This past Monday we left our tiny town of Canyon with the intention of traveling to the Bastrop area to examine the effects of the recent fire on wildlife. For several years now, we have been conducting research on the effects of the catastrophic 2011 fire on small mammal populations in the state park.
The most recent and devastating fire in Beuscher State Park provides us with an opportunity that we didn’t have before. To go in immediately after the fire and survey the wildlife that was killed. Our goal was to record what species where lost and what species were entering the park to scavenge. However, things have taken a turn.
We didn’t get the 3 a.m. Monday morning start we hoped to. Ray had become sick and when we climbed into the truck around 6 a.m. it needed a jump. Upon reaching the town of Abilene we pulled into Olive Garden for a soup and salad dinner when the clutch started screaming. Shortly after we were unable to chance gears. Luckily, there were numerous hotels around us includung one that accepted pets. Even better, we broke down right next to an automotive shop. How lucky can one be?
We have been laid over in Abilene for 2 days and counting, Jessie has just recently recovered from a horrendous stomach bug that hit when we came into town. And our new clutch didn’t get delivered to the shop today.
It seems as though we will not travel on to Beuscher State Park. Not because of truck or health problems, but because of weather. Following the same pattern as the last fire, the burned area looks to receive a torrential downpour. Terrible timing for fragile topsoil exposed by the fire.
We will not see Bastrop till this November.
-Jessie and Ray