Wednesday, March 3, 2010
One of the reasons I had to hustle back yesterday was to make a meeting in Austin at this Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on some items pertaining to my Federal permits. I have never been there before so decided that by gum this was a grand opportunity to educate myself, see the place The last time I was at the Wildflower Center was when it was under the radio towers just north of Platt's Road at Hornsby, so let's see , hmm, ....that's been like 5-6 years ago :-) Even met Lady Bird there !
I greatly feared the drive into Austin, but got the directions off Google and with white knuckles made my way into town. I might as well have been in Denver for all I could tell. Nothing looked like anything I could remember and Slaughter @ Brodie Lane totally toasted my mind. It was a 42 mile drive to the center but I got there alive. I am VERY glad that they call it the Wildflower CENTER, for it was 100% completely different than anything I expected. For all these years I have heard about this place, I had painted up a picture of it in my head. A huge tract of land devoted to wildflowers and native plants. A deep limestone canyon or something draped with Maiden Hair Fern, a rambling brook all sorts of fancy trails towered over by Texas Oak and ancient Ashe Juniper etc.
Heck I wore my hiking boots, wore my camera, brought my water bottle and figured I had just as good a chance as anyone else out there to find the FOS Golden-cheeked Warbler! In short I had in my mind a place that was a bit like Turkey Creek with a parking lot and a place that sold potted plants and T-Shirts next to rows of Port-o-potties or something......I am not sure what I thought but it sure as hell was not what I expected .....For sure I saw no Golden-cheekeds. I remember dropping of Dan Brooks near the entrance off of Loop 1 years ago when that road was under construction as his wife worked there but I did not go in.
Don't get me wrong here now, I think the place is wonderful. I found it delightful and interesting. There were none of the small fields of planted wildflowers that I thought there would be like out there near Fredricksberg but there was a lot of neat sculpture and turtles so tame I thought they were fake until I tossed a tiny pebble on one. Noticed that their Mexican Plum is not even budding whilst mine is in damn near full bloom....Elevational thing I guess. Everything mostly was dead and shrivelled up there, I suspect from that real cold weather a few weeks back. But there is some pretty rock work and art and they sell all sorts of stuff if you want it, and way more than I had a chance to look at. Was glad I went and finally saw it but can never be be what I always imagined it was again. And while I would never have made it there without this meeting, I would recommend a visit to anyone going into that part of town for sure.
That is the other thing, somehow I had it in my mind this was way out somewhere. At least a few miles out of town. Shucks it will soon be a downtown park it appears the way Austin is growing. San Antonio has it's Brackenridge Park and Zoo. Austin needs it's Hornsby and Wildflower Center. I can very much appreciate all of the many 100'000's of dollars and volunteer hours it must have taken to put the wildflower center together Would not mind seeing it when the flowers there are in bloom. It was a very busy place today though I was in the auditorium most of the afternoon. I went 3-4 hours early, lots of kiddos. Should have researched it better and would have better known what to expect..
Ladd, I finally put that little old TV up on a table thingy and hooked up the government converter box. After piddling with it a while it came on. All it seems to have though is low budget Latino comedies and soap operas and I don't speak Spainish so those ain't fun, and there is Foxx...But I can't understand stupid. Oh well there is a damn TV here at least for a few days. Hope these posts come out right, I'm tired and hurrying. Just catching up.