Outside my Front Door is a series of posts by fellow travel bloggers who share what is … outside of their own front door
Living in Austin, Texas
Author Bio: Susan Moore grew up in Calgary Alberta Canada but now resides in Austin Texas USA – because it does not snow in Austin. Susan created the blog Solo Trips And Tips because she prefers to travel alone. On her first solo trip in 1993 she travelled for 7 months around Southeast Asia. That is where she first discovered that she preferred life without winter.
Outdoors in Austin, Texas
One of the big reasons I love living in Austin Texas is that I can spend so much time outdoors no matter what season. I joke with my friends that I am allergic to winter. Not quite true but I do prefer warmer climates these days. I grew up in Calgary Canada and I enjoyed living there but I always thought the summers were too short and the winters too long. In Austin it is somewhat the opposite. Summertime can be brutally hot with temperatures reaching above 40 Celsius at times. Still I always make a point of getting outside to enjoy nature.
Some people watch TV but I prefer to spend my spare time observing nature. Several parks around Austin have become my favorites including Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve, and Bull Creek Park. I love to find these pockets of nature within the city. One can escape and forget about city life while being immersed in nature.
I always feel better when I get outside and watch what is going on with the plants, weather, insects, etc. It is all interesting to me. I become calm and relaxed and forget all about time when I am entranced by some interesting insect or a bird preening its feathers. Observing nature is a form of cheap therapy.
Outside my front door I noticed a new construction project one day. This is where a zoom lens comes in handy. I wanted to get close to see what was going on but I did not want to be standing right next to a wasp’s nest. The project seems to go on and on with little progress. It has been several months and still the honeycomb looks the same to me. The construction workers always look like they are busy doing something of importance.
I am starting to turn into a bit of a birder since I bought a new camera in the spring. I began to pay attention to the birdcalls so I knew who was in the vicinity when I heard the song. I was about to get in my car one day when I recognized the woodpecker call. I looked up in the tree and spotted him straight away. It is interesting how much more in tune with nature I have become by listening more carefully.
There is a grove of trees behind my home so I can go out on my deck and catch up with the activities of all the various flora and fauna within this mini ecosystem. One morning I was sweeping the leaves off the deck when I noticed a large spider. She had constructed a web between the trees and the deck. I looked at a spider identification website to learn that it was a Black and Yellow Argiope. I know this is the female because the male measures only a half-inch or so in size and this one was around two inches. She looked rather fierce to me but she let me get very close with my camera lens to get a close-up.
I was keeping an eye on her web and checking up on her each day. Working at my desk I could spot her outside my window quite easily due to her size. One morning I looked out and she nowhere in sight. I am not sure what happened to her and I do miss her. Perhaps one of the anole lizards thought she would make a nice snack. Maybe one of the feral cats may have needed a little nourishment.
I hear some interesting and wonderful sounds outside my front door. The birdcalls are the most constant but they do vary with the seasons. Spring always brings the mockingbird with a variety of songs. In the winter the mourning doves seem more vocal. Their song sounds rather like a lament, it is a drawn out melancholy coo.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Austin Texas sometime. When you do I hope you enjoy all the beautiful sights and sounds of nature within the city.
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