Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Walk along Spring Creek

Donna and I did not go on a hike on the first day of spring (see my last blog entry) but we did go for a walk along Spring Creek.

Spring Creek Park is a San Angelo city park on Lake Nasworthy just off Knickerbocker Road. Lake Nasworthy is formed by the Middle Concho River, the South Concho River, and Spring Creek. Donna and I parked our car in an area known as Horseshoe Bend and then spent the next hour walking along the creek.

We drive through Spring Creek Park several times a year. We always see wildlife out there, especially deer and wild turkey. We were not disappointed on our latest trip. A herd of 8 or so deer were grazing along the road near the entrance to the park. They continued to graze as we passed, unafraid of humans in this park setting. We also saw a turkey in the park, as well as numerous squirrels, several ducks, a heron, and even a woodpecker. I hoped to get a photo of one of the many black squirrels in the park, but was unable to get close enough to get a clear shot. There are quite a few that make the area their home.

The lake is now showing the effects of the ongoing drought. Lake Nasworthy is normally a constant level lake. Just to the west of the lake is a long dam that forms Twin Buttes Reservoir, which is also fed by the South Concho, the Middle Concho, and Spring Creek as well as Dove Creek. In normal circumstances, water from Twin Buttes is released to keep Lake Nasworthy at a constant level. However, Twin Buttes is now dry, as is O.C. Fisher, so there is no more water to release into Lake Nasworthy, which is now about 2 feet below normal. Two feet may not sound like much, but Nasworthy is a shallow lake -- and a small one -- so two feet is substantial.

Below are some pictures I took while we were on our walk.

Spring Creek, looking upstream. Pecan and other trees line the bank.
Water line shows the lower level of the creek. That is a grape orchard in the background.
Spring Creek with Twin Buttes dam in the background.

Normally most of this is underwater. This is a bend in the creek.

Spring Creek near its junction with the Middle Concho River. You can see the Twin Buttes in the background. To be honest, the terms Twin Buttes and Twin Mountains are both used in the area, and I really am not sure if they refer to the same things or not.







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