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Old Posted Apr 9, 2008, 10:45 PM
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LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
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Springtime in Austin Texas (85 photos)

Here's a combination of nature/people/skyline photos I've taken in over the past week or so trying to capture spring in Austin

The first two photos were taken from the Blunn Creek Preserve. I have lived in Austin for 25 years and had never been there. It's right off of Oltorf and Interstate 35 next to Travis High School. The trail is short (a leisurely five-minute walk) and leads to an overlook with some nice views of St. Edwards University campus. It's hard to believe you're literally one-tenth of a mile due west of Interstate 35.

The next five shots are all views from Interstate 35 South. It was a hazy overcast day, but every now and then the sun would briefly make an appearance.

The Monarch, 360, and Amli 2 from the I-35 bridge over Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake)

The Legacy - a 31 story apartment building under construction in the Waterfront District.

Interstate 35 looking north from the overpass at Riverside Drive.

The RBJ Residential Tower. (RBJ stands for Rebecca Baines Johnson - daughter of the former President Lyndon Baines Johnson.)

This photo was taken from the top deck of the parking garage at the Holiday Inn looking towards the south shore of Lady Bird Lake. Currently, there's about a mile and a half to two mile gap in the trail, where folks have to walk up Riverside Drive, cross Interstate 35, and then catch the trail again near Riverside and Lakeshore. This photo shows part of that gap. Although it looks like there's enough land in front of the apartments for a trail, those apartments were built many years ago and are private property.

A developer, CWS Properties has bought the land and wanted to build three 18 story towers, but part of it would have been too close to the lake. CWS asked for a variance in exchange for developing the small strip of land in front of their property as part of the trail to help close the gap, but the city voted no. So they plan to build two 18 story towers and redevlop the existing apartments into townhomes. Other property owners on the other side of Interstate 35 are all building projects that will include developing the land in front of their properties for the trail for public use. In areas where the property owners aren't cooperating and/or the terrain makes it too difficult, the city is considering building a boardwalk to complete the gap in the trail..

The next three shots are from the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail on the south shore of the lake east of Interstate 35 where the trail resumes near Lakeshore Drive.

There would have been more of the yellow flowers in the photos above except this chick walking her dog was picking them all. Honey, next time use a professional florist and leave the flowers in the park for others to enjoy.

The next shot was taken from the 15th floor of the Hampton Inn. On each floor there are windows at one end of the hallway that look out over downtown. You can see the construction site for The Austonian - which will be Austin's new tallest (55 stories) when completed. The parking lot in the foreground is slated to become a 31 story 1000 room Mariott Convention Center Hotel.

Sixth Street on an overcast Thursday morning. The Austin Visitor's Bureau is housed in what used to be the Grove Drugstore.

Rio Grande Austin near the Convention Center

The Monarch and City Lofts from the J. P. Morgan garage

Church from the J. P. Morgan garage

The hazy overcast day brought rain that evening and the next day and help to green things up a bit.

The next several shots are from the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail on the north shore west of Lamar Blvd all the way to Mopac and beyond to Deep Eddy Pool, then back to the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge.

Cypress Trees along the south shore. The rocky point with the stairs in the distance is Lou Neff Point - situated where Barton Creek flows into Lady Bird Lake.

A bench along the trail

Joggers on the trail

Mopac and the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge. (Actually the pedestrian bridge is officially called the Roberta Crenshaw Pedestrian Walkway, but I've never heard anybody actually call it by that name.)

This is past the pedestrain bridge going towards Deep Eddy Pool - a view of the opposite shore.

Some of the multi-million dollar homes on Stratford Drive. God I would kill to tour some of those homes just to see what kind of view they have. I'm sure it's spectacular.

Dogs love the hike and bike trail, too.

Back to the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge

Looking west from the bridge

Rowers on Lady Bird Lake

Late-afternoon view towards downtown from the bridge

Here comes the Lone Star Riverboat. The building under construction in the distance is the Legacy.

For those who've never done the cruise, it's only $9.00 and takes about an hour and a half to go from the Hyatt on Lady Bird Lake almost all the way to Red Bud Isle and back. The captain gives a narrative on the way to Red Bud Isle - music is played on the way back. These public tours are Saturday and Sunday afternoons and the rest of the time the boat is available for charter. For more info see their website

On the south side of the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge, the trail heads back east. The Zilker Soccer Fields are in the foreground.

Wide view from Mopac

Partial skyline from Zilker Soccer Fields.

Next stop is the Zilker Botanical Gardens over on Barton Springs Road.

Historic log cabin at Zilker Botanical Gardens. More information from Zilker Botanical Garden:

The Swedish log cabin is an authentic frontier home built in the tradition of Swedish pioneers who ancestors came to the United States in 1638.

S. M. Swenson was the first Swedish settler to arrive in Texas in 1838. He bought ranchland east of Austin in 1850 and named it Govalle - from the Swedish "go vall" meaning "good grazing ground." He built his cabin there, now one of the best preserved in the United States. Swenson's uncle, Gustav Palm, who arrived with his family in 1848, lived there until after the Civil War.

The late Louis Palm of Round Rock initiated the preservation of the cabin. He numbered the logs and hauled them from their original location to Round Rock's Nelson Park.

In May 1965, the cabin was moved intact to it's permanent location in Zilker Botanical Garden. The Texas Swedish Pioneers Association, affiliated groups, and Swedish descendants provided the necessary funds.

In 1966, the Texas State Historical Commission awarded it an historical Medallion. This log cabin now stands as an example of the individual enterprise that built America.

Flowers at Zilker Botanical Gardens

Bickler Cupola in the Rose Garden. The marker for it reads:

This Cupola was originally on top of one of the first public schools in Austin. Constructed in 1894 at the corner of East Avenue and 11th Street, the building was first named the East Austin School. In 1902 the name was changed to honor a pioneer educator - Jacob Bickler. In 1937 the Bickler School was converted to a center for vocational eduacation and 10 years later remodeled to become the administrative offices for the Austin Independent School District.

When the building was demolished in 1968, this Cupola was donated to the City of Austin by the Austin Independent School District.

Butterfly benches in the Butterfly Garden

Rose Garden

More flowers

Keep Austin Weird

Garden Path

Bridge in the Oriental Garden

Crow in the Oriental Garden

More flowers

Next stop is Barton Springs Pool - one of Austin's best-loved places.

A view of the pool area.

On sunny days, the grassy hillside is filled with folks tanning.

Lifeguard and swimmers - artistic version.

Looking from one end of the pool to the other. 360 - a 44 story condminium is the talllest building in the distance.


Snack Bar at Barton Springs Pool

While you're at the snack bar, don't forget to purchase some feed for the ducks.

For those who don't want to get too much sun, there's plenty of shady places.

Playscape and the Zilker Zephyr - popular with kids of all ages

Most of the serious swimmers come early in the morning when the pool's not as crowded.

It's gets busier in the afternoon - especially during the summer. The water stays a constant 68 degrees.

Barton Creek above Barton Springs Pool is there the Barton Greek Greenbelt is. Barton Creek below Barton Springs Pool flows about another half mile where it empties into Lady Bird Lake. Directly below the pool is a shallow wading area popular with kids.

You can people watch or watch the Wildlife.

There's always something to see.

The Zilker Zephyr on its loop around the park

This baby has the best ride of all.

Pedestrain Bridge over Barton Creek. The rocky area on the north shore in the distance is where I took the photo of the Cypress trees earlier in the morning.

Lou Neff Point - a nice place to relax that offers great views of downtown

Views of the skyline from Lou Neff Point

Barton Springs Road between Robert E. Lee and Lamar Blvd. is known as Restaurant Row - a busy and popular place.

Baby Acapulco

Shady Grove Hamburgers

Austin Java. Note the sign for Barton Place Condos. There used to be a trailer park behind Austin Java that has been recently closed so the developers can start on the condo project. Austin Java will be saved and become a part of the development.

Uncle Billy's Brewbeque

Chuy's - where Barbara and Jenna Bush got busted for underage drinking a few years ago.

The Green Mesquite

Next stop - Walsh Boat Landing on Lake Austin - just above Tom Miller Dam

I liked both halves of the above picture, so I focused on each one and made two more

Big Boat

Little Boat

A view from the dock

More boaters

View from Scenic Drive

The last four "photos" were taken from scenic vantage points, but because of the lighting/time of day, they didn't look good. Since they were throw-away pictures anyway, I tried to make something "artsy" out of them.

Almost everyone's heard of Mount Bonnell, but most Austinites don't know there is another scenic park nearby. As you leave Mt. Bonnell go north on Mt. Bonnell Road, turn right on Mt. Bonnell Drive, turn left on Balcones Drive, take another left onto Perry Lane, and turn left again onto Ridge Oak. Here you will find a small hilltop park built above a city water reservoir that offers dramatic views of the Loop 360 bridge. I wish I had been there in the morning with the sun behind me instead of 7:30 pm with the sun in my face. This is the basic view from there - although obviously not in these particular colors.

Next is the skyline from Shepherd Mountain - "artsified"


A zoomed in shot of Loop 360 at dusk

And finally - a wider view of Loop 360 and Austin's "antenna farm."

That concludes my version of spring in Austin. Thanks for looking.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Awesome mix of photos. Showed off all aspects of Austin life. Great job.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2008, 11:09 PM
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I had the pleasure of visiting some of those areas in February, but things look even better in these photos with the spring greenery and flowers.
Great Austin thread !

How much does the Barton Springs Pool cost ?

Also, I noticed a quote from this review of the pool, highlighted in orange :
It's legal for women to appear topless here, and while it's not a common occurrence, you might encounter bare breasts.
Neato ! Do you see there often ?
Also representing San Marcos,TX and Baldwin Co, AL
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2008, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post

Probably one of the best photos I've seen of Austin's skyline.

And great thread! Those condo towers are really adding to the skyline. I wish Sacramento would go and build some of their proposed towers. Thanks!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 12:45 AM
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Beautiful! I love Texas.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 1:09 AM
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Great thread! Wonderful pictures Mike.

I really liked these two shots. There are 11 new highrises in this photo, either completed or under construction since 2002.

This one shows 13 new highrises either completed or under construction since 2002.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 1:10 AM
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absolutley great photos....spring has really put some color in our fair lady!!!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 1:24 AM
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i love the third shot, looking down i-35!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 2:37 AM
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Sekkle Sekkle is offline
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Austin looks beautiful. Great shots! The spire on that new tallest (I guess it's 360?) looks a little strange, though.
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 4:46 AM
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 4:57 AM
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Nice shots!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 5:35 AM
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I've been out at Lake Travis most weekends I've had off since the weather warmed up. From the looks of it I should be around Town Lake from now on! Beautiful pics of an awesome city.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 12:32 PM
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Very nice looking and growing city. Would love all the outdoor recreation.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 3:46 PM
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Fantastic photos of Austin!!!
All the photos "I" post are photos taken by me and can be found on my photo pages @ http://wilbsnodgrassiii.smugmug.com// UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED and CREDITED.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 4:43 PM
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This photo spread is sponsored by Sprint (3rd photo from top)... LOL

Awesome set of pix though. Good job!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 6:47 PM
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Gosh, this massive metropolis has so little resemblance to the smallish city I remember from my days at UT-Austin. (Of course, that was a LONG time ago.)

Thanks for these great shots!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 6:47 PM
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Great thread, thanks
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 7:23 PM
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 8:05 PM
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Oh I cant wait to see you again. Thats for sure. Very Very Nice...

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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Your commentary is excellent too.
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