Our main attraction is the sky. With flat, open land the sky dominates our lives here. Our sunrises and sunsets are stunning. The night sky, with the vast canopy of stars, is full of wonder and magic. The huge cobalt blue sky with puffy white clouds from horizon to horizon looks hyperreal, the colors too vivid to be real. And a line of thunderstorms rolling in, with lighting flashing down from towering, roiling black clouds, is one of the most awe-inspiring sights you will ever behold.
Beyond the sky there isn't much natural beauty in West Texas. But we do have, for a couple days in the fall, the butterflies.
Every autumn the cold fronts from the north begin to push the Monarch butterflies southward toward Mexico where they will stay for the winter. The path of the annual Monarch butterfly migration goes right through Texas.
It happens fast, the butterflies only stay in town for a day or so, but there is always a day during the fall when assorted trees on our campus, mainly pecan trees, fill up with Monarchs. Hundreds of butterflies flying about and resting in a single tree.
It really is one of the most fairyland-like things you'll ever see, a tree full of butterflies.
All that to say, Tuesday in Abilene was that day. The butterflies chose a tree right outside the Psychology Department. It's hard to get a picture of butterflies up in a tree, but this picture was one photo I took with my phone of a Monarch-laden branch.
So, yeah, not a lot of natural beauty in West Texas.
But we do have the sky and the butterflies.