The month of November was surprisingly cold here in Austin. It seemed like right after Halloween the temperature started dropping and all the leaves started changing colors. I remember coming back to campus after a weekend at San Antonio and seeing all the leaves were completely different than they were just a few days. It was pretty amazing because I had only experienced fall in such a way once before where I went on a field trip to Arkansas about four years ago. My class left early November to Arkansas and even though it was only a state away it looked like a completely different world. The trees were an array of colors I had only seen in pictures and movies. It was all so beautiful and being able to experience that again in Austin was great.
This month I did my observations in the same clearing behind my dorm that I have done my observations at before. This month had the most obvious changes compared to previous months. The ground was coated with a layer of dead leaves that were yellow, red, orange, and even other colors. The temperatures were much cooler (they could be described as colder as well) than any of my past months and this seemed to make a big difference. I saw fewer bugs and insects and those that I did were pinned underneath the layer of leaves living off the moisture and mud. Each of these observations were extremely peaceful and soothing. Just sitting in this clearing and taking in all of my surroundings was great. The air was always crisp although some days the air had hints of moisture because of the light drizzles that seemed to come around every other day. That was another odd thing about November, it seemed like we had a lot of rain here in Austin.
It was a bit disheartening, though, to be sitting in such a beautiful spot and see trash littered about. Each week I made my observations I picked up at least one plastic bottle or other piece of trash while doing my research. This was disappointing because St Edward’s brags about how green friendly the campus is and yet there was trash in one of it’s most beautiful natural spots. I plan on going by weekly now to help keep the trash down and clean up the area in general. I think the back woods of St Edward’s that lead into Blunn Creek are one of the most underappreciated spots on campus and more awareness should be spread about them. From their natural beauty to the different wildlife and plant life they offer it’s a great spot to learn as well as relax and take in nature.
I really enjoyed this month’s observations and all they had to offer. The lower temperatures were a nice change of pace and the changing colors made the clearing so beautiful. But this month also served as a reminder for what work has to be done for each of us so that we can maintain the beauty of places like these.