Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Town Lake on a spring day

Well, today was glorious, I tell you. Just glorious.

After a lovely morning reworking Howling at the Moon (I only increased the word count by 600 or so, but plan to get back to Wolf 2 tomorrow), I put my running shoes on and decided to give myself a treat: a turkey sandwich at the Schlotzky's right next to Town Lake, here in Austin. So for almost an hour, I sat outside with a book of travel essays and a sandwich, the spring sun cascading down and the sweet and elusive smell of pansies all around (they were such a brilliant yellow I had to take a picture). Oh, and only after I ate a chocolate chip cookie did I notice all the people walking around with smudgy foreheads and remember that it's Ash Wednesday and that I had considered giving up chocolate for lent. Or is it Lent? Oh well, there's always next year...

Despite my chocolate faux pas, I then did one of my favorite things; I hit the trail around the lake, drinking in the sunshine. I don't know if you've ever visited Town Lake, but I've probably walked thousands of miles around it over the years; it's almost a sacred place for me. I know where the wild onions grow, and the dewberries -- and of course the poison ivy. (Men never believe me when I tell them they're standing in it. I swear. Women, on the other hand, usually thank me profusely for alerting them. Why is that?)

Anyway, in addition to all that natural beauty, I always find one or two things that are unusual. Today's standouts included a three-year-old boy with what appeared to be a large tattoo on his lower back (and I mean the real thing, not the Daffy Duck kind you get at children's parties). I also saw this dog dish. And the question that leapt to my mind is: was it really necessary to label it?

Despite the warm air (it hit 80 today), though, the flowers were few and far between. Even the clump of paperwhites that grows next to one of my 'thinking benches' is already played out, but the turtles were everywhere, basking in the warmth. I caught a bunch of them piled on a log (they all plopped off when they noticed me.)

A little later, I stopped at Lou Neff Point, another of my favorite spots, which unfortunately lost a lot of its wisteria during recent trail renovations, but is still a lovely shady bower in summer. It's a gorgeous, peaceful place to sit -- the water laps at the pilings, the lesser scaups and coots (the little black duck-like things you may or may not be able to see in the photo) dot the water in winter, and the sycamores and pecans frame the Austin skyline over the lake.

So it was a wonderful afternoon, and as I finished up and headed off to pick up Ian, I was thinking -- as P.G. Wodehouse wrote -- that "God was in his heaven and all was right with the world." Just as I was reflecting that I couldn't think of a more lovely place to be than Austin on this particular afternoon, a woman pushing a stroller passed by me and said to her walking companion, "I really wish I could go to Iowa."



Anyway, I'm hoping to hit the trail again tomorrow; but not before I write another 1500 words on Wolf 2. The edits are done (hallelujah) and I'm back in the saddle again, so Laura, keep those word counts posted!

I hope you all had a lovely day too, wherever you are...



Post a Comment

<< Home