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Four Winns Ranch

J ames Buchanan “Buck” Winn, Jr. was one of Texas’ most well-known regionalist artists of the mid 1900s. Also an accomplished sculptor, inventor, architect, professor, and pilot, Winn’s art can, to this day, be found in a multitude of cultural sites throughout Texas and beyond—most notably “The History of Ranching”, a record-setting 280-foot mural originally at the Pearl Brewery and …

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Safe Mobility for All

By Hill Abel, Owner, Bicycle Sport Shop As anyone who’s had the opportunity to travel the state knows, there’s a lot going on, both culturally and geographically, in this enormous place that we call Texas. I’ve always been proud to call myself Texas-born, and with deep roots from both the west and east sides of Texas, I have a strong …

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Lucy’s Story

Lucy was recently diagnosed with many serious health issues. Her doctor said that regular physical exercise and a healthy diet would be critical for her survival. But due to the pandemic, indoor exercise facilities no longer felt safe to her as she was now in a high-risk category. So, she turned to the Violet Crown Trail for her daily exercise. Now, thanks to …

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A Summer of Adventure

A summer of Adventure – Hill Country Style by Cary and Will Dupuy At the end of May, the Dupuy family, like many families, was fed up. We were fed up with being cooped up in the house together, we were fed up with trying to figure out the different software programs for distance learning, and we were fed up …

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God Bless Texas

By George Cofer George at Mustang Island I am very fortunate to have been born into an outdoor-nature-loving family. I have many fond memories of spending time on the beach in Port Aransas with my dad’s parents. I’m told Mom taught me how to swim by tying a small rope to my ankle and pitching me overboard from our canoe, …

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A Time to Breathe

By Frank Davis Like those of many others, my life and my family’s lives have been dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now cliché to say that we’re living inside the movie “Groundhog Day,” with each day a virtual repeat of the one before. On the worst of days, the repetition of spending each day at home with …

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Poetry In Motion

Carolyn and Otis When I first rode horses on a trip to Bandera’s Dixie Dude Ranch in fourth grade, I didn’t know that I had just changed my life forever. I instantly fell in love with these majestic, loving creatures, and I was hooked on horses from that point on. Soon after returning home, I found a riding stable in …

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Why are Trails so Important?

Why Are Trails Important? As a member of the Hill Country Conservancy family, you, like many of us, may occasionally find yourself on the Violet Crown Trail. Surveys in the Austin area show that trails are the most desired recreational activity. Why the popularity? You can use a trail at a time that works in your schedule. You don’t have …

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The Art of Purposeless Purpose

From the comfort of my dining room table in this discomfiting time, I took a few minutes away from my computer screen and our new home office reality to consider the eloquent musings in the article “For the full life experience, put down all devices and walk” by John Kaag and Susan Froderberg. What a pleasure it was to read. …

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These Unprecedented Times

In these unprecedented times, it can be especially hard to peel away from the 24-hour news cycle to focus on your health and well-being.  But, right now it is more important than ever to practice a bit of self-care to reduce your stress or anxiety and to stay healthy. The current Stay-at-Home Order does not exclude us from enjoying the outdoors, …

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Keeping the Stars at Night Big and Bright

The artist Vincent van Gogh once said, “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” If Van Gogh were alive now, would he feel the same way? Today, manmade lighting results in urban night skies that are hundreds of times brighter than they were in 1889 when the twinkling Milky Way inspired Van Gogh to paint The Starry Night. Today, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the overabundance of artificial light prevents eighty percent of Americans and one third of humanity from even being able to see the Milky Way.

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Living in Flash Flood Alley

This past month the City of Austin was placed under a boil water notice for the first time in its history. Flood waters of tremendous proportions from the Llano River barreled through the Highland Lakes’ system of dams before making their way, eventually, into Lakes Travis and Buchanan– the region’s water supply reservoirs. Copious amounts of silt and debris from …

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