Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blackland Prairie

I found this area on google maps while panning around the area near my house. The white area in the center that looks like it was carved by runoff seemed out of place to me... so I decided to investigate. I guess I've been watching too much PBS... or maybe CSI Miami. (warning: CSI Miami will rot your brain!)


I set out Sunday morning around 7:00am and searched for the best place to make my entrance to the field. I parked & hopped the falling down barbwire fence and made my way in. This picture is looking back towards the road and I'm just about 25 yards in. I overexposed it so you could see the grass. I need to mess with this in Gimp and do a 2 layer combine with one over & one underexposed.

A Prairie Beginning

The road of course is adjacent to the ugly powerlines. There are all kinds of wildflowers (weeds if this is your lawn) and many different plants including this lovely cactus. After I saw it, I knew I better pay attention. The grass was almost waist high at times.


The wildflowers just kept getting thicker... this was right on the edge of the "area in question" about 100 yards from the edge of Lookout Road.

Wildflowers on Blackland Prairie

And here's a view of the area in question looking back towards the creek. Yes, there is a small creek back in those trees. Lookout Road is to the right.I believe that this is one of the "chalk" layers that blanket this area. We like to say Austin chalk, but I have no clue what it is. I need to do some real looking at the composition next time.

Area in Question

Another one along the side farthest away from Lookout Road looking towards the creek. If you look closely, you'll see the new "Baylor" building...


The trees you see in the white area are responsible for the dark areas in the satellite shot. I am planning another trip with a lawn chair next time and hope to get a few shots of the birds in this area. I saw several different kinds, but only identified a male Cardinal. (I'm not good at bird ID) I spent a few minutes looking around, but wanted to continue to explore the area as I approached the feeder to Highway 190. Just a short walk through the grass and I found a nice old abandoned VW bug. It didn't have any license plates... darn. I have a way to look up VINs... anybody know where the VIN is on an old VW bug?


A few flowers as I approached the wooded area.


There was no trail, so I just had to look for a decent sized opening with solid ground. After a while I found a decent path & made my way towards the creek.This shot was taken facing back towards the VW bug. It's probably 50 - 75 yards away hidden by the trees.


The trees weren't huge, but they were big enough to provide ample shade and it was a downright nice area to spend a few minutes. By this time I was starting to perspire a little from the direct sunlight, so the shade was NICE.


Another 20 yards and I had found the creek... is this too small to be a creek? My choice was to jump this creek or walk the long way back around to my car. The ground turned out to be very solid and it was a piece of cake.


When I climbed up the bank, I got a dose of reality.


My car is on the other side of this building. This was a really fun adventure and I plan to scout out further locations using google maps.

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