This morning I went out early to visit the Mayfield Park and Preserve before the temperature became unpleasant.
The site is in the Tarrytown section on 35th Street, a little over a mile west of MoPac. Allison Mayfield and his wife purchased the board and batten, twin-gabled cottage and 23 acres for their family as a summer and weekend retreat in 1909. Mr. Mayfield was Chairman of the Railroad Commission and former Texas Secretary of State.
Beginning in 1922, their daughter, Mary Mayfield Gutsch, designed the gardens while her husband, Milton, directed the building of the stone walls, ponds and garden features with the help of Steve Arredondo, resident gardener for many years. The six main lily ponds are arranged in the general shape of a flower. I wish I could have seen them from the air.
The original peafowl were gifts from friends in 1935 and their descendants are here today. The Mayfield-Gutsch family developed this site over a 62-year period. Dr. Gutsch died in 1967. Mary Mayfield Gutsch died in 1971 and left the home and acreage to the City of Austin to be used as a park.
The house is open only for special events. The peafowl wander freely around the place. I learned that they can fly to the rooftops; I had not known that they could fly at all. They are quite tame; they even go into the parking lot and walk right up to the visitors.
There are also several nature trails through the woods. I walked on the main and lake trails before exploring the gardens.
After this little adventure, I stopped at the Noodle Company on Bee Cave Road to use my coupon for a free noodle bowl. I was very pleasantly surprised that it also included a salad and soup. There were no hidden charges and the servings were of normal size. Can’t beat a deal like that!