It’s Thanksgiving Day in the US. There is so much to be thankful for out here in the middle of Texas, where all you hear is the cry of the hawk and the blam blam of someone trying to bag a deer (hope they missed).
I don’t think I’ve ever shown you one of the things I am most thankful for, and that’s our beautiful limestone that clads the ranch house.
The limestone is full of fossils of a sea creature from long ago, when the area around Cedar Park, Texas was an ocean. (Cedar Park and Round Rock both have very large limestone quarries.)
When we were selecting the stone for the house at Espinosa Stone, the man at the quarry showed us this pile that looked very different. He said it came from the Rattlesnake layer. Why was it called that? Because the sideways fossils do look very much like the rattle on a rattlesnake. Well, what could be more perfect for out here than that?
Each block is a different height, because they quarry it as thick as that layer is. That made for a lot of fun for the amazingly skilled craftsman who spent a couple of weeks making the outside of the Hermits’ Rest ranch house so beautiful.
Every time we sit on the porch and drink coffee, I enjoy the sun shining on the little fossils, all of whom are now quartz bits shining in the limestone base. Yep. Lots to be thankful for here.
I hope where you live there are pieces of natural beauty to astound you and inspire gratitude for the world we live in.
Last Saturday night, Lee and I came home from a delicious Mexican dinner. I got to the door first and opened it, letting the deluge of dogs run toward Lee in the garage. I detected non-dog movement, and looked to the right side of the porch, where a three-foot (or so) rattlesnake was briskly making its way away from the commotion.
I took a good look, and yelled to Lee, “Rattlesnake on the porch! Enter from the left!” and he encouraged the dogs to make a wide turn as they ran back into the house unscathed.
I snapped the non-great shot above, and later posted in on Facebook. I sure got a LOT of responses there and in person! People said:
I could have DIED!
I should have shot it.
I should have beaten it with a sharp object (that was the neighbor, in person)
My dogs could have DIED.
It probably has a mate and will produce lots of babies!
I guess much of that was true, but by now, I’ve had enough experience with these guys to not be as frightened of them as many people are. This knowledge also helps:
…rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly, the bites are seldom fatal. (Wikipedia, “Rattlesnake“).