The epic drought we are experiencing in Texas this year is taking its toll on all of us who live here; plants, animals and people. One thing we all have in common is our need for water to survive. There is a strong impact on us as we watch the plants around us dying, animals suffering, and the ground beneath our feet becoming dry, hard and cracking. Nerve endings feel as fried as the crispy grass I walk upon. Heat stress is a real issue here, with more days over 100 degrees this summer than I have seen in the 53 years I have lived in Texas.
From deep under ground, the Edwards aquifer offers up sweet, fresh, clear, cold water that has been filtered through limestone. There are serious concerns about the future of our Texas aquifers during this season of drought. While the water is still flowing, I want to take a moment to express gratitude for the continuity of our spring water, and what it does for us, body and soul.
Last month my husband and I visited the Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley, Texas. This Texas treasure is a quintessential spring fed Texas swimming hole. Shaded by huge old cypress trees, the Blue Hole is deep and cold, even on very hot days. As I enter the pool, cold spring water soothes my nerve endings and washes away my cares. The cypress trees form a tunnel of green light, offering soothing color therapy for my eyes. From those enjoying the old rope swing comes the sound of laughter, mingling with the happy songs of the birds. The smell of the rich earth fills my nostrils as I climb back up the ladder to lay on fresh green grass. For centuries watering holes have served as places of rest and renewal, a healing place to quench the thirst of a dry and dusty body and spirit.
Thank you Friends of the Blue Hole, who have shown what can happen when neighbors combine forces to preserve a local treasure for future generations. The new landscaping, bath house, picnic area and trails have made the area safer and more enjoyable. Volunteers helped with planting new sod and plants along the banks of the creek, and raised funds that allowed for grants and partnerships to create a master plan to preserve this treasure for future generations.
Our recognition of the treasure of fresh water can lead to awareness of what action is needed to take care of this precious resource. In taking good care of our water, we take good care of all of us.
To take action or learn more about water conservation in Central Texas, check out these websites:
- Save Our Springs Alliance
- City of Austin Water Conservation
- Texas Water Conservation Association
The Wimberley Blue Hole Regional Park is just east of the downtown square on Blue Hole Lane, off Old Kyle Road near junction of FM 3237. For the latest updates on hours of operation and water conditions, check the website of the Friends of the Blue Hole or the City of Wimberley.