Monday, June 18, 2012

Jacob's Well Natural Area

Roy and I recently visited Jacob's Well Natural Area in Wimberly, Texas. There isn't any admission charge, and a tour guide gives a nice presentation about ground covers and their ability to retain water in the soil. I found it interesting that the pretty green non-native grasses only stop 50% of rainwater run-off, while the dried-up looking native grasses retain approximately 90%.  The tour guide stated that the roots of grasses native to the dry western soil can grow to depths of 6 feet!

The walk back to Jacob's Well was a quarter mile. Part of the walk was beside Cypress Creek, of which Jacob's Well is the head water. The water was so clear that fish could be seen swimming in it, although, we were at least 40' above the creek.

Our guide told us that this rock formation was once the floor of the ocean.  Here's Roy laying in the muck of the ocean floor like a big clam!

This is the height at which the artesian spring, Jacob's Well, is first seen. One boy made an initial jump from this high ledge.  There are some steps cut into the rocks that go down to a lower ledge.

All future jumps made by the boys were from a rock ledge half as high, but still an impressive jump.  The girls preferred the lower ledge on the right side of the picture.  Roy and I didn't venture in for a swim.

The water coming from the spring was quite calm except for the big splashes made by the kids having fun. The tour guide said that before the spring's aquifer was tapped by thousands of homes, the water was reported to shoot up out of the ground 6' into the air. Resident's from those days report jumping into the water spout! The guide said that she has occasionally witnessed the water to roll from the outpouring of water from the caves below.

Jacob's Well is known to connect to four caverns below.  You can see what appears to be an opening.  The lure to explore the caves have cost 10 people their lives.  If you'd like to read more about the fatal allure of Jacob's Well, follow this link: