Friday, July 6, 2018

Wildflowers and showers, during the Austin GB Fling

If you've been following posts from the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, then you know we started our 3-day tour at the  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Friday morning.

I was on the early bus, those people who had signed up for a photo workshop in the garden. I had visions of walking through the garden and taking photos — like we did with Saxon Holt at the San Francisco Botanical Garden years ago — instead we were lead into the auditorium where our speaker talked through the various elements of being a well-prepared photographer.

I'm sure this was a great treat for folks that are into camera gear and technology, but I use a point and shoot! Knowing rain was predicted anytime I was itching to get out in the garden and take more photos, like of this blooming Agave lechuguilla.

Eventually we were set free (okay ya, I admit, I left to use the restroom and didn't go back...but by then we were almost done anyway)...

The wildflower center seemed to be at the top of many people's "must see" list. I will admit that everything I knew about the place was from posts on Pam Penick's blog, and even then I've only retained a few things (but here's a great post to start with, if you're curious).

The stone structures at the entrance were so well done. I could have spent hours just here.

Hey, I know that small perch in the corner! That's where the great horned owl nests!

I didn't see any ears though.

The view goes on and on and on...

Here's the courtyard where we took our group photo before the rain started, and which we ran back to, once it got crazy wet.

Venturing out, I wasn't sure what direction to head.

I made it out a little further before turning around and heading back to the center. The sky was getting heavy. Rainfall seemed eminent.

The observation tower wasn't open the morning of our visit (sad face).

Agave havardiana

Next I headed over towards the trails, but again I questioned how far out did I really want to go? It had started raining by this point. Just a nice light PNW rain, but something told me it could get worse.

This sign sealed the deal. I grew up with rattlesnakes and had no desire to relive that experience.

The garden really was quite picturesque...

The first of many large cisterns we would see over the next few days.

Ah yes, the stock tank gardens (aka the themed gardens) and my poncho covered tribe.

I've been curious about how exactly these cut tanks fit together and was happy to finally see them in person.
Love this!

And of course the monster Agave americana was pretty high on my list of fabulous things too.

Oh my! That small tree is actually...

...a monster Cylindropuntia!

I walked on, to the family garden, which looked very interesting.
But right about here is when the rain changed into something much different from what we get at home.

I heard a few Californians express surprise that we Oregonians were shocked by the rain. Pulease! As much rain fell in that afternoon as we get in an entire month. It was amazing. And drove us all into the gift shop. Here's my instagram video of the experience, and here's our group photo...back when we were all dry...

Weather Diary, July 5: Hi 87, Low 57/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

23 comments:

  1. Luckily you still managed to go around before the heavens opened...

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    1. I really would have liked to explore much more...

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  2. Am I correct in remembering that this was a thunder and lightning storm as well? We seldom get any prolonged storms like that here, Nigel misses the thunder and lightning we used to get in Massachusetts. I have a friend back home who insists it rains here year round and doesn't believe me when I tell her about our summers. I like what The Wildflower Center has done with their stock tanks. I've been trying to decide what to do with mine. That whole area needs a major redo, and I've gone through several different redesigns in my mind. That rattlesnake sign would definitely have put me off any further exploration. Agaves and feather grass seem made for each other, love that shot.

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    1. Yes, thunder and lightening. I miss it too, there was much more of that in the Eastern Washington of my youth. People who think they know the climate of an area and won't listen to the facts drive me bonkers.

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  3. Amazing panoramic views. I love the agave in the mass of Mexican feather grass. Good masonry work on that imposing structure. I'm glad some people still have that trade. I love the cone-like planters that were incorporated into the corners.

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    1. The thing that really made stone work for me was that it didn't seem like it was trying to be something it wasn't. Just gorgeous work.

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  4. Fond memories! You and I took virtually the same photos of the Agave americana in a sea of feather grass and the dasylirion in the owl's nest.

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    1. What can I say, great minds...

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  5. What great views! And you even made it back for the group picture. There was so much rain that day...

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    1. Hey, are you not in the group pic?

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  6. This would have been right up my alley. I love wildflowers! Your second photo of Agave in the Muhly grass is so nice!

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  7. Great to see these photos, because I didn't get many at that location. I too thought the photo thing would be a photo shoot and not a lecture (though I found the run down on camera equipment interesting). The quality of light was such that a real photo shoot was going to be disappointing, as it was so dark.

    I think we Califs were surprised at PNW rainshock when it was still sprinkling, not when it was coming down in stock tanks worth ("buckets" doesn't describe it--the quantity of the rain was beyond buckets).

    Great group photo! I got some fab panoramas with my cameras nifty "panorama" mode, but framed incorrectly and cut off everyone's head.
    Grrr!

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  8. That was quite a rainstorm! Looks like you had a great time despite the weather. Love those stone structures.

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    1. It certainly made for a memorable morning.

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  9. I’ve known about this garden forever but you gave me a much broader view than I usually see. Darrel Morrison from UW Madison was one of the original designers and he caged all the live oak trees and put $10,000 price tags on them. That was what the construction co. would have to pay if they damaged them.

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  10. I wish I'd signed up for the 1st bus - I'd have snuck out too! The sky was already spitting when my bus arrived but I didn't suspect the downpour that followed and I walked around carrying an umbrella far longer than I should have after the thunder and lightning made its appearance (but then I've been known to push my luck here too).

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    1. I stayed for most of the camera talk, not wanting to be disrespectful.

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  11. I think most were expecting an ala' Saxon Holt style event , though it was interesting to hear the approach to very detailed shooting of plants for scientific journals. I would have loved an extra half hour in that garden before the sky opened.

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    1. Something for everyone, I know how hard it is to come up with a list of events that makes everyone happy...

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  12. Shooting with an interchangeable lense camera, I would have been a little interested in that workshop, but probably would have ended up sneaking out early to actually take pictures like you. The shots you managed to get before the downpour are wonderful. I will see this garden someday!

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