For my blog entries I’ve decided to observe the Barton Creek Greenbelt near Camp Craft Rd and Scottish Woods Trail.
I chose this area because of it’s proximity to my house and having explored the endless winding foot trails, realized the opportunity of the countless hidden spots I could observe. For my first couple of observation hikes I decided to wing it and grabbed my sketchbook, some drawing utensils, my cell, and my favorite hiking buddy–the family dog, Bella. We entered each time through the greenbelt entrance where Camp Craft meets Scottish Woods–a prominent hiking location for plenty around the Westlake area.
Without a destination in mind, I wandered mostly while letting Bella lead me down the paths that she wanted to explore. All the while I snapped as many photos as I could, mostly including scenes or objects that I found especially beautiful. One quote that stuck with me from Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac that I found especially relevant states, “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by our language.” (Pg. 96) This related to my observations in that what interested me the most was often what was most beautiful to my senses–and often times the best way to describe these isn’t through words but through experience and in my case through art. So I found it only fitting to, in addition to writing notes and taking photos, I would sit down during my observations to sketch up and attempt to capture those things I found exceptionally beautiful.
The first interpretation is of a spot along the trail where the trees opened up. It is one of the first wide open views you get of the hills on this particular path.
The second interpretation happened to be of a crazy rock formation that I came upon much farther along the trail, on a path that ran parallel to the creek bed. Although no water was present, you could distinctly see holes and strange patterns left on the face of the cliff where water and other elements had begun to erode–additionally some species had begun to inhabit the very cracks/holes left in the rock.
The third is of a spot right on the water that overlooked a massive rock out in the middle of the stream that looked like it held a little habitat of its own with tiny creatures and plants living atop and in the water below it.
Although these rough sketches barely compare to the images one would see themselves observing these scenes, I realized how many more things I noticed about each one–just by merely attempting to recreate them on a blank page. It would be an interesting experiment if I were to go back to the same spots after this semester and see not only how my perception has changed but how the landscape itself has changed over time.
January 19th @Barton Creek Greenbelt, Scottish Woods Trail
January 20th @Blunn Creek (not pictured here)
January 28th @Barton Creek Greenbelt, Scottish Woods Trail