I've been swimming in a sacred part of the Pedernales River for over a decade. In this shared land of noble, mostly boomer Texans, one can slip into the peridot waters and swim, unheeded, for miles. Cypress trees, some fully leafed or decaying trunks line the banks. A rare quiet inhabits your system, breathing eases, and you begin again observing color. Circling birds and iridescent damselflies land on fingers, hats and if you're floating, on your stomach.
Located down the road a piece from Hamilton Pool, the 114 acres across from my friend's land, was, until recently, a solitary cattle ranch. It was sold to a bigger-city developer. Plans are for two boutique hotels, two restaurants, an observatory, tiny homes and a few mansions...even talk of a gondola that will vault over the steep protective cliffs to deliver people to the river. Land that hasn't been disturbed for perhaps a century.
There's no beach on this section of the Pedernales. During winter floods, the shoreline shifts, and the only constant are the ancient cypress trees, holding the land.
But the peace of the River is about to end, and with it, habitats of thousands of the creatures, plants and trees that live beside us, and are subject to the plans of humans.
One good thing: a new type of salamander, yet unnamed, has been discovered. Perhaps some sliver of nature can be preserved after all.
The ongoing pillage of every green space in Austin and Texas in general continues. For those that consider land, air and it's creatures sacred, it's deeply disturbing. I apologize to Mother Earth often, as I'm certain many of you do as well. How are you faring with all of this scraping up and building?