For the month of October I retuned to the Barton Creek Greenbelt once again. This time the weather was so much better. In the first two weeks it was still pretty warm, with temperatures in the high 80’s but as we got into the last two weeks of the month the weather began to finally turn into fall.
During the first two weeks there was still plenty of water at the falls, granted not as much as the last time but there was still a decent amount. As I embarked on my journey through the trees and down the slope of rocks I was greeted by the same vibrant shades of greens, purples, and yellows. There was also still a considerable amount of animals wondering about. You could not tell that fall had arrived from the conditions of the woods these first two weeks.
“Like many another treaty of restrain, the pre-dawn pact lasts only as long as darkness humbles the arrogant” – A Sand County Almanac
The second two weeks told a different story. There was considerably less water, and when I went this last week there was hardly any left in the little pond, but the rocks continued to be covered in moss. My first idea was to go in search of my turtle’s friends. As I hiked down the slippery rock slope, I noticed that there were more leaves covering the ground than the last time I went.
This notion that fall was upon us gave me a rush of excitement. I reached the little pond where I believed the turtles would be but the pond was bone dry and the turtles were nowhere in sight. The foliage was dark greens and browns and this past week, it was cold with temperatures in the low 50’s. This time as I continued down the river I noticed that I was not running into the large river that I had encountered the last time I was out at the trails.
As I walked through the woods you could see the berry bushes were starting to wither away and turn brown. There were branches and limbs covering the ground with the recently fallen leaves on the trails. What I noticed that was different this time was that there were not nearly as many animals around. There weren’t even any squirrels, or birds rummaging around in the trees, this made me think that maybe the animals are getting ready to hibernate for the winter since this year we are experiencing lower temperatures than normal.
Texas weather is very abrupt in changing; this is the only place that I have been to that goes from 100 degrees to freezing within the same week. This drastic change of temperature and the drought are responsible for the foliage becoming dry and some trees dying. There were so many trees that had been knocked down and then some of them were on the verge of tipping over. I leaned on one on my way down the slope so I wouldn’t slip and I noticed some of the roots were coming out of the ground and it made a creaking noise.
The change in temperature and seasons resonated greatly during the last two weeks, but the greenbelt still remains a peaceful place for reflection and the wonderful weather just makes the hike out there even more enjoyable.