A bison is on the loose in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a city that is use to large bovine creatures roaming around. After all, it is home to the University of Texas Longhorns and their mascot Bevo. But the city got an unexpected visitor earlier this week in the form of a North American Bison, who escaped from its owner on Saturday, and has been roaming free ever since.

Apparently, a rancher living not far from town purchased the bison last week, and upon returning home, the creature promptly escaped. On Saturday, it was spotted by gardeners at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a local nature preserve, and has been wandering, and grazing, on the 280-acre site for the past few days.

After sighting the creature, officials at the Wildflower Center took the precautionary step of shutting down their trails in order to keep visitors, and the bison, safe. They say that the animal hasn’t caused any problems, or done any damage so far, and that they are rather pleased that she chose the preserve as her hideout.

Of course, a large animal, such as a bison, roaming around a highly populated urban area isn’t exactly an ideal situation. Austin animal control officers have been working hard to find the creature so that it can be tranquilized and safely transported back to its owner. So far, the creature has remained elusive however, and all attempts to find it have failed.

For now, Austin is where the buffalo roam.

[Photo courtesy of Joseph A. Marcus]

A Sunday Drive: Flowers, Highways and Lady Bird Johnson

We are obligated to leave the country as good if not better than we found it.”

— Lady Bird Johnson

When I drive along a highway and see bursts of wildflowers along berms and meridians, I think of Lady Bird Johnson. That’s the actual truth. I figured that Lady Bird Johnson, wife of former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who died last week at the age of 94 needed a Gadling post in her honor because one of the reasons why traveling along U.S. interstates can be visually pleasing is that she thought nurturing native plants was important. To her, one place to start beautifying America was payiing attention to the land on either side of the highways. Imagine the advertising and weeds we’d be seeing if not for her vision. The Highway Beautification Act passed in 1965 due to Lady Bird Johnson’s determination.

Native flowers got another boost in 1982 when she also co-founded the National Wildlife Research Center in Austin, Texas. The center, now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, has 16 native plant gardens and nature trails that teach people how to landscape their own yards. Each garden has distinctive features. [The photo is of the panel garden.]

Whenever you’re traveling along a highway, keep your eye out for buttercups, cornflowers, bluebells, sunflowers and whatever else grows native in the state where you live or where you are passing through–or sitting in. Perhaps Lady Bird has something to do with them. Here is a virtual Sunday drive for you to enjoy some of the flowers you can see while traveling along the United States highways. I’ve included the information the posters provided. Thanks, Lady Bird.

This photo of Nathan meditating in Texas was posted by krissie p. Emfori passes this field of wildflowers along a highway on her way to work. Which highway and which state, I have no idea. Tim Stirling posted the photo of the flowers along Utah’s Highway 12 on the right.

Tanders1 took this photo on along Calfornia’s coast on Highway 101.

The Alaskan fireweed was posted by Wallflower83. I assume this is in Alaska.

Bien Stephenson took the picture of the sunflower along Highway 52, but I don’t know which state it is in.

This lovely purple flower (a relative of the Morning Glory?) was taken by working class hero on the Hana Highway in Hawaii.

The photo on the right is by Kairos. The flowers are along a highway near her apartment. Which highway, I don’t know, but it is in Texas. Click on the photo on the right to go to the description. Blue Eyes 5 has included details about the flowers in this field along the train tracks. Okay, it’s not a highway, but I wanted to include it since the field is in Texas and Blue Eyes knows her flowers.

I’m sure I have seen similiar to this shot in person. It’s gorgeous in a photo, but spectacular in person. The photo of these flowers along U.S. Intertate 40 was posted by jophoto in April of this year.