SAUCEDO, NOVEMBER 2014

“November is, for many reasons the month for the axe. It is warm enough to grind an axe without freezing, but cold enough to fell a tree in comfort.” (Leopold, 68)

For this month I decided to start off my nature’s observations differently since I was in Spicewood, TX near the Colorado and Pedernales River split. It was Sunday, November 9 afternoon and 66*F outside, just between the warm and cool weather. It was a beauty being next to the river and having this great view. I thought of this as an interesting place to see cactus, shrubs, mesquite and couple of other tree’s growing in the area. What was most interesting was that most tree’s had about two other plants growing around them.

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For the next three observations I went to the small lake that lies towards the back end of the Harris Branch neighborhood. The first time I went, it was cold. I had very little interest to be there since the weather just wanted to make me go back inside. I observed the small lake that is pumped by the neighborhood’s association, and noticed it had some kind of green water. When I returned for my next observation, it was warmer, 81*F outside, much better than the previous week that was 45*F. I noticed the small lake still had some green kind of water and ducks were going around this time.

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As I continued my observation with the great motivation the weather was giving me, I collected leaves to identify the types of tree’s that grew around. According to Leafsnap on iPhone, these trees were the water oak (Quercus Nigra), Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia Denvedata), and the Live Oak (quercus Virginiana).

I then headed down the path past the lake that went through the backyards of the houses. I discovered a beautiful red kind of tree that reminded me of the Texas Red Oak tree that CTRMA is planting along MoPac (Loop 1). Leafsnap could not identify it based on its leaf. As I went through the trail, I also noticed ant piles; the closer I was to the lake, the more I would see. I also noticed some ant piles right across from each other in the concrete. As I moved further and further they were less frequent and there would only be one instead of two across. It made me wonder why this was structured this way.

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Continuing the path I was observing, I also noticed some destruction along the other side. Not only did I see a branch in the ground near a tree from the lake, but many more near the back of the trail. Some parts were piled up and thrown above bushes, others seem to have just fallen off from the wind, not recently though. I began to question what happened, whether it was someone from the neighborhood who had brought these here, or was it from the tree destruction that was occurring in the neighborhood when they were constructing houses. Just down the path I noticed more construction for the expansion of the neighborhood was going. I began to question seeing more and more tree destruction in the neighborhood progress from when I kept coming in to this spot and Harris Branch Park in October, will this neighborhood soon be treeless in the back, and would any tree that exists here later today be one that has grown before the birth of this neighborhood?

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The last day I went on November 30, it was still beautiful outside at 77*F. No major changes were observed, it was just the same as the previous 2 observations were, with the exception of Ducks. They were still going around the lake, neighbors were walking around the trails, and everything was beautiful just as it’s been.

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