Final Blog Post

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For my final blog entry I decided to travel back to Blunn Creek. I went on an overcast day with light rain. It was 77 degrees Fahrenheit outside with major humidity. For my observation I went to another side of the creek than I had previously visited. During my exploration I was astounded by the overwhelming amount of flowers that had bloomed from the last time I had visited the preserve. There were many almost weed like flowers that were red with yellow tips. They covered almost every part of the floor of the preserve. I have a detailed picture of these flowers above. On top of seeing these flowers the most outstanding were that found in the process of blooming on top of the cacti. Some had already bloomed exposing the magnificent yellow flowers. Others in the process, revealed an almost red looking bulb trying to burst out. Those that had not bloomed yet were encased in a green capsule like sphere. The yellow flowers that had bloomed however were something to behold. I noticed that not many of the cacti pedals had more than one flower growing on top of them, however I did find one cactus with five growing on top at once. They hadn’t bloomed yet but I look forward to traveling back and seeing when they have. As I continued my journey far into the preserve I noticed more trash in the creek bed than I had seen previously. Maybe it was due to the recent rain or just random pollution, however there were more bottles and bags than I had normally seen in the water. On top of everything I noticed a large amount of cacti that had been dismembered. Some had holes in them while others had been torn off completely and rotting on the ground. I wonder whether an animal was eating these cactus pedal or if they just randomly got dismembered. My hypothesis is that some animal in Blunn creek eats these cacti because so many of them were dismembered. Overall this semesters journey to get out in the Travis county wilderness was an enlightening experience. Not only did I become closer to my natural environment here in Austin but I got a better appreciation of how Ausitn’s landscape changes through the seasons. The biggest thing that I noticed from my exploration was how much litering and pollution the local Austin environment is suffering from. There needs to be some effort made to address this issue if Austin hopes to maintain its local environment. A quote that sums up my feelings of my experience can be seen through one of Leopold’s quotes. “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” I truly believe that each and every member of the Austin community must take it upon themselves to do whatever stands within their power to protect the local ecology of the Austin area. If not, our children might play within the concrete jungles of Austin not the ones filled with nature.

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