Johnson, June 8th

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For my second blog entry into the Travis Country Almanac, I decided to visit and explore the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is located near Barton Creek in Austin, Texas. My expedition began on June 3rd at 4:25pm. The temperature that afternoon was a hot 88 degrees fahrenheit with minimal cloud coverage. The human activity that particular day was higher than most considering it was a Tuesday and before 5:00pm none the less. A lot of people were there in swimsuits enjoying the weather with their dogs while wading in the cool and calm water. But just as many people were hiking and exploring just like I was. The massive amount of human activity made it difficult to sit down and relax for two hours at a time. This is partly why I took so many pictures, not to mention there’s so many places one can explore while walking in the Greenbelt.

About halfway down the trail, where thing began to smooth out and the path was less rocky, I noticed a green snake relaxing. You can tell from the picture that the snake is roughly 12-15 inches long. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure as to what particular species this was. I did my best Aldo Leopold impression about land ethic and escorted the snake off the path as cautiously as I could. If the snake was off the path I would’ve let it be, but in this case it was in the path and I didn’t want a fast moving mountain biker or unsuspecting hiker to accidentally step on the animal or roll over it.

The rock formations along the trail were gorgeous. I sat upon a rock for a good amount  of time staring up towards the rock wall formation (photo) and I could feel my mind beginning to immerse itself with the rocks. I began to ask myself questions such as: How long did it take for the water to carve the rocks into what they are today? What did these rocks originally look like? Have they always been in this exact location?

My travels led me to the edge of the water, where I looked upon the miniature waterfall and landscape downstream. I searched for signs of fish life, but unfortunately could not see any. I think this is partly due to the amount of human activity in the water and partially due to drought. It’s not a stable enough ecosystem to sustain bass fish in my opinion. The water itself wasn’t very clear. Again I believe this is due to the amount of human activity, their footsteps kicking up dirt from the bottom of the stream. When I was able to seclude myself from other human activity the water was quite and calm. The water would peacefully flow along, which was quite relaxing to watch and listen to.  I noticed that vegetation and plant life , particularly the trees, were much greener and bigger along the water line.

I never saw any birds, but I did hear a few above the treetops. Visibility was hard to come by along the path because of the over hanging tree growth. But thanks to this over hanging tree growth I was able to witness squirrels chasing each other, probably playing tag.

Taylor Johnson

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