So, this morning, I went back to the same property as yesterday, enjoyable in a hot, sweay, itchy kind of way.
Today’s project was planting some muhly seedlings for erosion control in a small draw.Very different than yesterday but all for the same reason: water quality protection in the recharge zone for the Barton Springs aquifer.
“Barton Springs?” you might ask.
(warning: theatrical oversimplification ahead)
“Deliciously wet, chilly, sparkling Barton Springs in busy, south-central Austin has exactly what to do with this rugged, hot, limestone-sprinkled prairie full of itchy grasses, prickly pear and wildflowers, all the way out in Hays County, just up the road from the Salt Lick?” you might wonder.
This is where it all starts, folks. Rain that falls in these grasslands ends up in Onion Creek — this is one of five watersheds recharging the aquifer for Barton Springs.
In fact, the innocuous looking spot below, on Onion Creek is the location of an underwater cave, supposedly named Crippled Crawfish. ( I say ‘supposedly’ because I got the feeling that those water quality guys running the project could have totally been messing with us volunteers about the name.)
Dye studies have shown that Onion Creek water is sucked into this cave at a suffiicient rate to end up in Barton Springs, 25 miles away, only three days later. This is apparently near light speed for underground water movement.
Remember, be good to your aquifer and it will be good to you.