This fall I realized a goal that I’d been nursing for a long time: compile my old Dough, Dirt & Dye blog stories – along with some more recent pieces – and publish them as a paperback (and e-book) book. I recently wrapped up my work on this project and it feels great!
The stories center around my life in Oklahoma with a focus on nature and animals, but there are also tales from my travels and and trips as well as some strolls down the memory lane of my childhood. It’s a fairly eclectic mix. To illustrate this ~200 page book, I used photos I’ve taken around The 160 (my name for our “ranch”) and beyond.
I have no ambition for mass distribution. I wanted a volume that I could offer to my readers, but mostly to share with family and friends. It feels great to have completed this goal and to have committed my stories, thoughts, and memories to paper. It’s as close to a journal or diary as I’m likely to come.
- The paperback version ($8.99) is available on Amazon here.
- The e-book version ($5.99) is available here on this site.
Year of the Coyotes
From a book to a movie…
This past spring Kel and I frequently saw two beautiful tiny coyote pups roaming around the edge of our woods. We realized that they were orphaned so we decided we just had to try and help them survive in this very rough environment. We began putting out dog chow in one specific area in the woods where we’d seen them fairly consistently. To confirm both their presence and that they were getting the benefit of the food, we installed a wildlife camera. We kept the camera up – checking it every few days – for about 5 months (in fact, the camera is still up).
When looking at all of the (over 1,000) photos one morning, I realized that if they were strung together, they’d look like a time-elapse movie. I spent the better part of one day creating a short film that shows the growth of our beautiful wild ones from big-eared, big-bellied pups to lanky teenagers. They are clearly the stars of the production, but supporting roles are filled by rats, raccoons, mice, squirrels, opossums, deer, road runners, quail, herons, crows, and even a turtle. (You’ve got to look close to see that one!) It runs about 4 minutes with music by Coldplay (the song ‘O.’). I hope you take a few minutes to view it and if you love it, to share it.
The photo below was our first sighting of one of the pups. He (or she) had been standing in one of our pastures and hadn’t noticed us come up. When he saw Ike (our dog), he tucked himself into the grass and oak leaves and growled. Isn’t he amazing?