Disappearing in Austin

pencil sketch of a peacock by David Borden
Austin is sprinkled with little parks that blink by unnoticed to the casual driver.  Often the street access is no more than a green "Parks and Rec" sign fronting a dense wall of brush and cedar elm draped in unkempt vines, and if you're lucky, a sign warning of the dangers of poison ivy.  (I always appreciate the warning, considering how I managed to get a nasty taste of the stuff about a week before I graduated from college... but that is one crazy story, best left for another occasion, involving a doctor with questionable intentions, my escape, and some grisly graduation photos.)  Periodically, I would disappear into one of these parks to aimlessly ramble and clear my head.

One day, about a year ago I decided to take a sketchbook and a pencil on my walks.  I rooted around in my closet and unearthed a mostly doodle-filled, ring bound notebook and set off to one of my favorite parks.  I took the circuitous route through the woods before settling on a bench by the ponds.  The place was deserted except for me and the peafowl.  Several of the dingy white peahens roosted on the pergola and on the roof of the house.  One peacock squawked from an oak tree branch.  Another strutted past, eyeing me.  His feathers looked scraggly and I wondered if they molted in the fall.  I wondered if I were molting, too.


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