First off, my return to the Tandy Hills today, in search of my lost sunglasses, was not successful.
But, I found something else. Something that was a bit disturbing. Well, more than disturbing, let's go with troubling and aggravating.
I parked by the Fort Worth Needle, aka Tandy Tower, on top of Mount Tandy.
I walked down the hill, taking a left at the first intersecting trail junction. Continuing on down the hill I stopped to take another picture of my favorite Wildflower, that being the yellow beauty you see in the picture.
While I was taking pictures I heard the rumbling noise of a motor. Usually the only motor noise heard in this location is the distant rumbling of the vehicles on I-30.
I got to the bottom of the hill, and instantly my attention switched from trying to figure out where the motor noise was coming from, to seeing that the Tandy Hills earth had been moved. The trail passes over a creek bed. That creek bed had been filled in with dirt bulldozed from the side of the trail, leaving huge gashing messes.
The creek bed had been filled in with no culvert to allow the flow of water. The new "bridge" was topped with crushed rock.
Before I continued on, I turned my attention to the motor noise. Backtracking a bit I could see a big white pickup truck. Deja Vu flashbacks of my earlier encounters with White Darth Vader Trucks made me wary. I went back up the hill, then went off trail and got to where I had a view of the side of the truck.
It was a City of Fort Worth truck. Not Chesapeake Energy or Express Energy Services.
I took a picture of the City of Fort Worth truck when I got back on the trail, with it now coming towards me.
The truck stopped. I kept walking south. I came to the second creek crossing. This one had also been "bridged".
With a much bigger mess made. And this creek was running water. By the time I again walked over the new "dam," about an hour later, the creek was within about 6 inches of breaching the dam.
Where that white pickup is in the picture, that is on the other side of a cable that was stretched across the trail. The cable had a sign attached which said "Foot Traffic Only."
To get around this cable one of the supporting posts had been knocked over, so that the cable. And sign. Could be driven over.
My pictures of the damage and the dams do not do justice to what I saw today. At the location of the second "dam" a huge chunk of Tandy Trail had been chopped off, to use for fill for the "dam". Previously that particular trail came off the hills to connect to the flat trail with the newly added dam bridges.
The brightly lit area at the top of the picture is the Tandy Trail coming off the hills to join the trail with the new dam/bridges. This has now been bulldozed to provide dirt for the dam, rendering the trail no longer a usable trail.
To get good pictures of this Tandy Tarnishing I need to be on the hills later or earlier in the day. The sun, at noon, does not make for good pictures in my unskilled hands. The above is the bigger of the 2 new dam/bridges. Covered with crushed rock. The one you are looking at is the one that is creating a reservoir that is likely now running over the top of the new dam.
So? What is going on here? If the City of Fort Worth needed to get a truck into this location, and needed to get over the creeks, how is this a sane, responsible, proper way to do so?
It is less than 48 hours since Prairie Fest celebrated the prairie. I was so appalled by what I saw today that when I got back here I called Fort Worth's and the Tandy Hill's #1 Watchdog to tell him what I'd seen. I figured if some Bad Boys are doing some Bad Deeds, the sooner the Watchdog watches, the better.
If I could muster the energy I'd go back around 5 to check out the creek flowing over the new dam/bridge.
Brought to you by those same fine folks bringing you a Trinity River Vision.