Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Old Photo Friday

These are the stairs leading down from Mt Bonnell. I took this picture sometime in the early ’90s when I had access to a darkroom because I did the print as well.

I used to ride my bike up there pretty regularly when I was at UT, and despite many attempts to capture the views of the city or of Lake Austin and the hills, this is the only picture I ever took there that I liked.

I guess that’s how it is with photography: sometimes the best images are the unexpected ones, the subjects that weren’t your main intention but for whatever reason call to be photographed. Sometimes an ordinary set of stairs leading down through the cedar trees says more than a whole city spread out before you.

As much as I love the view from up there, especially at night when the city lights disappear out into the plains, I haven’t been there in years. I should probably do something about that.


  1. Makes me want to find out what’s at the bottom. You should get kickbacks from travel agents for your photos.

  2. cool picture…I love it. it’s so interesting and angular and organic at the same time.

    Thanks for sharing this pic.

    –RC of

  3. It is a stunning photo, James. Perhaps some of that is the austere, almost wintery look to the picture? Sometimes familiar places can look so different in a photo that you don’t even feel that you’ve ever been there.

    In my case that might be because I’m either looking at the plants, the other people or the mansions on the lake. You saw something else!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Annie, Your comment about familiar things looking different is what’s so wonderful about photography – it reveals how differently we all see the same things. Usually, I look at all the stuff you mentioned. I don’t know why I noticed the stairs that time.

    RC, thanks.

    Jessice, At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll fins Mt Bonnell Road and a small parking area.

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