Thursday, November 15, 2012

Student essay: Dew-coated shoes on the Coates Bluff Trail

Dew-coated shoes on the Coates Bluff Trail

Journeying into the trail began with crisp crunches of dew-coated shoes on ample Sycamore and Cottonwood leaves. The surface of Bayou Pierre glistened at daybreak with a veil of wet mist blanketing the water; the air coming out of students’ mouths resembled the mist on the slow moving creek. The Coates Bluff Trail was encompassed with a cheerful hum of voices synchronizing with the chirps of birds, the trickling of Bayou Pierre, and the falling of tree limbs. About halfway through, there was a large decomposing tree, a safe haven for the indigenous bugs, preparing to morph into fertile soil as the wood splintered into soft moist wood. Red Chinese Tallow leaves dotted the ground as the class made their way to Montessori School of Shreveport. Students eventually walked back on the loamy path of tree roots.
The Coates Bluff Nature Trail is an important resource to the environment. Trees like the willow have acetylsalicylic acid, and are used for the common OVC drug Aspirin. Native Americans would even chew the bark to feel relieve to aches and pains.While the Chinese Tallow is know for its invasive monoculture in eastern Texas, it is crucial for honey foraging. Beekeepers will place their hives in the Tallow trees in the spring because of their nectarous blossoms for the bees. Fauna like armadillos are used to help scientists with the study of leprosy, and flora like the pine are used commercially for timber. The flora and fauna all combine together to keep a balanced web; the acorns of the live oak feed hungry animals. Canopy trees like the Sycamore and Cottonwood provide shade on hot days, and the cooling waters of Bayou Pierre, adjacent to Coates Bluff, provide a soothing climate. While vines are annoying, the Muscadine vine provides tart jams and pies. The trail benefits humans also to help them exercise, and learn to appreciate the value of a nearby recreational walk.

Isabella Van Savage