Bluebonnets, coreoposis, red and blue sage–who knew it was February in San Antonio, Texas? Recent Texas rains have drenched our drought-parched landscape, but Nature seems bent on making it up to us.
This pristine scene is not untouched nature in the wild, but the product of years of human intervention. San Antonio’s Mission Reach, a landmark riparian restoration, is coming alive after millions of dollars and likely as many hours of complex collaboration among planners, engineers, specialist contractors, scientists, and technologists. As crowds flock to the Witte Museum’s must-see Darwin exhibit that opened yesterday, a tandem visit to the Mission Reach serves as a lesson in real-time evolution.
A recent walk on San Antonio’s Mission Reach, the nine-mile linear park that extends from the south part of downtown San Antonio all the easy to Mission Espada, revealed bounties of budding wildflowers, awaiting slightly warmer temperatures and doses of daily sunshine to put out full blooms. After the 2011 historic drought, it’s heartening. The butterflies will follow shortly, as will the birds who find their caterpillar life stage a favorite treat. Not far behind are other returning critters–raccoons, opossums, nutria, even foxes and coyotes eventually.
For a quick preview of what’s coming later this spring, see the slideshow above. For insights on the complex collaboration of planners, scientists, engineers and specialist contractors tapped to set the stage for these blooms, see my story at The Rivard Report.