Brown, November 2014

This month was probably my favorite so far to observe, mostly because of the drastic yet expected changing of weather patterns (Texas!). I started my observations by going out to my usual spot at Mary Moore Searight Park on November 1st, while it was still quite warm outside. As I sat this day and observed, I noted that nothing has changed much since the last time I had visited in October except for the slight color change in several trees, along with the water that is constantly fluctuating in the creek. The creek was significantly drier at this point – about as dry as it was the first time I went in September.

As the month progressed, the spot stayed mostly the same until I went to go observe on Tuesday, November 18th. This was a couple of days after a cold front moved in to the area, so I was interested to see how this drastic weather change would affect the area, considering the weather dropped down to the 30’s literally over night. I went early in the morning on this day in order to get a different perspective on the area (as I’ve been going in the afternoons), plus I wanted to see the area when it was almost freezing outside. It was 35 degrees that morning. Bits of frost on the grass sparkled in the morning light and covered the dry, brown grass – yet tiny puddles of water left over in the creek area remained liquid. Although it was early, I actually preferred this time rather than the afternoon because it was silent and still, making for a perfect opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like when there aren’t any people around. Just silence.

Towards the end of November, the weather became progressively warmer than it was in the middle. On Saturday the 22nd, it rained pretty much all day and the day before, so I was particularly interested in what the creek looked like after a weekend of flood-inducing rain. Having been there after it rained heavily before, I expected the creek to be full and flowing. When I arrived, the creek was not only full, but flowing! It made me think about the tadpoles and their lack of water that I mentioned in the October blog, however I began to wonder what effect these drastic weather changed and heavy rainfall had on young amphibian species’ survival. If tadpoles are used to surviving in small, warm puddles, then what happens when the weather drastically drop sand their warm puddle is engulfed in a flood of cold water?

Since we have been discussing climate change in class, I have been thinking about the impact our everyday actions as humans has on the Earth. While I am grateful that I am now more knowledgeable about climate change and can use what I learned in my personal every day life, I also feel sad, selfish, and almost hopeless about people investing in what is required for change. However, I know that at this point change can be done, and things are being done. I thought this quote from Sand County Almanac was related, and a fascinating perspective on nature: “To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”

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