The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center extends last year’s inspired run of fort submissions for another season, much to the delight of many children freewheeling through the Arbor trails. It’s fun for children of all ages, as you can see in the gallery below, with all new forts to explore.
This is a small sample of the 13 uniquely designed forts, so enjoy a hands (and feet) on visit while the fall weather beckons. The exhibit will be up through January 26, 2020.
Fashion expresses an era’s Zeitgeist in a very personal and universal language. While this exhibit could have been entitled 100 years of Vogue, iconic images keep the imagination contextualizing the culture of the times, weaving together influences from advertising, art, music, literature and science.
Women were emancipated from their corsets and yards of hair in the 1920’s with the advent of flappers, who listened to jazz and broke as many feminine stereotypes as they could. Natural, almost boyish body types vied with more bodacious curvy styles over the next decades. Androgyny and gender fluidity are on the rise in the 21st Century, but have always been an important element of culture and style in every era. Psychology suggests there are both masculine and feminine elements in each of us. Sometimes they blend.
I was struck by repeating stylistic themes over 20, 30 and 40 year periods, as well as our evolving gender freedom of expression. Akwafina’s portrait was the last image in the show. Today’s It girl, she uses a sliding scale of feminine to masculine traits, depending on her character and audience. Transgender creatives are becoming increasingly influential in mainstream culture, prioritizing and refining what it means to be human. It’s really about time.
Akwasi Evans was an East Austin activist, publisher, warrior of the beloved community and an original voice for KAZI’s Breakfast Club. He launched a community newspaper, NOKOA, in 1987 to shine a light on progressive political action in Central Texas. Known for speaking truth to power, he advocated for people of color in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of East Austin. I attended his tribute yesterday and found a heartwarming vestige of Austin’s Beloved Community at Kenny Dorham’s Back Yard, a venue for DiverseArts productions. While the condos are creeping, music is flowing and food trucks are circling this small fortress of cool on East 11th.
For those of us who remember Austin in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, seeing an alley or a field that hasn’t been destroyed or a venue that has stood the test of time brings a rush of nostalgia. Yearning for the freedom of youth, good old days of cheap rents and eats is a way of life. Those were the daze my friends, we thought they’d never end. Glad to see a little left.
Sauntering integrates resonance, rhythm and rejuvenation – a walking meditation connecting us to our environment. As Lady Bird Johnson said, “My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth.”
When we flow in rhythm with the trail, awakening our senses to the life around us, we are rejuvenating. In gratitude, we share healing energy with the earth. Spring flowers become dewberries in the fall, reflecting the organic process of unfolding and ripening that also applies to projects and resolving problems.
This wild onion springs forth from a hole in the rock – undaunted, zesty, pink, flourishing – resilient.
I felt resilient, resonating with the color and fragrance of so many, gorgeous wildflowers.
These tough cacti pushing bright green shoots from their dry, winter skin speak to the power of regeneration. Resonating with the vibrant energy of Spring brings joy in the transformation of browns and grays into rainbows of red, green, blue, pink, white, yellow, purple and orange flowers.
As temperatures rise, our dormant friends come out to play. Athena the owl returns to her nest at the Wildflower Center to raise her owlets. To everything, there is a season.
Grateful for this beautiful, sunny day after the vernal equinox. From blooming Huisache trees, turtles and egrets to baby blue-eyes and columbine flowers, the hike and bike trail remains the heart and soul of Austin for me.