admit, up front and honest, that my family is a bit weird. I'll also admit that
we probably have more fun than most families. Here are a few examples.
all visitors at the entrance of our family canyon retreat, is Adam, an 8-foot-tall
green giant wearing only a fig leaf. Adam was donated by good friend and fellow
writer David Horsely, who created the statue with his chainsaw from a tree that
had died in his yard. However, the art piece was deemed a traffic hazard and found
a new home in our canyon.
Adam sort of sets the pace for the rest of the
A short journey up a side canyon stands a huge boulder the size
of an auto with Excalibur embedded in the top of the rock. The handle is stained
black with the sweat of visitors who've tried to remove the blade, all defeated
by the great Greek god epoxy.
Up another side canyon, one can study a
wild honey beehive occupying a rock cave some 30 feet up a sheer caprock wall,
with several large combs of honey in plain sight. Not even a pesky raccoon can
reach the site.
Beside the beehive cave, growing upside down from a crack
in the caprock, hangs a hackberry tree. Yes, it is a perfectly formed tree, with
a six-inch diameter trunk, rounded bushy top, hanging some 10 feet high or low,
as you might prefer to call it. Not many of these around.
Above a walking
trail to the west, on the very edge of the caprock, with not a speck of dirt within
20 feet, growing from cracks and crevices, stands another tree some 10 feet tall.
We call it the "octopus tree" because the exposed roots resemble the many tentacles
of an octopus.
Between the Red Dog Saloon and the blacksmith shop lies
a trail leading upward. Now most of you are familiar with the book "Clan of the
Cave Bear" about prehistoric times. Well, we have "The Cave of the Cow Bears,"
about modern times. Under a large overhang and back under the caprock, we have
created Papa, Mama and Baby Cow Bear from bleached cow bones including skulls.
All bones are mounted on steel rod, sculpted shape frames, wired securely with
baling wire and look so real that visitors are startled and dogs bark and often
turn tail and run.
The adult cow bears stand five feet high, posed in
natural positions and appear to be looking you right in the eye as you approach.
The path has a curve at the cave leaving the visitor unaware until rounding the
curve. Nearly all halt quickly and step back at the sight.
One of my favorite
memories is when wife Ruth and great-granddaughter Zenda helped me transport each
of the cow bears up the path to the cave on a little red wagon. I pulled, and
they pushed up the steep hill. As we sweated and strained, we all sang the song,
"The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone," etc., and "Them bones gonna rise
Other than a few things like this, we live a normal life.
Delbert Trew -
July 12, 2011
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at trewblue@centra media.net.
For books see delberttrew.com. His column appears weekly.
Topics: Texas Ranching | Columns