September 07, 2023

I had reservations for a dip at Blue Hole swimming hole in Wimberley, Texas, just before Labor Day. But the drought has left little untouched in Texas this summer, and I soon received a cancellation notice. Blue Hole has closed for the rest of the season due to low spring flow. Tragic.

Happily — for now, anyway — the chilly natural springs that fill Barton Springs Pool in Austin continue to flow. We pivoted and went there early one morning to beat the crowds. By arriving before 8 am, we also got in for free. The tradeoff? We weren’t sweating at that early hour, so the 68F-degree pool felt even colder than usual. But once you start swimming, it’s grand.

I don’t come here very often (shame on me), so I’m always struck anew by how magical this place is. Swimming in nonchlorinated water, with fish and ducks sharing the space with you, with a natural cliff along one side and downtown beckoning at the end, it’s a blissful summer experience to lazily paddle and float from one end to the other and back again.

An Austin treasure

Lockhart in the afternoon

That afternoon we drove 45 minutes southeast to Lockhart, my favorite small town just outside of Austin. The stately Caldwell County Courthouse stands tall in the main square.

We headed to Old Pal for lunch, where we enjoyed burgers and chicken. This place has a great vibe, friendly service, and good food and drinks.

Dolly looking like the icon she is

A cowgirl on our tabletop

Check out the 78644 Podcast for everything Lockhart.

We stopped at Commerce Gallery to see Austin artist Christy Stallop‘s new work. Her show is over now, but we enjoyed her grackles with tumbleweeds.

That’s gonna be quite the nest!

Other grackles in her show represent beloved musicians. Here’s Willie.

And Stevie Ray Vaughan

And Elvis

Christy’s branching out from her popular and humorous grackle art and painting tumbleweeds these days, experimenting with a muted palette and a western-minimalist style. I like them.

One more

If you haven’t been out to Barton Springs Pool or Lockhart this summer, there’s still time, Texas friends. You won’t be sorry.

For a previous post I wrote about Barton Springs, with more detail, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

Tour several Austin gardens on Saturday, November 4, on the Garden Conservancy’s Open Day tour for Travis County. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and will be available beginning September 1st.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Summer pleasures: Barton Springs Pool and Lockhart art appeared first on Digging.

A summer visit to chilly Barton Springs Pool in Austin and laid-back Lockhart, Texas, for tasty bar food and art.… Read More
The post Summer pleasures: Barton Springs Pool and Lockhart art appeared first on Digging.Read MoreArchitecture, Art, Birds, Keep Austin Weird, Parks/Greenbelts, Restaurants, Rivers/Creeks, Sculpture, Signs, Sky, Southwest, Swimming pools, Texas, Austin, Barton Springs Pool, Christy Stallop, Commerce Gallery, Lockhart Texas, Old PalDigging

September 07, 2023

I had reservations for a dip at Blue Hole swimming hole in Wimberley, Texas, just before Labor Day. But the drought has left little untouched in Texas this summer, and I soon received a cancellation notice. Blue Hole has closed for the rest of the season due to low spring flow. Tragic.

Happily — for now, anyway — the chilly natural springs that fill Barton Springs Pool in Austin continue to flow. We pivoted and went there early one morning to beat the crowds. By arriving before 8 am, we also got in for free. The tradeoff? We weren’t sweating at that early hour, so the 68F-degree pool felt even colder than usual. But once you start swimming, it’s grand.

I don’t come here very often (shame on me), so I’m always struck anew by how magical this place is. Swimming in nonchlorinated water, with fish and ducks sharing the space with you, with a natural cliff along one side and downtown beckoning at the end, it’s a blissful summer experience to lazily paddle and float from one end to the other and back again.

An Austin treasure

Lockhart in the afternoon

That afternoon we drove 45 minutes southeast to Lockhart, my favorite small town just outside of Austin. The stately Caldwell County Courthouse stands tall in the main square.

We headed to Old Pal for lunch, where we enjoyed burgers and chicken. This place has a great vibe, friendly service, and good food and drinks.

Dolly looking like the icon she is

A cowgirl on our tabletop

Check out the 78644 Podcast for everything Lockhart.

We stopped at Commerce Gallery to see Austin artist Christy Stallop‘s new work. Her show is over now, but we enjoyed her grackles with tumbleweeds.

That’s gonna be quite the nest!

Other grackles in her show represent beloved musicians. Here’s Willie.

And Stevie Ray Vaughan

And Elvis

Christy’s branching out from her popular and humorous grackle art and painting tumbleweeds these days, experimenting with a muted palette and a western-minimalist style. I like them.

One more

If you haven’t been out to Barton Springs Pool or Lockhart this summer, there’s still time, Texas friends. You won’t be sorry.

For a previous post I wrote about Barton Springs, with more detail, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

Tour several Austin gardens on Saturday, November 4, on the Garden Conservancy’s Open Day tour for Travis County. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and will be available beginning September 1st.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Summer pleasures: Barton Springs Pool and Lockhart art appeared first on Digging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *