On the Savanna Meadow Trail

by | Jun 2, 2016 | Magazine

The Savanna Meadow Trail. Photo: Amy McCullough

The Savanna Meadow Trail. PHOTO Amy McCullough


I WORE BOOTS, knowing the trail would be muddy. No one else here needs them. Tufts of grass hold the ground, secure and comfortable on their own — a million spindly green bodies in half tortoise pose, bent with the flow of yesterday’s storm.

The kind of storm that makes 4 p.m. the middle of the night, makes humans shudder at train wrecks of thunder and anxiously hit save on their computers with each bolt of lightning.

Meanwhile, the calm cottontails pause and wait, their cotton tails turning soggy, mirroring so many teenagers’ Sea Breeze applicators in the bathroom trash. Roadrunner feathers drip, awaiting an open-wing airing out, but their stiff crests require no product; their orange and blue eye makeup doesn’t smear. My boots step on rocks where trail has become stream, while a big black beetle swims casually in one of many still pools left behind. The air smells faintly salty, hinting of the sea. Butterflies scatter and drift in a series of graceful arcs, a team of composers conducting a silent symphony. A bird behind glossy live oak leaves chirps brightly, doing its best to mimic the post-storm sun with sound. American basket-flower and black-eyed Susans, firewheel and Mexican hats — dark rust petals dipped in yellow — stand tall, their vascular cells strong with fluid, the perfect posture of the fully satiated.

And multilevel horsemint, which I like to imagine eligible pony bachelors munching on prior to a first kiss, abounds: purple fringe buoys leading the water down, down down…

Funneling through a limestone cave, it travels the Edwards Aquifer to appear at Barton Springs—where lovers in cool water kiss, too, and swim like the beetle, fluttering their butterfly limbs through the water.

Water that fell from the sky and landed here: on the trail under my boots.

Learn more about the Savanna Meadow Trail.