Sunday, August 30, 2009

Northern Hays County, Texas

Following the old wall

Driving out just one road in the Texas Hill Country can prove to be plentiful with the remnants of old walls and some not so old. Here an old dry stack forms the edging that the modern paved road follows down the hill to a creek. Now with increased traffic, the old wall can seek some protection from damage with the metal railing as a shield.

A Grand Entrance

With graceful lines, this beautiful wall angles slightly up to form an entrance to a ranch. It runs the full length of the ranch entrance. A straight on example of the field stone in the area that is used here. No quarried stone is nessesary. Limestone in many different forms is plentiful.

A Living Feature of the Landscape

By choosing the stones carefully and packing them tightly together with very thoughtful design, you can make a really strong structure that's completely self-supporting.

A dry-stone wall is much more natural: it's little more than a vertical stack of stones laid together slowly and carefully so the stones lock together under their own weight.

One gets the sense that dry-stone walls are a living feature of the landscape.

Buck and Doe

Here is a wonderful example of finishing off the top of the wall. Wall-builders arrange flat stones on their ends along the top, both to give a wall an attractive finished appearance and to stop the top stones falling or being knocked away. The upper stones are referred to as the capstones or topstones, "buck and doe," or "cock and hen. See how the large "bookend" stone holds the upright stones and serves as a decorative feature.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The wall on our property

Dry Stack Rock Walls of Central Texas

This is an information site for documenting dry stack rock walls in the Central Texas region. The stacking of rock that can withstand time and the elements, takes a special talent and a way of seeing the rocks. We are curious, and we hope you are too, about this old skill and why it should be appreciated.
We will seek out and photograph old walls, remnants of old walls and
feature new construction of dry stack and their builders. The old rock walls have a story to tell and have some beautiful form and shape to them. As local landscapers use more and more stone in their designs and landscaping, there seems to be a resurgence in this old skill. Sadly, as cities expand and reach out into the countryside for development, these old walls may be torn down.
The charm and beauty of dry stack should not be a thing of the past, but a skill to be passed on.
In the future we will be featuring photos, casual interviews with these rock workers, where they learned their craft, and why they are interested in keeping it alive.

Please check back often with the Dry Stack Hunter, and see what we have found.
Thanks for visiting!