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility. We should respect “the intrinsic balance of creation”. In other words, we should not engage in reckless exploitation of the air, water or land or needless disruption of the natural world” (thepapalvisit.org.uk). In addition, we must change the way society sees what the money does when it comes in and out of our wallet. The environment is our provider, not the money. As Aldo Leopold once said that “it always has and it always will. The fallacy the economic determinists have tied around our collective neck, and which we now need to cast off, is the belief that economics determines all land-use. This is simply not true” (225).
Let us all do something to participate in helping our environment. This can simply be recycling one sheet of paper to recycling and reusing everything that we use in our everyday lives.