Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Old Stone House - A Crumbling Reminder

The old, stone house

Deep in the sandhills of western Nebraska, the old stone house is ruined. It's settled in a secluded valley, serving as a crumbling reminder of days gone by.

One can only imagine what it must have been like during its heyday. Maybe a peaceful retreat far from the bustle of city life as the nearest town was across the river bridge some ten miles away.

It was probably a difficult life dominated by the region's circulation of seasonal weather patterns. The summer sun was searing and the winter storms were brutal.

Raising cattle was the only way to make a living with lush prairie grasses supplying the perfect subsistence for the grazing herd. A deep well was dug and capped with a windmill that poured precious water into a rock-hewn tank.

Wooden planks and posts are scattered across the yard, indicating where the horses were once corralled. Out back in a ravine filled with purple wildflowers, a now rusted pickup would have been a more modern mode of transportation.

There's not another living soul in sight but the dilapidated homestead is haunted by more than just ghosts. Real-life creatures that have learned how to survive in the high plains are still thriving.

The eerie cry of coyotes, echoes through the canyon and prairie rattlesnakes wind their way through spiked yucca. The white-tailed deer moves cautiously through a dry creek while a gray jackrabbit leaves you in his dust.

The mountains are where I like to be but it's always nice to get back home because here, the world's a simpler place. At the end of the day, it’s fitting to watch as that humble box turtle so eloquently expresses this land's slower pace of life.

Deep in the sandhills

The old, stone house is ruined

Settled in a secluded valley

A crumbling reminder

A broken windmill

Horses were corralled here

A rusted pickup truck

A dilapidated homestead

Snakes wind through the yucca

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