"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Austin: Zilker Park

We've taken a few adventures into Austin proper, braving the high speed roller coasters that are the highways around the western suburbs. Austin is on the eastern edge of the Texas hill country and the folks around here casually traverse those geographical contours at 65 mph, zipping in and out of strip malls, Walmarts, gas stations and roadside restaurants. Meanwhile we're just trying to find these local places and turn into them safely without causing a traffic jam.  Boy, do I sound old.

I've mentioned before that there are lots of butterflies in Texas, but the dang (that's a Texas swear word)  things don't hold still long enough to take any good pictures, unless they find their favorite nectar flowers. Then they settle in to feast.  I discovered that there is a butterfly garden in Zilker Park, downtown, so we headed there to spot some butterflies close up.  

The butterfly garden is modest, but does have enough native plantings to attract a variety of butterflies, some of which were willing to pose for us.  This Red Admiral* was sitting on a butterfly feeder.

*Let me just make a disclaimer at this point and say that I am new at identifying butterflies, so 
hope that readers who are experts will feel free to comment if they spot a misnomer. 

This Question Mark is considering solar options.

I don't know what this one is. It's one of the milkweed types, but the markings don't exactly fit any of the pictures I have of Monarchs, Queens, Soldiers or Viceroys.

I think this one might be a Queen.

The whole Garden is kind of sleepy right now, as it is fall, and dry too. But we wandered through the Japanese Garden...

the Rose Garden...

and the Prehistoric Garden...

and spotted more small wildlife near the water features.

This gorgeous wildlife motif gate to the Botanical Garden is unfortunately locked so doesn't seem to be used, or seen by many.

After the gardens we headed to Barton Springs Pool which is also in Zilker Park.  This is an incredible place. I can just imagine how packed it must be in the summer. Although this was a warm day by northerner's standards, it was not a big swimming day for Austiners.

It was too cold for Rick and me to swim, but Kona had no trouble plunging into the clear 68 degree water further downstream.

Come back soon for our BBQ adventure to Lockhart and a stroll through Wimberly.

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