Schultz, Sept. 2014

This September in Texas has been particularly hot in my opinion. Although some weekends have been cool, I recorded temperatures in the triple digits at the beginning of the month. I have a feeling that Texas summers have been getting hotter ever since my moving here nearly fifteen years ago. In my experience the majority of Texans disagree, according to them it has always been this hot, but I hold strong to my beliefs. Recent hype in the science community leads me to believe that global warming is connected to my observation in this trend. Perhaps the prolonged drought we have experienced in Austin is another sign that my hypothesis is correct. Through out the semester I plan on observing water levels, and wildlife in Blunn Creek. Perhaps I will find further evidence to support my hunch.

I’ve spent time this month exploring Blunn Creek, a state park located near my Universities campus. Although Blunn Creek is full of Wild Life, I found it hard to document the majority of it. I observed several bird calls, along with a variety of other sounds, during my time in the creek. During my most recent visit to the creek, I heard what I believed to be a snake rattle coming from a bush. I did not investigate further. I also observed several birds while, exploring the creek. Upon one trip I overheard a sharp bird call, which seemed to come from a large bird. I tried climbing the tree, which I believed to contain the birds nest, in order to get a good picture. Unfortunately I was unable to find the right angle without getting unnecessarily close to the bird, or without getting a little scared.

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Maybe during my trips to the creek I can find a better way to observe the bird, without disturbing it. Along with the birds I discovered signs of insect life in the creek. I managed to find a rather large ant pile, which I plan on returning to throughout the semester. During my trips to the creek, the ants have not seemed very active. Not far from the ant pile I found what appeared to be snail shells under an oak tree; unfortunately there were no snails inside.

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During my trips to the creek, I began to notice this large oak tree along the side of the path. The Oak tree had never stood out to me before, however one time it did. Nothing about the oak tree itself had caught my eye, instead I had noticed an unusually large number of acorns scattered across the ground. I thought to myself “that it is likely that the acorn that produced this tree fell during the proceeding decade” (A Sand County Almanac). There most have been nearly two hundred acorns scattered below the tree. I spent sometime contemplating what animals would come along to help the oak spread its seeds. I picked up a seed and threw it into the forest to do my part. I’ve decided to return to the oak tree later in the semester.

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The creek seems to be filled with a variety of plant life including cactus, large trees, tall grass, and an assortment of wild flowers.

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This plant life, the producers of this ecosystem most likely rely on the scarce amount of water supplied by the creek. Throughout the month water levels in the creek have been consistent and unimpressive. I plan on documenting the water levels throughout the semester. I expect this to be interesting considering the prolonged drought we have been experiencing in Austin. This month there seemed to be a slight flow, if any, in the creek.

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Along with the water levels, I plan on documenting the overall change in the landscape throughout the semester. I will do this by marching to the highest point in Blunn Creek, the Volcanic Overlook; here I will capture the best possible view from above that I can.

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Although it’s hard to make out the landscape in much detail, it appears that the majority is still very green come the end of September; perhaps these colors will change throughout the semester, or perhaps not. Only time can tell.

 

 

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