Grandbury Tornado #32

By: GardenGrrl , 4:19 PM GMT on May 10, 2013

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Just off IH-35 going to Georgetown, Texas is a cheesy billboard with bad graphics of prehistoric animals. It has an equally unappealing name; Inner Space Cavern. Of course we had to check this out.

This is a gem of a small limestone cave found while the highway department was core drilling samples back in 1963. When they broke into a hollow pocket an adventurous/crazy highway worker decided to ride the drill bit forty feet down into the unknown. That was when they discovered what is now called Inner Space Cavern.

This is a limestone cave so it has lots of neat formations. Stalactites hang from the ceiling. Stalagmites grow up from the floor. These have been formed by water slowly seeping through the limestone over a few thousand years.

Sure there is lots of science behind these formations and geological pockets but sometimes it's more fun to just look, wonder and let your imagination decide how this happened.





Here are some tiny bats. They were near the entrance and about the size of my thumb











It's Imagination Time!



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43. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:25 AM GMT on May 20, 2013
GardenGrrl has created a new entry.
42. sandiquiz
6:56 AM GMT on May 18, 2013
Our walls are load bearing.. they carry the weight of the roof... and remember our roofs are made of heavy tiles, not shingles:)

Today - finally - is M day!! lol
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
41. GardenGrrl
3:40 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
Hey Oregon, glad your relatives are okay. That must have been gut wrenching trying to call and not get through. Really glad you got to talk to them.

Hi Sandi, a minimum of twelve inch walls? Ours are about six inches. Most of the brick is cosmetic and not load bearing. In fact, if they don't do the cosmetic brick right, after a few years it can peel and fall off.

Hi Ylee, I got all the upgrades for my home so it has more insulation, thicker walls, double windows etc.

Hi WTS, for new construction a mandate can be a good thing. For existing, those things can be financially unfair unless the governing body pays for those updates. Then again we all still pay for them that way.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
40. oregonbirdofprey
3:24 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
I have relatives in Granbury. They're ok but it took awhile to contact them. They live about a mile from the area that took the worst of it.
Member Since: September 26, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 955
39. Ylee
11:07 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
In US home vernacular, a "stick" house is just a standard construction house, where the lumber is mostly assembled onsite, as opposed to a manufactured house, which is built elsewhere, and transported to a site where it is tied down with straps to a concrete footer!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
38. sandiquiz
10:15 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
OK, clarification needed:)

What is a 'brick and stick' house or a slab?

I can imagine that the slab is a concrete base the house is then erected on, but brick and stick? do you mean the walls are brick and the innards are of a wooden construction?

All - well 95% - of houses here are built of a double skin of block/brick cavity wall, with a minimum width of 12 inches. The two walls of bricks/blocks are "tied" together and then the cavity is filled with insulation.

All our houses are erected on a three foot foundation.

Hope you are well...:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
37. Ylee
9:22 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
Most of the houses around here built after WW2 were built on slabs. Storm shelters are for sale, and there's little, if any, red tape in getting one put in, but I don't think many people have paid the $4K-5K to get one installed.

I'd hate to see your stick built houses if the manufactured are built better; my doublewide was built cheap, cheap, cheap! :P

Glad the storms passed you by!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
36. WatchinTheSky
10:33 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Good to hear you missed the really bad weather, scary. A bit hard to understand making it difficult for people to install their own shelter. Maybe a mandate is too burdensome for some, but the option should be available. It can cost non DIY folks here more to have their water heater 'quake proofed' than the heater costs. But it's code now.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
35. GardenGrrl
6:16 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Thank you Shore, Sandi, Skyepony, LC, for checking in.

I think the most frightening thing about tornados in Texas is the lack of shelter. Housing in Texas is cheap because it is built cheaply.

The ground tends to move but instead of pier and beam they put in slabs because it is cheap and consumers will buy them even though they are risking up to 20k in foundation work later after the slab cracks.

One of the reasons I live in a manufactured home is because believe it or not it is built better than most slab homes here.

The one big draw back to living in a manufactured home park is no tornado shelters. The one big draw back to living in a brick and stick house is; no tornado shelters. The fancy houses are wiped just as clean from a slab as a manufactured home from it's tie downs.

We have early warning, we have tornado sirens, we don't have shelters. From what I understand most urban/suburban cities make it difficult to add one to your yard. They come pre-fabricated and can move with the shifting ground. They are not that expensive and could easily be put in while new houses are built.

In tornado prone areas they are not required or even encouraged. Lack of shelter. This is why people die from tornados.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
34. LowerCal
5:19 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Very sad news about the affected communities. I am glad to hear you and yours are safe.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9305
33. sandiquiz
3:33 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
I read abut the tornadoes in Granbury, and wondered how close they were to you ... sounds as though it was awful - grapefruit sized hail makes my peanut sized seem like.... well, peanuts!

Prayers go out to those who lost their lives and their homes.

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
32. GardenGrrl
2:49 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Good Morning, looks like we are the fortunate ones and there are blessings to count. The storm took several lives to the west of us. Tough year for Texas so far.

Currently a lot of the news is inconsistent but the following seems to be reported the most.

There were reports of grapefruit size hail in Mineral Wells and many unconfirmed tornados.

Hood County was hit the hardest. The town of Granbury lost entire neighborhoods; obliterated. Many were homes built by Habitat For Humanity. Six people confirmed dead. Around a hundred injured with severity ranging from minor to 3 critical. In the daylight they will be searching for persons unaccounted for.



Prayers to the people affected.

NWSMay15thTornadoCountTexas
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
31. sandiquiz
6:36 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
When I got up at 6am I checked out the blogs and saw your comment about the bad weather - your gizmo also said thunderstorms.
Now, after shower and a coffee I see it says overcast! Hope you missed the worst of it, and your newly planted garden didn't get too much hail!
I am sitting in the conservatory with another coffee, watching the birds fight over the food on the feeder...and the sun is shining!! Long may it continue. I hope it is fine for tomorrow as well.....'M' day!! :-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
30. Skyepony (Mod)
3:40 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
Nice to see you getting missed by the worst of that.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39467
29. shoreacres
3:37 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
Hoorah! I've been waiting up to see a post from you. Off to beddie-bye I go!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
28. GardenGrrl
2:35 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
Wow it's wild to the west and south of us. Everything has been kind of going around us. Less than an eighth inch in rain gauge. Will be okay passing on this "rain" if we can avoid the baseball hail and tornados.

Currently 9:35 pm and all is well.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
27. shoreacres
10:30 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
I was calling that business with the ice a tsunami, too. I got an email from a friend who lives up there and she called it an ice heave. Here's a link to the article she sent me. It looks like it's common enough that they've got regulations for them, anyhow!

ADD: looks like the bad stuff has passed south of you now. There was some baseball sized hail around - and some smaller. I hope you didn't get caught in any of that.

SECOND ADD: Now, tornadoes. Check in when you get home so we know you're ok.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
26. Ylee
4:56 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Thanks for the info, Shore! I didn't know the fungus was so dependent on temperature, and that the caves in Texas were so warm!

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
25. shoreacres
4:14 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Re: the bats - it looks like it's not something that would affect our Mexican freetails.

The fungus Geomyces destructans can only grow in low temperatures, in the 4 to 15 °C range (39–59°F). The fungus will not tolerate temperatures above 20 °C (68 °F) and appears to be adapted to attacking hibernating bats.

The temperatures in the Bracken cave are above that, and they certainly are in Austin. Not that ours don't have their own things to worry about, but I don't think this infection is one. Very interesting, though.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
24. sandiquiz
11:18 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
I clicked on the link and it said "Not available in your area" - but Linda posted something similar yesterday on Ylee's blog, I think....and I also followed a few links and saw how it had damaged homes on the Canadian side of the lake. Very scary stuff!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
23. GardenGrrl
9:54 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
A guy at work showed this to me. Unbelievable. Had never heard of ice tsunamis when I lived in Minnesota.

ice tsunamis
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
22. GardenGrrl
9:52 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
Hi Ylee, no have never heard of that. Considering how much the Austin area values it's bats; the bat bridge, Longhorn Caverns batcave, seems like this is something that would be addressed.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
21. Ylee
11:48 PM GMT on May 14, 2013
Having been to Mammoth Cave a couple of times in the past few years, did they make you walk through a soapy pad to make sure you didn't pass the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome?
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
20. GardenGrrl
10:03 AM GMT on May 14, 2013
Good Morning All, just a quick

Hi Calpoppy (funny bat story),

Hi Briar, (great grinning graphics:)

Hi back atcha Sandi.

Running a bit behind so will be a better blog host tomorrow or Thursday (my Saturday this week).

See WU
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
19. sandiquiz
9:57 AM GMT on May 14, 2013
Morning :) - saw you in my blog - "Have a good Day" :)

Love Briar's post!!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
18. BriarCraft
8:42 PM GMT on May 13, 2013
Speaking of yardening, have you got your new drip system calibrated yet?

So this is the long work week? Hope it goes quickly for you.
Here's to time flies


...or catching flies


...or being driven batty


...or...


Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 88 Comments: 4444
17. calpoppy
6:51 PM GMT on May 13, 2013
Neat cave! The only cave I have been in was Carlsbad Caverns which is limestone also.

A bat story; While living in the mountains I had to have a few of my screens re-screened. It was hot and I left my windows open. I woke up to a commotion in my bed, where my cat had a bat, the bat was trying to get away from the cat, the cat was trying to get the bat, the cat got the bat and I took bat and cat outside. Shook the cat a couple of times and he let go of the bat. The next morning in my bathroom behind the toilet was another bat. I got a small net out and gently prodded the bat off the wall (it was rough pine) and into the net. Going downstairs with the bat in the net I saw another bat on the ceiling of the kitchen! After putting bathroom bat outside I used the net on the third bat. I got it off the ceiling and into the net and outside!

My windows were shut tight until I got the new screens, LOL!!!

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4034
16. sandiquiz
11:40 AM GMT on May 13, 2013
I meant to say something sooner, but forgot.

I have been in only one cave, and that was many years ago before my claustrophobia became too bad. It is a prehistoric cavern down on the Jurassic Coast of Devon.

It is known by the name of "Kent's Cavern".

I looked it up on Google and was amazed to see they now hold weddings inside, and offer different sized caves for small or large weddings!! Oh, boy, they have made it pay its way, since I was there 35 years ago!!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
15. GardenGrrl
10:15 AM GMT on May 13, 2013
Hi Sandi, thanks. My ungrateful fur and feather kids didn't get me anything lol. Okay they did make laugh.

Hi Bug, the Bleu Cheese Cave. Wonder if it still smells like cheese? Also wondering how a University got into chees production. Well Stumphouse Tunnel certainly fits the bill for a cheesy attraction. he he

HI Jus, thanks. Those bats were really tiny. About the size of goth hummingbirds. goth fashion
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
14. juslivn
1:30 AM GMT on May 13, 2013
Excellent find! Thanks for the tour. Bats, Accckkkkk!!!! But very cool GG.
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 88 Comments: 10218
13. palmettobug53
3:02 PM GMT on May 12, 2013
Very cool, GG.

It just goes to show: never judge an attraction by the cheesiness of it's advertising! LOL

I've always wanted to visit a cave but there really aren't any at sea level.

The closest I've ever gotten to seeing a cave was the Stumphouse Tunnel.

I don't remember much about it, other than how cold it was inside compared to the summer heat outside. Of course, there's not much to it. It's just a tunnel. Nothing like the cave you toured.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 239 Comments: 25426
12. sandiquiz
11:05 AM GMT on May 12, 2013


Happy Mothers' day to all mothers:)

And mothers of furry/feathery children, too:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
11. GardenGrrl
10:18 AM GMT on May 12, 2013
Hi Mom, this is for you :)

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
10. GardenGrrl
10:17 AM GMT on May 12, 2013
Good Morning All, it's the looong work week this time.

Hi Sandi, yes thank you for stopping by at the "opposition". Wasn't the dancing Vulcan a hoot? Who can resist that guy?

Hi ycd, thanks. Yes you have some pretty good stories too when I've lurked through your blog. Sounds like you have a lot of fun. Yes indeed, the cheesy attractions can be gems.

Hi Briar, most cheesy attractions are just that and have to be viewed with a sense of humor and become inside jokes for the rest of the road trip. I like your "yardening".

Hi Prose, thank you and a very Happy Mothers Day to you too. You deserve it.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
9. Proserpina
8:23 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
 photo 1cd8994d-4049-4181-a606-ca6a471465ab_zps9d268c88.jpg
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 178 Comments: 18460
8. BriarCraft
7:59 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
What a fun adventure and great find! I need to learn a lesson from that. With the cheesy billboard and unappealing name, I would have driven right by. And missed a wonderful discovery and photo op. It just shows to go...er...goes to show. You know what I mean better than I do, cuz you did it. Way to go!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 88 Comments: 4444
7. ycd0108
6:22 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
Good story and great pictures. I have been on a few cave tours and the formations you photographed so well are as wonderful or better than those I have seen.
We will keep an eye out for Cheesy Signs.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 187 Comments: 4743
6. sandiquiz
3:50 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
I thought I had commented on here, but it must have been the "opposition" where I left comments!

Good luck with the car dealership... hope you get what you want!!

Oh, and thanks for the "Dancing Vulcan" ! lol
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 27127
5. GardenGrrl
5:05 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
T, it was pretty cool. Just goes to show on road trips always check out the cheesy looking roadside attractions. Now off to "negotiate" with a car dealership wish me luck.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
4. Torito
4:29 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
Quoting GardenGrrl:
Hi Torito, lol I was tempted to pet the bat. When they shut the lights off and we were in complete darkness I could imagine being in the belly of a beast as it was warm and humid. There were also a few bones from prehistoric critters laying around. They fell in an old opening and could not get back out.



Thats awesome! i wish i could see that!
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
3. GardenGrrl
4:28 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
Hi Torito, lol I was tempted to pet the bat. When they shut the lights off and we were in complete darkness I could imagine being in the belly of a beast as it was warm and humid. There were also a few bones from prehistoric critters laying around. They fell in an old opening and could not get back out.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
2. Torito
4:24 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
Did you pick up the bat?
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1. Torito
4:22 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
The cave is really the mouth of a monster. xD
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316

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