Blues on the green.  

Tonight we made it to the last concert in this year’s Blues on the Green free concert series at Austin’s lovely Zilker Park.   Bright Light Social Hour was the headliner.   We joined Lori and Doray, who have made it to every show this year. They’re professionals; they have the parking/tailgating/setup thing down.  We got downtown early, went for a swim in Barton Springs Pool and then headed over to the Great Lawn to set up our chairs and share some nibblies before the show.  


    I enjoyed the night very much.  Temps were in the 80s!! How lucky was that?!

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    Trail of Lights.

    We made it to the Trail of Lights tonight in Austin’s jewel, Zilker Park, for the first time in probably 5 years or more.   We used to go more frequently, but it has either not been easy to get down there in recent times, or it has been postponed for financial reasons.   I remember, in the good old days, being able to decide at the last minute to go, and just zip down to the park and park for free on the grassy field and walk over.    No more.   We had to plan ahead.   I got a parking pass online which made it a little easier, but the traffic was really crazy, and the crowds were enormous.

    In any event, the lights were simply lovely.

    This is the tunnel at the entrance…

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    This is a view of a bunch of different lights, with the Zilker tree in the background.13121901

    I love the tree lights.13121902

    So pretty…13121904

    And one last look back towards downtown.  It’s a little blurry, but you can see some of the Trail lights, some of the city lights, and the waning Cold Moon.13121905

     

    Christmas at Zilker.

    I was in south Austin today, and just had to drive through zilker park on the way home. They lit the Christmas tree on Sunday and this weekend the trail of lights opens, after which it will be nearly impossible to make it through the park.
    I got a shot from underneath and another from about 100 yards away. Christmas is in the air….

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    Taking the day off.

    Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.

    My sister leaves tomorrow, so I took the afternoon off to play hooky with her.  We started off buying beads at a bead shop to get supplies for making jewelry thingies.  No pics of that – a project for another day.  Then we headed to Zilker Park for a hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.  It was really lovely out.   High 70’s and sunny.  Perfect for a hike.  The creek is mostly dry.  We did see lots of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

    The orange butterfly in the shot below stopped to let me take several shots.

    Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).

    Later on down the trail this swallowtail stopped to let me do the same thing.

    Eastern tiger swallowtail (papilio glaucus?).

    I found a pretty good butterfly guide website to try to identify them.  You might want to bookmark for future reference.

    After the hike we stopped by Barton Springs Pool.  Such a pretty place.  The pool was beautifully clear.

    Barton Springs.

    Then we ran over to Sno-Beach for a must-have best-snocone-ever experience.  You’d better hurry, they close at the end of October for the winter.  Go out and get one!

    Sno-Beach!

    Then.  Back to Zilker to rent a kayak and tootle around Town Lake (ok, sorry “Lady Bird Lake.” old habits die hard).  We paddled all the way to the South 1st Street bridge.  On our paddle back we passed 3 UT Women’s Crew boats training.

    UT Women’s 8.

    The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place this weekend.  It’s a 3 day music extravaganza hosted in Zilker Park.  Everything is setup and just about ready for the throngs of festival-goers.  I took the opportunity to take a quick shot of the festival entrance, so I wouldn’t have to come down here with 75,000 of my closest friends to get the shot this weekend.

    ACL!

    What a great Austin afternoon!