So I normally do posts about places that I’m visiting, but yesterday was such a spectacular Autumn day, I decided to play tourist in my own back yard.
I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that the fall colour in Austin this year is particularly vibrant – and a tad early. The sumacs are really outstanding this year. This is one of my crepe myrtles.
This is the view from my office. I see this every day, but try not to take it for granted. About three years ago, the Texas Preservation Board decided that the Capitol Dome needed to be painted. A travesty in my humble opinion. When finished, it looked like a shiny pink M&M. Hopefully some of that is fading.
This is the north-facing side of the Capitol. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but you’ll note there’s only one flag flying on the pole – the Texas flag. Since it’s facing north, I think there’s probably not such a subtle message.
The Texas Capitol grounds are wonderful. Probably close to four city blocks, there’s great parkland for the kids on field trips to run around. Also many monuments. I pass these on my twice-daily walks.
This is what a live oak tree looks like without pruning intervention.
The relatively new memorial to the Spanish Explorers and early Tejano settlers.
This is a view down Congress Avenue. When my grandmother was a little girl, this was the primary road from San Antonio to Austin.
This is one of the several Civil War memorials. Every decade or so, there’s a bill introduced to remove them from the Capitol Grounds. You can imagine the fate of those bills.
This is the south portico of the Texas Capitol. Most rallies occur here because it’s the terminus of Congress Avenue.
This is a wonderful ‘cowboy memorial.’
This is the dome of First Methodist in Austin, on the west side of the Capitol. The façade is Greek Revival, but the interior is definitely late 19th century Texana.
This is my favourite memorial on the grounds – the Spanish-American War monument. Part of it’s charm is the giant sycamore tree behind it; one of the few on the grounds. I love sycamores – they have a unique smell that’s really hard to describe.
This monument is interesting only in as much as it’s the subject of a rather dubious recent Supreme Court ruling. It’s fun to watch the more politically connected tourists take their photos with it. It’s also amusing to me because it’s right next to the exhaust fan from the Capitol Grill, so it always smells like French fries and fried chicken.
After work, I go running at Town Lake. (You can always tell an old-timer, because we call it ‘Town Lake’ rather than ‘Lady Bird Lake.’) Here are some views from there.
And finally, a city view from Barton Creek Mall in southwest Austin.