For my first out-door adventure I went to the 360 Cliff overlook to watch the sunset! Olivia, coming back to this spot for the second time to nature blog, told me about the spot and introduced me to the area. We arrived a little before the sun was supposed to set. It was 5:45 when we started to climb. The weather was incredible all day. When we arrived to hike up, it was about 65 degrees, and by the time the sun set it dropped to the high 50’s. It was a beautiful scene, but very crowded with people this evening. We first climbed a slightly steep, rough rock up the cliff. Once we arrived at the top it was an open cliff made of rock that stretched overlooking Lake Austin. We then ventured further and further back into the overlook. The cliff’s plant life started to become richer and thicker the further back we went. I only noticed a few types of trees, and there was very little grass. There was some plant life, schrubs and bushes. I want to come back to this area later in the warmer months to see if the warm weather brings out some colorful wildlife. I did not observe any animals. We arrived at small drop in rocks to sit and enjoy the setting sun. This experience in nature made me think about my connection to nature. While I love to hike and enjoy outdoor activities like this, this class has recently exposed me to environmental worldviews. I have always felt more apart of nature rather than superior to it. Then, reading in the textbook about stewardship of the earth and environmental wisdom gave me terms to refer to my views about nature. My reading of The Sand County Almanac also helped in my perspective on how humans interact with nature today. This particular quote was very interesting to me. Leopold states, “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” This is very true to today’s world. I think this is partially a result of humans essentially isolating themselves from nature and that people are unaware or don’t really care about the environment.
Today I spent an hour exploring a small area of nature behind where the brother’s apartments are. I followed a paved path to a rock path that winded to a trail that essentially just circled itself. One of the first things I noticed was a reoccurring tree with blue berries on it. They were everywhere along the trails. I wondered if they were invasive or native, if they were safe to eat, and what organism eats the plant if any? The trail was slightly damp and in some areas wet. I noticed a lot of piled of fine branches and twigs. This location is different from my first location in many ways. There were definitely different types of plants. In this spot I observed some animal behavior. I noticed birds chirping and then I encountered a opossum who as soon as he saw me shifting closer to him, scurried away. The sun was not out this afternoon when I was there. It was about 5 when I started my walk. It continued to stay gloomy the entire time. It was in the 60’s, and was comfortable. But as soon as it started to get dark, and I ran into an apartment complex, I turned back around to head home. This experience was different than my first because I was truly alone. I was able to sit in solitude and really take in what was around me. I felt idleness when sitting in the woods. I was able to have a silent period of passive receptivity to the outdoor world, which left me feeling really peaceful.