Brown, September 2014

Date: 9/4/14

Time: 6:20-7:20 pm

Where: Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park

Temperature: 90 degrees

I decided to come to this park because it’s close to my apartment and it’s pretty large, so I figured there would be many places to explore. I go a bit of a ways into the forest and find a narrow path of limestone showing the remnants of what used to be a flowing creek. I decide to stay here and sit on the limestone and observe what’s around me, initially curious about the type of plants that I would find, especially because of the fact there is most likely occasionally water flowing in the creek.

Although it’s really hot outside and everything is pretty still, there is still green life all around me. Trees, a couple of flowers, and various other plants that have grown through the cracks of the limestone that look like they were a product of when there was still water here. Although I’m technically in nature, I still hear the sounds of civilization around me – people talking (since I’m on a trail), birds chirping, a dog barking in the distance, and leaves from the trees subtly blowing in the wind.

Since I’m in a creek, there is also moss growing, which makes me assume there may have been water here sometime recently. The trees are green, but the grass is brown, dull, and dry. There are little bugs crawling everywhere, even right next to me on the rock. A bee just buzzed past.

Something that’s making me sad is that there is a lot of litter around here, which makes sense because it’s a public park, but it’s still sad. To think about it just sitting here, and to think about the fact that people just let their trash go freely without thinking about how it might impact the plants, animals, and entire ecosystem surrounding them.

Nothing is turning colors yet, but it looks like we’re starting to catch some glimpses of fall – earlier and earlier sunsets, a few shades of yellow popping up in the trees here and there, and the occasional cool breeze.

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 Date: 9/12/14

Time: 12:30-2:00

Where: Enchanted Rock, Fredericksberg, TX

Temperature: 92 degrees

Decided to come here for a day trip with my friend, as I’ve never been here before and was interested about what it looked like. Although I knew it was a hot day, I didn’t realize exactly how hot I was going to be…. which was especially hot on the granite rocks. Turns out you can actually hike up the rock and through a lot of different parts on different trails, so we decided to first climb up to the top of Enchanted Rock and then hike a little bit further into it.

The granite rocks made the heat intensify as you go up, so it became hotter and hotter as we hiked up the rock. It was a pretty dry area – the grass was mostly dead, but there were still some desert plants like cacti that were flourishing and producing fruit.

We went at a time where not that many people were there, so it was pretty quiet in regards to human voices around. This was nice because it really felt like we were embedded in nature a lot more and could hear the sounds of the wildlife around us. Birds, a lot of insects, and the occasional lizard. At one point, we just laid on the rocks (mostly because we were too hot, tired, and thirsty to go any further) and sat and looked up at the sky with the rocks surrounding us. It was really peaceful and beautiful.

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9/20/14

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm

Where: Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park

Temperature: 88 degrees

I came back to the first location, and after two weeks I can already see some obvious changes to the ecosystem. It just got finished raining a lot for a good two days straight, so the dry limestone creek I was previously doing my observations is now an actual creek! The water is flowing, and I could even see little fish in the water.

Also, to my delight, as soon as I got there the first thing I saw was a deer! He/she saw me and then darted into the forest, but I still saw one. Since it had just rained, there appeared to be a lot more life surrounding the park – deer, fish, squirrels, insects.

When I first came here, all I heard were people and the sound of leaves blowing in the wind, and now the sound of the running creek water fills the ecosystem.

As I was leaving in my car a few feet away, I saw two more deer jump into the forest!

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9/27/14

Time: 10-11 am 

Where: Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park 

Temperature: 85 

It was cloudy and humid this morning, but a little cooler than it has been. It rained a little bit the day before, so the creek that I saw the previous week was still there. However, it was significantly lower than it was (since it practically flooded the weekend before!). It looks very similar to the way it looked last weekend in regards to the plant and animal life. I didn’t see as many animals as I did last week – I guess I just got lucky with my deer spotting!

Sand County Almanac quote: “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” 

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