s/y Nine of Cups
Alibates  Flint Quarries - Texas
August 2012
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Jimmy Green, a volunteer, is a flint knapper and offered us a demonstration of his
hobby. His tools are all handmade and watching him was quite fascinating as he
took pieces of flint and fashioned them into arrowheads as men have done for
milennia. Flint has been quarried from this area for the past 12,000 years ... since
the Ice Age.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
is definitely out of the way for most folks.
It's in the middle of nowhere and we were
the only visitors there. They have a small
Visitor Center and offer an orientation film
and a very, very outgoing, hospitable group
of rangers and volunteers greeted us.
There were displays of the beautiful Alibates flint, streaked in shades of cream, maroon, brown and gold with specks of blue and green
lending contrast. The rangers usually offered tours, but with the temp hovering at 106F, it really wasn't an option. In the garden outside,
however, Gigi pointed out several native plants that could naturally weather the hot temps including an ice age plant known as Devil's
Claw (aka Unicorn Plant) and chocolate daisies (aka green eyes or lyreleaf).
The roof over the entry to the Visitor's Center provided a fine place for a couple of barn swallows to make a nest. We watched as the couple
chatted and one seemed to hover as they discussed suitable materials and proper placement of the nest. Everything in Texas grows big
including this lubber grasshopper which must have been at least 4" long.