|Bumblebee on Foxglove at McCommas Bluff|
|Purple Prairie Clover and Dewberries|
Penstemon cobaea of the Great Trinity Forest
|Foxglove overlooking the Trinity River|
Also a banner year for pink evening primrose Oenothera speciosa as seen below. Open fields are carpeted with them at the moment. Enough so that a walk or ride through them will leave you yellow with pollen
|Pink Evening Primrose in the Great Trinity Forest|
Lingering Effects Of The 2011 Texas Drought
This upper portion of McCommas Bluff Preserve suffered heavily during the 2011 drought. Where most lowland areas in the Great Trinity Forest were buffered by damp soil, this particular upper terrace area saw many smaller trees die off. The photo of the pond above illustrates that well with a number of trees not coming back this spring. The pond went dry in late spring of 2011.
What In The Wide Wide World Of Sports Is A Goin' On Here?
Getting back to the construction. I gotta wonder. What is the method to the madness in all of this? The city says this marring of the landscape was needed to protect a 72 inch water main that runs down to the southeast waste water treatment facility in southeast Dallas county. Time was of the essence it seemed a year ago with potential erosion of the riverbank exposing the water main to problems. Fair enough. But the construction has been anything but fast and has eroded more riverbank than it has fixed. Not much has happened at all. Other than some large holes punched into McCommas Bluff large enough to drive a semi-truck through.
Much of this area was supposed to be protected as part of a US Army Corps of Engineers Mitigation Area. When the McCommas Bluff Landfill was expanded around 5-7 years ago, it ate up a good chunk of wetlands, forest and prairie. To mitigate that per a 2002 federal law, a special area was set aside and re-engineered for the purpose of the habitat loss......
Below is the summary of the landfill application for the landfill extension describing the mitigation.
Fine and dandy till the 72 inch water main project started last summer. The idea is to rock armor the riverbank using chicken wire boxes filled with baseball sized pieces of concrete. Put enough chicken wire boxes filled with rocks together and you have a wall. The current construction, started last summer spans about 1000 feet of riverbank. Seen below, you can see the workers installing course after course of rock.
The clearcutting extends from almost the new Trinity River Trail bridge down to McCommas Bluff. Strange thing is that this is in the Corps of Engineers Mitigation Area and some of the trees bulldozed were planted for compliance with the mitigation law. Some still have the green tarp material around the base of the trunk for irrigation. Puzzling.
If erosion control is the purpose here, why did they push so much of the bank and trees into the river? In some places doing this shed 4-5 horizontal feet off the bank.
I'm just not seeing it. maybe it's my untrained eye. But I cannot see any difference in the bend now than the photos above. Oh wait. Yes I can. You see when they bulldozed off the bank, they took 4-5 feet of bank with it. Maybe a couple hundred years of erosion done in just one afternoon. Congrats!
Don't start new problems when you have not finished the old ones. I guess. Maybe I'm wrong here.