Tag Archives: austin

Austin has become 100% icky!

I just got back from 2 weeks in Austin – where any aspirations I may have had to go back and live there were thoroughly smashed.  In fact, I may never go back.

The Austin where I grew up no longer exists.  The city is severely plagued now by poor air quality, high cost of living, horrible traffic, and a selfie culture that rivals that of Santa Fe.  Maybe worse.

I have dear friends in Austin whom I’ve gotten to see on this visit; but I could not help noticing that nearly all my Austin friends are struggling with the cost of living.  It’s just become an ugly place to live – and not even a good place to visit.

Taken near Anderson High School in Austin
Taken near Anderson High School in Austin

This is not a fire!

These images were captured 11-Jan-14 from 9:40 to 9:50 AM.  We are looking Eastward across a valley, approximately 1/4 mile Southwest of the intersection of Capital of Texas Hwy (360) and US 183 in Austin, TX.  It looks like smoke plumes in a forest fire but, in fact, it is pollen bursting from cedar trees over just a short period of 10 minutes!  One of the images shows large amounts of airborn pollen laid up in a canyon leading into the SE side of the valley.

Cedar pollen is a harsh irritant to the human respiratory system.  You do not have to suffer from a true “allergy” to become quite sick from cedar pollen.

Interestingly, cedar is not a true native plant in this part of Texas. Until approximately 250 years ago cedar was nearly non-existent here.  It’s a highly adaptable and agressive plant, though, which has flourished in the region as a result of our human presence (cattle ranching, land development, and alteration of the natural water system).