Moving from Cotton-Top Hills has proved to be one of the most difficult moves I have ever made. Leaving the land, our home, and the people was gut wrenching to say the least. Now we find ourselves getting used to an entirely different way of life.
We no longer live on acreage surrounded by ranchland, but in a gated neighborhood that is situated around a golf course. Neighbors used to come visit on horseback or 4 wheelers, now they zip around on golf carts.
But we live on the water. An oxbow, whose waters overflow into the Brazos. And we have trees that loom over our house that provide glorious shade during this hot, dry summer we are having. And we do have land, half an acre. I shouldn’t stub my nose at that. There are many houses in similar neighborhoods that sit squashed up to the house next door. I can still stand on my back porch and see people, but I’ll get used to it I suppose.
And there is wildlife. For those of you who followed my adventures at Cotton-Top Hills, you know how connected we were to the creatures around us. So I thought I’d introduce you to a few of our new friends.
These are our Whistling Ducks, and yes they do whistle. They like to perch on our fence outside of my shower window. They also will perch in trees, which for a duck, is a little unusual. But they are beautiful and curious little creatures.
Here is the majestic Blue Heron. We have a pair of these that love to fish our shores. They fly down the river early in the morning, long wings stretching silently across the sky.
We also had a pair of hawks nesting across the street. It was fun to watch them hunt for food in the neighborhood. Very different then seeing them soaring over the wide open skies above the canyons looking for gophers. These hawks are masters at navigating the trees and the spaces between the houses.
This fellow guards our moat. WB likes to tell the girls we live in an Enchanted Castle and our alligators guard a treasure buried deep in the water. We have several that vary in size. The largest being a 10 foot momma that is nesting up the way a bit. We are told the park rangers will come transport them back to the Brazos when they get too large. I’m not sure what “too large” measures for an alligator. A six foot one is pretty impressive to me, but I’m told over ten feet seems to put them in the “need to move out of the neighborhood” size.
We also have fish in that moat. The girls have found a new hobby, fishing. They have caught catfish and blue gill and have the best time. Oh, and turtles. Lots of turtles.
There are raccoons, armadillos, and opossums too. One opossum lives in one of our tree trunks by the water. My sister who lives literally down the street has seen deer and a bobcat. Their house backs up to the water too, but they live closer to some unsettled land.
Oh, and I would be remiss to not add squirrels. We didn’t have those before, not enough trees. And lizards. My children have become the great lizard whisperers. They all have names and at any given moment I could walk outside to find any one of my children with a lizard perched on their hand or shoulder.
So our Enchanted Castle seems to be a wonderful new home for my family. We still ache for what we left behind, but have our eyes open to all the new adventures that surround us. God has set our path, and we shall joyfully continue to walk down it.
What surroundings are you inspired by?