cies of frogs and a half-dozen lizards, some bulging with eggs, as well as a sleek six-foot
Making a living inspired the Chauvet and Pecos painters' attention to their surround-
ings, but just as surely, like all natural historians, they noticed far more than was neces-
sary for subsistence. I'll wager, too, that their attentiveness started as youthful curios-
ity, and one morning when I'm out on the Double Helix, searching for snakes and toting
my Winchester in case any pigs show up, a rambling daydream gets me smiling. Hope
is a double-edged notion—freighted with life's uncertainties, we yearn for friendly out-
comes—and what could be more hopeful than coming back to the Texas Hill Country,
where this seven-year-old met his first bluebonnets and longhorns, first western dia-
mondback? Later that same day, as a pastel dusk softens the countryside and frogs and
katydids commence their familiar nightly songs, it strikes me that nature is more like
a bandit queen than a princess, worthy of love and protection but scornful of idolatry.
Let's cherish our earthly boneyard, so pretty in sunlight, with no white flags!