For this month, I decided to stay on campus and observe the garden outside Casa Hall, where I live. I mostly observed the garden in the day, but sometimes I sat there at night, and noticed more animals and insects than during the day. I was shocked at how many people throw their cigarettes on the floor around the garden though.

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The garden is filled with trees and bushes. And many dead leaves on the ground that fell off the trees. I noticed black and white cat come by almost every time I sat there during the day, and I also heard many birds sing and fly form tree to tree, and some were just walking on the grass and jumping around. I also saw squirrels more than once. They would walk and then stop for a few seconds on their two feet, sniff the air and look around, then continue walking. They did that continuously. This picture shows the cat that walks by here almost everyday, and she also walks in the exact same places, always on the wall. I noticed many cigarette buds on the floor where people come out to smoke. It’s quite surprising because there is a place to dispose of them exactly in the garden. Sometimes she looks at me for a couple of seconds, and continues on. The picture below this shows the tree that mostly surrounds this garden.

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When I would sit at night, I noticed more people than during the day come out to smoke. I also saw many more insects that would crawl everywhere; I noticed many ants, flying insects and a few crickets jumping around. I also could hear sounds of crickets and another insect very loudly, but I didn’t recognize that one. I noticed two toads jumping at night as well. I never spotted one during the day. And I noticed ant bites on my leg when I went back inside, which also doesn’t happen during the day ever, so there are way more insects for sure. I enjoyed it at night much more, because I felt the garden was more alive. Here are pictures of the two toads that I saw. The first one was beside my foot exactly and came from inside the bushes. And the second toad I found randomly on  the ground.

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Austin is a very beautiful city, and has many interesting things to observe in nature. I never noticed this until I did this blog, so it taught me a lot in appreciating the environment around me more. I just hope that people would stop littering on the floor, because there are trashcans and a place to dispose of cigarettes only a few steps away from the tables.

“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.” – Aldo Leopold, A Sandy County Almanac

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