During the course of the last month I visited the Barton Creek Greenbelt, more specifically I went to Twin Falls. In the first two weeks the weather was really rough. You have to hike a little ways to get there so the harsh temperature did not help. It was about 90 degrees when I went in the late morning. The vegetation was breath taking; the trails are full of greens, purples, pinks, reds, and yellows. It was as if the paths were painted different arrays of colors for our enjoyment.
As I hiked down the slope I was greeted by what looked like the rocky and dry remains of a river. I followed the rocky path up and up and I finally saw some water. There was a small pool of dirty green and brown water filled with turtles. I am a big fan of turtles, so imagine my excitement when I came across this little turtle sanctuary. I wanted to see these “twin falls” so I left my newfound turtle friends in search of the falls. I walked and walked and there was no sign of running water or any water, the landscape seemed to get more and more baron. Then it hit me, I could hear running water and the sounds of people talking and laughing. I thought this would be like the little pond I encountered earlier but it was quite different.
There was a larger body of water with what looked like a small-scale waterfall. There were people laughing and jumping into the water. I got closer to the water to see if it was cool and I was pleasantly surprised, the water was very cool and it would have been great to take a swim. I could see little fishes with yellow and orange spots as well as little green fish. There were shallow pools and larger pools dispersed through out the rocky river. This river looked like it would be massive but since there has not been any rain it has dried out.
The next two weeks told a very different story. It had rained and there was more vibrancy to the trails and the surrounding foliage. The colors were richer, darker, and more pronounced. I came across a bush of purple berries from which a squirrel was eating. I also saw cardinals flying around above me. This time I saw a greater variety of biodiversity. The flora and fauna was more present in this visit, in my opinion this all had to do with the rain, and the more bearable temperature.
When I reached the river it was full of water, and the small turtle sanctuary was nowhere to be found, they had been engulfed in the larger pond. I continued my journey upward and came upon the falls but it was all joined together in a larger body of water, this is what the river was supposed to look like. There were some dry patches but they were covered in moss with bright shades of green, as well as shallow pools dispersed throughout the dry patches of rock. You could tell where the erosion was taking place due to the paths the water cut out when the river was flowing at its strongest.
“It is in some, but not all, of the misty autumn daybreaks that one may hear the chorus of the Quail. The silence is suddenly broken by a dozen contralto voices, no longer able to restrain their praise of the day to come.” – A Sand County Almanac