Monday, October 19, 2009

Visiting Austin: Part 1

We couldn't have chosen a better weekend for our visit to Austin. The weather was absolutely perfect - sun blue skies and 75 degrees.

We broke the 2.5 hour drive with a picnic lunch at Bastrop State Park. The air was beautifully clear and it was great to be in hilly country country again.

Although we only stayed an hour, and it was early afternoon, there were plenty of birds around. Turkey and Black Vultures flew over, while the trees were busy with Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Pine Warblers. Unfortunately, none of them would oblige me by posing for photos.

We checked into our motel in Austin and then went over to the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Unlike the botanical gardens in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, Zilker is not wonderful for birds. In fact, the only birds we saw there were Great-tailed Grackles.

However, they are great for butterflies ...

and other bugs.

And if you're not into bugs, you can always admire the plants.

That night I turned in early, to be ready for an early morning drive to the Hornsby Bend sewage plant on Sunday. Dee had decided that she didn't want to get up before dawn on Sunday. As you'll see tomorrow, this was a mistake.


Birdwoman said...

Gorgeous pictures, as your pictures usually are. We're headed in that direction in a few days and plan to stop in Austin on our way back from a vacation in the Big Bend/Davis Mountains area. I look forward to Austin, certainly one of my favorite cities.

Jeff said...

Big Bend??? My favorite place in Texas and one of my favorite places anywhere. I envy you.

I'm ashamed to admit we've only been to Austin twice in almost 8 years in Houston. I really don't know why we don't go there more often.