Just a quick trip thru Austin on the way back from Houston (ok, not exactly a straight road to here ), but a favorite city. Beautiful day, partly cloudy, some warmer than Houston.
Lunch at Threadgills , then off to explore Zilker Gardens. We got sidetracked near there by a sign pointing to the Nature and Science Center, adjoining Zilker. We parked in a lot under the nearby overpass and walked across the street to the entrance.
Walking under the wrought iron arbor like sculpture, there are trails that lead past an 1860’s cabin surrounded by huge old oak trees, now used as a day school, though it has seen multiple uses in its over 130 years.
No migrating butterflies for us today, but in Zilker, there is a section of the park dedicated to butterflies.
Outside the nature center building is a large pond and some native wildlife, sheltered here for their protection.
Further along the trails after the nature center are more outdoor cages housing birds of prey including several varieties of owls and hawks, who are housed here as they were hurt or disabled in some way. Some have been here for over 20 years, which has to be much longer than their typical lifespan in the wild .
A human sundial? Stand in the block corresponding to the month and (on a sunny day) you tell the time (by your shadow).
There are a number of trails through the heavily wooded park grounds, one of which takes you down to a dry creek bed. Judging by the size of some of the boulders here, I imagine this creek isn’t at all dry after one of Austin’s heavy rainfalls.
This portion of the park closes at 4:30 , so we’ll need to return to explore further. This nature center has been open since the early 1980’s. Surprisingly we’ve never explored it before, but it’s on the other side of the park and the creek from where we usually visit Zilker.
It’s hard to believe, but there are still high rise office and condos going up along Town Lake, south of Congress on the downtown side of the lake.
Mid afternoon, we stopped at Texas French Bread, a cafe, for a snack.
Although we’re not staying for dinner, the menu here is based on the farm to restaurant concept and the menu changes and is based upon the farms from which they source their ingredients.
Some hotels are classics. The Driskill in Austin is one of those, while still providing beautiful modern rooms. Built by a cattle baron in 1886, it’s beautiful inside.
You really shouldn’t go to Austin without eating at one of their food trucks. We’re at Torchy’s Tacos on South 1st St in south Austin. Torchy’s started out in Austin and celebrated its 12th anniversary this year.
Fried avocado taco (left), yum!