|The Zilker tree and Moonlight Tower|
This year marked the return of the Trail of Lights
to Zilker Park after a two-year hiatus. It also marked the return of the Trail of Lights 5K
Since Cyn and I have never actually done the Trail of Lights, we thought we'd do the 5K this year. We were joined by Maggie and Erik Kuntz
; and Gene Brenek
|Me, Erik, Maggie, Gene, Cyn|
|Refreshments under the tree|
|Into the mouth of the beast...|
|Cyn, Erik, and Gene ham it up.|
And, for the penultimate A Dino a Day, it's the T.rex wet T-shirt contest at Barton Springs Pool! Or something like that.
|Me, tree, shallow end|
|The cone marks where the diving board used to be|
|Looking toward the north end|
|Grimacing, before I take the plunge. Or maybe there's just something with the goggles.|
This T-shirt features everyone's favorite theropod superimposed over the Public Library of Science
emblem (kind of hard to tell, but it's there). The PLoS organization publishes the PLoS ONE
public access scientific journal, which was very, very helpful in researching CHRONAL ENGINE
Here's a link to the PLoS ONE Paleontology collection
The T-shirt is from the PloS store at zazzle.com
The photos were taken at Barton Springs Pool
in Zilker Park. For those of you not from Austin, the three acre pool is fed by underground springs and maintains a constant temperature of around 68 degrees year-round. Needless to say, it is an Austin favorite during the purgatorial Texas summers. And, yes, Zilker is the same park with the Hartmann Prehistoric Garden
Links to previous days:A Dino a Day: Day 0
: Thundercloud Subs Turkey TrotA Dino a Day: Day 1: Book PeopleA Dino a Day: Day 2: Driskill HotelA Dino a Day: Day 3: Whole Foods A Dino a Day: Day 4: Texas State Capitol A Dino a Day: Day 5:Amy's Ice Creams A Dino a Day: Day 6: Austin History CenterA Dino a Day: Day 7: RunTexA Dino a Day: Day 8: Waterloo Records A Dino a Day: Day 9: Mt. BonnellA Dino a Day: Day 10: The Book Spot
Last October, I ran a post about the Texas Memorial Museum, UT's natural history museum. But that's not the only place in town for dinosaur-related activity:
The Hartmann Prehistoric Garden (Austin, TX) is an entire garden in Zilker Park devoted to Mesozoic plants that have survived to the present. You can get up close to cycads, gingkos, magnolias, cypresses, dawn redwoods, and more ferns than you can shake a stick at.
The Garden was inspired by the discovery of ornithomimid footprints on the site in the early 90s, so they decided to run with it (pun intended). It's a pretty spectacular experience, beautiful and oddly strange, when you think about the fact that these plants have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Also, the pond you see above has gar and other fish that trace their ancestry back to the Mesozoic, as well.
And it sits in the shadow of Mopac Expressway. Although you can't see the cars, you can hear them, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition.
Right next door is the Austin Nature and Science Center, which has its own Dino-Pit, an outdoor paleontology exhibit where kids can "dig" for their own fossils. They'll "find" casts of fossils from the Pleistocene, the Cretaceous, and the Permian.
Oh, and what's a Sarahsaurus? It's this guy:
It's a sauropodomorph found by University of Texas paleontologist Tim Rowe in Arizona. It's from 190 million years ago (early Jurassic), when dinosaurs were just getting started...And it's named after Sarah Butler, the Austin philanthropist who was instrumental in raising funds for the Dino Pit.
Here's a nice article in the Statesman. And here's a link to a PDF of the official paper, from the
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