Marvels of Nature and Man: Jacob’s Well and Waco Suspension Bridge

This was not the weather we experienced last winter in Texas. While my sister and her husband visited, we hiked to Jacob’s Well in the bitter cold. Being Georgians, they were very cold.

A bit of rain had fallen the day before and we hiked a short way down to the well. I imagine it must be more impressive in the summer with bright sun shining on the well, but this day, looking into the hole was cold and dull. The water was moving slowly and it was a bit disappointing.

But Jacob’s Well is deceptive; while the hole is small, if you swim in it, you can go 100 feet down to several caves where you can get trapped. The website says it is believed that eight or nine people died diving in the well.

We walked over the bridge to the other side and I saw a strange sight. At first I thought someone had littered Styrofoam under a tree. When I looked closer this is what I saw:

Nature’s work of art, but I wasn’t sure how it got there. I found more, but most of them were under trees. It was fascinating! It was a gift not expected.

I called it ribbon candy. It reminded me of candy children were given at Christmas.

I had to investigate and here are my findings:

It appears on a plant commonly called frostweed. Other names are crownberry, Indian tobacco or tickweed. The Latin: Verbesina virginica flowers late in summer and a favorite of the butterfly.

When I touched its edge, it fell to powder, so delicate!

I went to see Jacob’s Well in Cypress Creek, but instead I saw a far more amazing wonder of God…ribbon ice. For some say this wonder of nature is created by itself, but for most wanderers Mother Nature is God.

 

Waco Suspension Bridge

Some of the best memories as a kid were the old West stories about the Chisholm Trail, Brazos River, and driving the longhorn north. Everything we’d seen on TV or at the movies was all about cowboys.

We found free parking on the street right in front of the Waco Suspension Bridge, but I wasn’t prepared for what was in front of the bridge.

There stood statues of a small herd of longhorns led by cowboys. It was massive and life-like: a stunning work of man’s art.

The artist is Robert Summers. As we walked around, we saw such detail as muscles straining on the longhorns, some horses plodding along, and others in a near frenzy. It was so life-like there were brands on the backs of the longhorns.

We stood by one horse for a photo: I had my hand on his lifted foot and it was much bigger than my hand.

Old wooden planks lined the bridge; built in 1870 by John Roebling, who also built the Brooklyn Bridge. At first they charged 5 cents per cow, but herds found another way over the river. There are two parks on the river: the east side is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park; on the west side is Indian Springs Park.

Some historians say the Chisholm Trail didn’t go through Waco, but maps show otherwise, but here we are at the Brazos River.

Don’t miss it if you are on your way to Magnolia Market. The bridge is just a couple blocks away. The whole experience was breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a website if you would like more information:

http://www.redriverhistorian.com/chisholm.htmlr

 

 

 

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Magnolia Pearl

You might be surprised at first glance at the title, but don’t be fooled. This shop is exclusive, and not to be confused with Magnolia Market.

On our Texas trip, I was determined to check out this beautiful structure I had seen before on Hwy 290 E. out of Fredericksburg. This shop was built of reclaimed wood repurposed into a German-style grain barn. It was all hand hewn by Amish craftsmen over a hundred years ago.

The textile artist is Robin “Pearl” Brown who founded Magnolia Pearl in Texas Hill Country. Robin was born in the 1960’s and was raised in California and gives credit to her artist father and gypsy mother for her talent. She has been designing for over thirty years and Magnolia became a LLC brand twenty years ago.

Rusty old trucks are part of the decor in Texas.

“Magnolia Pearl is more of an umbrella term for a philosophy of living and looking. In one sense it refers to my fashion designs, interior pieces and accessories, but, in another, Magnolia Pearl is a choice, a decision to look on the bright side of life, and if you can’t see it, go ahead and create it for yourself. What I want to see is beauty in abundance.” ~Pearl

 

 

Each one of Robin’s creations is a limited production, and designed as a single size. All fabrics are of natural materials, and the highest quality. Robin creates new designs on a monthly basis, rather than twice a year, which is the norm. In this way, Robin can keep her creative juices flowing.

If you want special attention you may want to call ahead for an appointment and try on her creations. The colors are subtle when you walk in the door, but don’t let that fool you. The whole décor is well planned out, and spoke to me of simplicity.

The shop girls will greet you kindly and give you plenty of time to ask all your questions. Tara was sincerely friendly and gave me a wealth of information about the designs.

The Pearl is so interesting; it wakes up your own artistic genes!

Check out their website here and see all their beautiful photos:

https://www.magnoliapearl.com