red veins: dawn in Zilker Botanical Gardens (summer 2012)
Late yesterday I was going through my Austin flickr groups and I found lovely pictures from one of my Austin Contacts. The pictures were in Zilker Botanical Gardens, a location I had not yet visited since my move here late last year. I googled the Gardens and found out they opened at 7 a.m.! Most, wonderful, that is my kind of time.* (Too early to feel this Texas heat! And we are due for another 101 degree August day!) I arrived at the Park this morning at 6:55 and was pleased to see someone at the entrance to collect the nominal $2 fee (I felt safer there so early in the morning and 30 acres!). I parked my car amongst huge colorful paper Caladium leaves. The sunlight was tangerine electric creeping light burning distant landscapes through darkened forest trees and shrubs. I had no idea where to begin? I hadn't even seen a map. But I knew there were Japanese Gardens and they were most certainly my first focus...
I turned to my left and found two delicate black curlicue iron fences swung wide and detailed in early morning blue shadows. Beyond the blue and black hardscaping was huge masts of wild chartreuse grasses. Tucked around a hidden view Saint Francis stood gray and pale in the dark morning shadows, however welcoming and benevolent. Beyond in a flat brown rounded dirt area quickly ran a wild brown rabbit whose floppy ears were so cute and silly I think he held them back and down so I would not giggle out loud at them! ;P He was running through the view but I must have moved which froze him instantly! It was long enough for me to capture a dark picture of him...
It was like a wonderland in there and I had no idea if I was taking the right steps to get to the Japanese Gardens or not I just followed the glowing orange distance and hoped I would join up with it eventually.
The down hill sloping of fashioned flat rock walkways led to the sound of water rushing and what looked like Japanese topiaries. I stepped over a tiny stone bridge in to a wonderland. The landscape comprised of different colors and textured trees and shrubs led you to beautiful Japanese terracing. (My daughter has since told me that a Japanese Designer is responsible for all that resplendent beauty. It figures.) There were pools after pools full of water lily pads, rainbow colored flowers, jewel colored dragon and damsel flies, bright green anoles,
all sizes of carp that was curious but cautious... One crazy exotic bird just looked at me and twitched it's head while I reassured him that I was no threat at all (as I stood precariously on one of the many tiny walking stone islands out in the pond... I would have looked for a "no trespassing" sign but I really wanted to walk out there! ;P) Anyway, he flew over a bit and upon a bumpy landing I noticed one of his feathers flew out and in to the water. Yes, I collected it, "shush"! (It's going in my nature journal.)
It's magic in there, a wall of glowing green bamboo that the early morning sun comes ripping through. A waterfall plummeting and making such soothing water sounds.
What a beautiful Garden. And I only saw one corner of it as the sun rose and the humidity swelled and my cell phone happily rang of it's hook (that just doesn't make any sense any more now does it!) My daughter wanted to fold more origami paper flowers for her wedding and then one of my co-workers had her baby early so I had a wonderful hospital visit today. New babies are so awesome.*
©Austin Area Garden Council
Zilker Botanical Garden
Austin Area Garden Council
2220 Barton Springs Rd
Austin TX 78746