The Daily Muse

Thoughts from an Austin Garden  -- January 2010


Last update -  January 19


Birdhouse in the Possumhaw tree just outside of my home office window.


January 10 - afternoon


The capitol dome just after sunrise.


I decided to take a little photographic expedition this very cold morning to capture a few images of Austin's rapidly changing skyline. Hope you enjoy...


A view of downtown and Lady Bird Lake from the pedestrian bridge under the MoPac expressway.



From the Zilker Clubhouse.






Close-up view from the west.


From the eastside near the old French Legation. (The almost-embassy of France to Texas during the Republic years.)


The 360 Condo Tower.



From the Pleasant Valley Rd. bridge over Rosewood Avenue - a view I see everyday on my way to work.


January 10 - evening


Here are a few more from this evening...


Sunset view from the Zilker Clubhouse.



Looking over Zilker Park.



A tighter view.



From the MoPac bridge.































Evening glow.


January 13 - morning


Another pic from Sunday morning. This is Zilker Park - Austin's "Central Park." The meadow pictured here is the site of the Austin City Limits Music Festival held every autumn.


Good morning - just wanted to share a few more images from my photo expedition on Sunday. But, while I am at it, I thought I might invite my Austin friends to an upcoming event to be sponsored by Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (better known as AAIM) the group that I lead. On Tuesday, January the 26th, we will be holding our fourth "Red Bench" interfaith dialog program. Saying "interfaith dialog" doesn't begin to capture what the Red Bench is about... it isn't a comparative religions lecture or a kumbaya session, rather, it is an opportunity for individuals to share something about their own personal struggles with becoming better, more "virtuous" people. Virtue is an old-fashioned sounding word that I know makes most people think of Victorian morality. However, look up any definition of "virtue" and you'll see lists of ideal human qualities like forgiveness, compassion, gratitude, courage, and patience. In each Red Bench conversation we ask a simple question using one of the virtues as our focus - and what follows is a guided conversation that leads to real exploration and sharing about how we can lead better, more fulfilled lives. This month, we will be focusing on "tolerance" which some may argue is a pretty weak virtue. What do you think? How can we create a more tolerant city? Especially one that is more welcoming to religious and cultural minorities? Join us at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, January 26th, at the First Methodist Church "Family Life Center" on the northwest corner of 13th and Lavaca. From 6:00 - 6:30 we will serve a light vegetarian meal, followed by the conversation. The program will end by 8:00. You can learn more about it here.



Sunset Lady Bird Lake.


January 17 - morning


Swans on Lady Bird Lake.


I have a busy day today with plans for writing, gardening, cleaning, and maybe a trip to the gym.  Just to keep things interesting, I couldn't resist starting the day with another early morning photo expedition. Hope you enjoy these...



Another day - another dawn.



The skyline in the early morning light.






Sans swans.



Mucking around.


January 19 - morning


I tried to stop myself, but just did not have the will power... I have committed an act of gardening. After moving back into my former garden space, I told myself and anyone else who was listening that I had too many things to accomplish this spring, that I needed to let the garden slide until I have finished my book, etc. etc. Well, after cleaning up some of the winter kill on Sunday (that could hardly be called "gardening" - right?) I determined that our courtyard needed a new tree to replace one that had died several years ago. Of course, I started scheming about my choices, and one thing led to another. So, at this moment I can glance down from my office window and see a newly planted "Choctaw" crape myrtle. Somewhat of a utilitarian choice - but we "needed" something fast growing yet moderately scaled for the site. And of course, four to five months of color aren't such a bad thing. The Choctaw joins another National Arboretum crape myrtle that I planted over twelve years ago - a Zuni that is now twenty-five feet tall. - Have to say it, it felt good.



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