Over the month I have been to Blunn Creek and seen very minimal changes so far. I had been to Blunn Creek before the class went together, but the trip before was in the summer so the nature preserve was substantially different. Because Blunn Creek is so close to St. Edwards campus I was able to stop by fairly regularly. I enjoy going to the creek and observing there but in my opinion the best part is at the top of the hill at the overlook. I find this area interesting because it has lots of elements to look at. You also get to have a mini hike to the top in which you get more opportunities to see cool things pop out within the park. On the walk up you hear birds and animals running through shrubs and tall grass. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to detect exact bird species (working on that for next blog!) I did see a rabbit and a few squirrels as I made my climb up to the overlook. Once making it to the overlook I start by trying to avoid the beautiful view and landscape out towards St. Edwards Campus. I look down towards the grass and rocks looking for anything to record. Of course after a bit I catch a glimpse and stare out and see St. Edwards campus from a distance. I try and focus on the cactus, trees, and tall grass that surround that area again. The prickly pear cactus didn’t have too many blooming flowers but I did see some. Blunn Creek has a collection of nonnative and native plants. The Nature preserve tries to keep the nonnative species under control but the most common Chinaberry and Lugustrum are taking over certain parts of the park. I also noticed a ton of Jamaican grass and different types of shrubs that are intermingled within the park.
As I sat on top of the hill at the overlook I thought about how much work it takes to keep a park like this so untouched and preserved. While it isn’t perfect and cars blow by on I-35 distracting you a bit you still can lose yourself to the nature around you. I find this extremely therapeutic and a nice relief from daily life. Growing up in Washington D.C. the city was much more my domain so once I moved to Austin parks and preserves like this changed my way of thinking. When I go out to Blunn Creek it shows me that there really is no excuse for our nation to not support more development and preservation of natural parks. Of course when you go into Blunn Creek you see occasional trash it’s next to a major highway. The paths are structured by people and the rocks are shaped to flow water a certain way to prevent drought too but this helps the park not hurt it. I find that this nature preserve has more character to it then much of its counter parts because it literally is right in the middle of a major city.