Category Archives: Fermata

Shoal Creek Walk December 2, 2017

Mouth of Shoal Creek ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks

What do you know about Austin? How about our history?

Join me on December 2 as I lead a short tour of Austin’s most historic creek – Shoal Creek. We will begin at 10 AM at the new Austin Public Library, and we should be finished by 12 Noon.

If you are interested in Austin’s early history, including the Comanche trail, Austin’s first settlement at Waterloo, the original Mexican community that lined the creek, and Austin’s earliest bridges, then join us for this fascinating tour.

The Dimming of the Sun

Solar Eclipse, Ravenna, NE, 21 Aug 2017, ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks.

Nothing prepares you for a total eclipse. Then, nothing prepares you for your first volcano, geyser, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, either. Words fail when forced to describe natural phenomena that engage all of the senses.

Words are enough to relate the science of an eclipse. The moon passes between the earth and sun, and blocks the sun for a brief moment. Even though the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it’s also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun.

Uncommon Knowledge

Wooldridge Square at night ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks

The Austin History Center (AHC) occupies the 1933 Austin public library building overlooking Wooldridge Square. The library moved next door to the John Henry Faulk building in 1979, and freed the space for the AHC. All of this I know. This is common knowledge.

But, what came before? What happened during that century between Austin’s founding and the construction of this building? What isn’t commonly known? What past hides behind the facade of the present?

An Ignominious Fate

Bee Bombed by Ted Lee Eubanks
Bee Bombed by Ted Lee Eubanks

How did life come to be left out of Austin’s future?

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados are considered forces of nature. With these, we expect the worst. A force of nature, beyond our control, is to be feared.

Life itself is a force of nature. Life, as a force, is inexorable, relentless. Life, too, is beyond our control. We can destroy life. We cannot create new life where none existed before.

Life expands and evolves to fit every niche and opportunity, given enough time and progeny. The more diverse the niches available (like a tropical rainforest), the richer and more varied the life that occupies them.

We the People

A century ago, lumbering, followed by wild fire, completed denuded this forest. Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania
A century ago, lumbering, followed by wild fire, completed denuded this forest. Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania

What stands between our heritage and the inability of man to control his greed is law.

Europeans came to this country over 400 years ago, and were blessed by what they believed to be limitless resources. The land seemed fertile beyond reason or imagination, and wildlife could be harvested without concern for its diminishment. Or, so they thought.