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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