Saucedo, September 2014

For this month of September, (the month of cloudy weekends), I decided to choose a park that lies in between a neighborhood I visit quite often and has begun to expand known as Harris Branch Park. It’s located in the Harris Branch neighborhood and is very close to Waste Management’s garbage dump, where lots of Austin’s trash is thrown. Every day I went, the temperature was in the low 80’s and the afternoons were beautiful.

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The park seems quite old, as if it’s been here for many years with some great history. White oaks, White Cedar tree’s lie in this park according to Leaf snap on iPhone, as well as Mesquite. I noticed when I saw on the ground that Mesquite still grows only slowly since the main portion of the park is mowed frequently. In the park it seems that snakes live in the grassy areas from the sound the make from when you get closer and step on the tall grass. Birds and some type of flying insects seem like they enjoy coming to this area for a rest, birds mostly seem to stand at the top of the tree’s on both, White Oak and White cedar.  On the bark of the Oak Tree there are ants, they crawl in both directions, up and down. The habitat for the ants must be here on this tree, although there doesn’t seem to be a distinction if it’s a predation or just a commensalism. To what it seems to be like is commensalism as perhaps the ants do not ruin the tree’s bark yet they live there.

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There’s bigger mesquite as well in the surrounding areas of the park and more tree’s. Through my observation, I see noticed that parts of the park have begun to get destroyed and that the park receives little attention now.  In some parts that are getting destroyed around, there are trees on the ground and far back you can see the construction of KB Homes, as well as Waste Management. An elementary school is also next to the park, that whole area is filled with grass until you get to the school. What I have a feeling of is that this portion of the park that had more tree’s as well, was removed to construct the school.

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When I returned for my last observation on September 27 at 2:20 PM, I noticed that construction had begun to speed up and that it was in action on a Saturday.  I heard workers working on the houses, noticed roofers were installing roofs, and also saw  a pickup truck bringing in tools that seemed to be for use in the indoors. In the back I also noticed that more land was cleaned up, trees and grass was wiped out and some type of base had been installed. It’s hard to tell whether it was pavement for a road or some type of base to construct houses. I would imagine it will be a road since the waste management is close by, and a house very close to a dumpster would not make any sense, as you’ll smell Austin’s trash quite often. On the side of the park there’s also a road that stops, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll stop much longer now that we see construction in the back of the park. I wonder sometimes if this park will continue to shrink and soon disappear.  As Leopold once said, “the ribbon of concrete has been widened and widened until the field fences threaten to topple into the road cuts.” (Leopold, 117)

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