I received an exciting invite from fellow blogger and RV traveler, Andrea, from Everywoman to tour the beautiful and lush landscape of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We were both in Austin, had a free day, and planned to enjoy some leisurely walking on the colorful trails through wildflowers, deep green woods, and grassy hills and fields. At the entrance of the gardens, a greeter pointed out a nesting owl sitting high on one of the columns. She has been greeting guests for the last three or four years. It was impossible to get a good camera shot of her, but someone posted a very nice one here.
The pathways and trails (an example in photo below) were easily navigated and landscaped with native plants and flowers. All of the gardens are in keeping with the dedicated mission of former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and iconic actress, Helen Hayes, to preserve the native plants and ecosystem of the region.
The ecosystem has an abundance of wildlife indigenous to the region, including frogs, bugs, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and snakes. Yes, snakes. Andrea and I happened upon a diamond back rattlesnake warning visitors by its ominous rattling. We skirted the reptile well outside the striking range, but it was a swift reminder we were traipsing through a world that did not belong entirely to us. Needless to say, we toured the rest of the grounds with serpents in mind. The photo below shows how well camouflaged the snake was on the edge of the path.
The Wildflower Center is a place of learning about plants, ecosystems, landscaping, etc., and there are several classes and workshops for adults and children. They range from integrated pest management, beginner and advanced landscaping, and even nature writing and photography classes. At the McDermott Learning Center on the grounds, there is a lovely three-dimensional watercolor paper art display by nature artist Shou Ping. Her intricate designs bring the outdoors inside, and are stunning works of art.
I wish my photography skills were advanced enough to do the beauty of the Wildflower Center justice. Below is a visual tour of the Center from the grassy prairies with cacti and wildflowers to the wooded areas and well-manicured landscaped gardens. Imagine the sweet chords of giant wind chimes carried in the breeze and enjoy the calming elegance that only nature can provide.
Our day at the Wildflower Center was relaxing and invigorating followed by a leisurely lunch with great conversation and camaraderie, and I’m so grateful that Andrea extended the invitation. Please check out her blog here.
Until the next beautiful adventure,
so much to see, so little time. Beautiful. Thank you for letting me tour vicariously, Dawn.
Hopefully we will meet on the road, too. I love reading blogs and keeping up–it’s a way to experience the things we may never get to do. You’re welcome to travel along with me and thank you for letting me come along with you!
Love those orange flowers! Such a pretty place!
They were very pretty–and attached to a very prickly cactus. 🙂
You took some beautiful photos, Dawn! (You failed to mention how much terror that rattlesnake incited in me, though. You got guts, lady!)
I had a great time and look forward to the next outing. Thanks for promoting my fledgling blog, too!
I didn’t want to be overly dramatic about the snake sighting–it’s hard to put the heart-thumping fear into words. You were much wiser than me by moving quickly, but the camera was on zoom. 🙂 I love your blog and hope that more people will get to enjoy your journey. I enjoyed our day and thank you again for inviting me!
Reblogged this on Everywoman and commented:
Dawn wrote a terrific post about a garden we visited in Austin 2 weeks ago. I highly recommend a read, a follow, and a visit to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center!
I never visit the center, but have used Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s website for researching wildflower names. This looks like a nice place.
It really is beautiful. I heard the classes were very informative also.
Gorgeous photos Dawn.
Thank you! It was easy material to work with. 🙂
Dawn how beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing this bit of heaven you enjoyed with us.