The impetus for our trip to Austin was an invitation to a Nature Conservancy luncheon in the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve. Yes, the same Barton Creek that flows into Zilker Park near downtown Austin, but several miles to the north-west and a whole, different mindset from there. After finding our way along a Farm-to-Market road that offered sweeping views over stoney hills and canyons, we arrived at the preserve where we were treated to a lovely alfresco buffet lunch followed by a presentation on the Nature Conservancy's efforts to protect freshwater habitats in Texas and around the world, certainly a relevant topic after the severe drought the state endured last year. Then most of us set out on an easy walk to the creek and along it to a feature called Table Rock. I think you can even see in the photos how clear the water is. Public access is limited in the over 4,000-acre preserve, so we were privileged to have this brief peek at it. It was saved from development in 1994 and is being restored and maintained to foster and protect native wildlife and their habitat while also contributing to the water quality of this significant creek. The Nature Conservancy does such vital work in ensuring that places like this continue to exist and thrive in our increasingly congested and polluted world. When you visit their website, be sure to check out the spectacularphotos and videos which will leave you awed by such diverse natural beauty.