The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- November 2005

Last Update: November  28

From our Lost Maples expedition, more images below...


November 3 - morning

I have had the most amazing couple of weeks working on my upcoming documentary, Las Misiones: The Missions of Texas. The program will air on Monday, November the 28th at 8 P.M. here in Austin and will be distributed around the nation shortly thereafter (check with the PBS affiliate in your area for scheduling.) We are still in the editing process and have a great deal more work to do, but I am thrilled by our progress. I have been working with Dutch Rall, who is a true artist and has brought tremendous energy and dedication to the editing process. This has been one of the most collaborative and rewarding  efforts I have ever been involved in and hope that you will enjoy the "fruits of our labors. "

I have had precious little time to devote to the garden, yet it has been there for me... this morning I spent a few happy moments enjoying the cool weather and beautiful light. The sun was streaming through our neighbor's trees and hitting our echinacea patch. Hope you enjoy the photos...

Close up of echinacea "Lynn Lowrey."

November 15 - morning

The hills surrounding the Sabinal Canyon, home to the Lost Maples State Natural Area.

Our annual pilgrimage to Lost Maples State Natural Area was especially rewarding this year. The color on the Big Tooth Maples was the best I had seen since the early 'nineties. Here are a few of my pictures from our excursion...


We took a long hike through the park and this tree was one of my favorites - nice color and the sun came out to brighten it up.  It was misty and gray each day we were there until mid-afternoon when the sun finally burned the clouds off.


Another image of the same tree.


This one reminds me of the swamp maple trees that grew in our yard in New York.


Word was out that the color was great and the crowds of "leaf-peepers" grew pretty thick on the more accessible trails.  If you plan to go, go soon and during the week if you want to get into the park.


Native grasses and fall color.


Some of the trees were a brilliant red. This one was actually outside of the park on the "Ridge Road" Highway 337.


Shades of orange.


Autumn's stained glass.


Under the trees.


On the west trail of the park, my favorite place in Texas.


Victor's reflection.


The light breaks through!


Another close-up.


Along the banks of the Sabinal River I tried my hand at a "Goldsworthy" a la artist, Andy Goldsworthy.


A side view.

More soon!

November 18 - morning

Close-up of an old sign in Comfort, Texas.

I spent the entire day yesterday working on the latest installment in my Soul of the Garden video series for KLRU-TV. This piece is titled "Communion" and it is about the shared spiritual journey. Look for it on my program, Austin Now, on Friday the 25th, and again during a special repeat showing of the series on Friday, December the 2nd.

"Communion" reflects on the importance of the public expressions of our private spirituality, for if our spirituality finds only private expression, it is probably dead. We have to live in the world of our brothers and sisters as well as our gardens and private retreats. Of course, public expressions of faith and spirituality can be very controversial if not hurtful and disruptive of community. There is plenty of evidence of that right now in this country. Those who claim exclusive ownership of religion and spirituality are busily trying to tear our democracy down and impose a backward theocracy married to unbridled corporate greed. I believe that is why it is so important for people of good will and open spirit to speak their minds and express themselves in a public manner. While action is imperative, it must be tempered by what Martin Luther King called the "moral imperative against resentment." Self-righteousness cannot be defeated by self-righteousness. (Unfortunately for the Civil Rights movement, this message got drowned out by a chorus of people claiming the rights of victimhood. As a result,  the movement lost its moral center and became dominated by charlatans posing as leaders.) Though the present state of affairs alarms us, our actions must not be fueled by anger at the great masses of the "religious right."  If we are to succeed in driving back the fundamentalists, we have to realize that most of the people in that movement are being manipulated by a much smaller group of power hungry hypocrites and bigots. What is fueling the rise of the theocrats is not the prejudices of the masses, but rather their fear and, quite frankly, the failure of our cultural institutions and our educational system to engage people's intellects and fire their curiosity about the world.  Belittling fearful and ill-informed people will only fuel their fundamentalism, resentment feeds off of resentment.

So, speak up, act, but do not do so with a chip on your shoulder or a sneer on your lips.


On a very different note, here are a few new pics from Lost Maples...

One of the ponds at the center of  Lost Maples State Natural Area.


Too bad the light was dull, this tree certainly was not.


Another view of the same tree.


Along the West Trail.


November 28 - morning

My documentary, Las Misiones: The Missions of Texas will air tonight on KLRU-TV, at 8 P.M. Be sure to tune in. Also, look for a special showing of my Soul of the Garden series of video "reflections" this coming Friday evening at 8!

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