Silent Sanctuaries: Austin's Wildlife and Rare Habitats Unveiled at AUS

Hey there travelers,

Ever find yourself feeling a bit frazzled in the hustle and bustle of airports? Well, fear not, because we've got something special to help you find your zen right here at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Introducing our latest addition to The Calming Towers: a series of videos featuring our local endangered wildlife, courtesy of talented artist, Barbara Attwell. Picture this: slate-black monolithic vertical rectangles hosting video screens that showcase the beauty of Austin's threatened species. But these aren't your ordinary wildlife videos. Oh no, they've been expertly crafted to slow things way down, with minimal text and no sound, all to create a hypnotic, soothing effect for our anxious travelers.

Attwell's intention behind the video series is twofold: to educate and to elicit a sense of peace to travelers that only wild things can bring. From the gentle waving of gills on the Texas Blind Salamander to the graceful movements of the cave snail, these videos offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of our local endangered critters.

Why the focus on endangered species, you might ask? Well, it turns out that right beneath our feet lies a hidden ecosystem teeming with life. Central Texas is home to hundreds of caves, which serve as habitats for some truly remarkable wildlife. Our town has got eyeless pseudo-scorpions and transparent cave-dwelling creatures, having evolved over millennia in isolation, making them uniquely adapted to their subterranean homes.

Unfortunately, these caves are facing threats from rapid development, putting their inhabitants at risk of extinction. That's why projects like this one are so important – they help raise awareness about the plight of our local wildlife and the urgent need for conservation efforts.

This special project is the brainchild of Nico Hauwert, Geoscientist and Program Manager of the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan and Barbara Attwell, the brilliant artist behind these captivating videos. With a background in fine arts and a deep understanding of natural forces, Attwell has dedicated her career to bridging the gap between art and nature. From her childhood days at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to her extensive work developing programs for natural heritage sites like Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, Texas, Attwell's commitment to preserving our wild spaces shines through in every frame of her artwork.

So, next time you find yourself in need of a moment of calm amidst the chaos of travel, be sure to stop by The Calming Towers and take in the beauty of Austin's endangered wildlife by The Austin Article/Gate 8. Who knows, you might just find yourself feeling a little more connected to the world around you.

See the video series for yourself.

Safe travels and happy exploring!