Sunday brewery touring, resumed.  

We took a break there for a while from our taproom exploration.  But we’re back.  First stop, 4th Tap Brewery Cooperative;  have a nice flight!


Next:  Oskar Blues Brewery; good tunes, too.  I learned a new word here:  zymurgy.  See, it’s an educational tour. 

We stopped for dinner along the way, but finished at Austin Beerworks:


We are in training for Fran’s visit…. 🙂

Ladies’ sail. 

Yesterday I took Julie and six of her girlfriends out for a day on the lake for her birthday.  We sailed to the cove and then anchored.  Sunbathing, floating, grilling, music, dancing and laughter ensued.   I enjoyed a beautiful day with a lovely group of young women.

(photo manipulated with iPhone app Brushstroke)

Artcycles.

Today Monte and I took a trip downtown to see the recently installed visiting art exhibit Forever Bicycles, by Ai Weiwei.   It is sponsored by The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy.   Their material doesn’t cite an end date for the exhibit – it just says “ongoing.”  But get yourself down there to see it.   It is located at the “Waller Creek Delta,” which happens to be about where Trinity St runs into Lady Bird Lake.  The Waller Creek Boathouse and its cafe are nearby, so you can catch a bite as well.  And it is located right along the hike and bike trail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found the exhibit of hundreds of stainless steel bicycles to be teeming with motion, from every angle.  Very cool indeed.

An overdue visit.

I made it to Laguna Gloria today.  It’s remarkable that it is only my first visit, after living here over 20 years.   It is the home of The Contemporary Austin, an art consortium.    The grounds are beautiful, full of trees, and trails that will take you down by the (glorious) lagoon, as well as Lake Austin.  A sculpture garden is spread throughout the grounds and trails.  It made for a lovely afternoon of hiking, birding and art appreciation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Texas Historical Marker for Laguna Gloria Villa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lovely Villa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking towards Lake Austin from the Villa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Miffy Fountain – Tom Sachs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking Up – Tom Friedman

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Canopy Tower – John Grade

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Iron Tree Trunk – Ai Weiwei

More Bewicks. 

I have shared my excitement throughout this entire Spring for our nesting Bewick’s wrens.  The same pair have nested in two different houses on the patio.  Their first brood was four babies.  A second brood fledged Thursday; three more!   The birdhouse is about 5 feet from where I sit while drinking my coffee each morning outside.   The little wren parents were used to me and would fly back and forth to feed the babies while I was sitting there.  So sweet. 

This is the second of the three that fledged.

Class of 2017.

I attended one of the many University of Texas at Austin convocation ceremonies today.   The daughter of a college roommate of mine graduated.   Being on a university campus always feels a bit like home to me, no matter how brief my visit might be.

Seeing these young people graduate college and turn to take the next significant step in their lives makes me nostalgic.   I can recall the excitement of the prospect of having your entire future before you.   For me, that day was 30 years ago.   I feel older; but not old.  A little part of me wishes I could do it all again.  The rest of me is content to look back on a life that’s more than half way lived, enjoy the memories, and cherish the remainder.

Congratulations to the all the graduates of 2017!!!

IMG_2300

 

 

Deer blind.

While cooking lunch yesterday, Monte saw a doe and her fawn right outside the kitchen window.  Mom seemed to be standing guard while baby was walking around in the planting bed around the big red oak.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a few minutes mom slowly wandered out of view.   We couldn’t see baby either, but thought maybe mom had been putting the fawn in a safe place so she could go off to find food.   We have seen similar behavior before several years ago – I posted about that time here.   Apparently, a doe will leave a healthy fawn on its own in a safe place for up to as much as twelve hours, while they forage for food.

Turns out that is exactly what was going on.  I walked out front to see if I could spy the fawn, and sure enough, it had tucked itself in a deep hollow in the planting bed created by a new row of limestone Monte had placed there a few weeks back.  Safe and sound.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a pretty good hiding place.  When driving by the house later that night, I could only see the tips of the fawn’s ears above the limestone.   At 1 AM, I walked outside to check, and, sure enough, baby was gone.  Mom came back as promised.

 

This little piggy went to market…

I can’t believe it has taken me so long, but today I visited Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline Mall this morning – open 9am to 1pm every Saturday.  They set up right in front of Dillard’s in the parking lot.  I really enjoyed it, and the beautiful day that came with it.  They have all sorts of fare:  veggies, cheese, meat, eggs, bread, sweets, olive oil, pasta, flowers, doggie treats, live music, sweet smelling pamper products, a little place to sit down and rest, and more.  I’ll be back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hold still!

Scissor-tailed flycatcher, in motion.  They say the male’s tail is longer than the female’s, so I’m guessing this is a she.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taken at Commons Ford park.

Who’s watching who?

I really don’t have the intention of turning this photoblog into a birding blog, but since, for the time being, I’m spending lots of time looking for my feathered friends, bird moments are what you get.  🙂  But I will try to work some other subjects in.

I was watering plants out back this afternoon and heard some birds making a ruckus in one of the trees by the fence.  I walked over to find several birds squawking at a large shape sitting in the tree.  I’ve discovered hawks and crows in other similar situations, which quickly fly away after I walk under the tree.  I walked along the fence line to see if I could get a good look at what it was.  I saw our resident eastern screech-owl:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He didn’t budge, other to turn his head from time to time.  I didn’t have my camera when I first saw him, so I walked back to the house to get it.  He was still sitting there when I got back.  I assume he has a nest he is guarding.  I’ve captured him on the infrared critter cam once or twice at night, but have never laid eyes on him before in person.   And he can say the same.

Colorful.

I was excited to see my first ever painted bunting this spring, and several others since then; all on different visits to Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park.   I haven’t captured a NatGeo-esque photo of one yet, but I was happy to get this one today, showing its beautiful colors on display.  If you would like to see your first one, too, check out the park.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA