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Death by water and time

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Click for greater size and clarity.

Here you see a slew of stalks turned white in death, but what were they in life? Given the advanced stage of deterioration, I wouldn’t normally know, but I’ve visited this pond in northwest Austin several times in the last few years. In 2011, when the great drought held sway and lots of the water evaporated, colonies of Sesbania herbacea, the same plant you saw in the last post, sprang up on the newly exposed margins of the pond. When the rains eventually returned toward the end of 2011 and the water level went back up, the Sesbania colony was flooded and died. (Although these plants are tall, they’re annuals, so the water can’t have advanced their death by much.) Here you see the remains of the Sesbania in white. The yellow in the upper left is from some changing leaves of a black willow tree, Salix nigra.

For those of you who requested more landscapes after you saw the one of the cliffs along Bull Creek, this is another, which I took on November 5. Even yesterday’s picture could have counted as a semi-landscape, if there is such a thing. (After writing that sentence I wondered if anyone else had used the term semi-landscape, so I did a search and found that other people have indeed used it. Nihil sub sole novum, and all that.)

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2012 at 6:16 AM

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