Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Getting Colder

My Blackland Prairie piece, published in the February issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife, is now online. Meanwhile, even in our current recession or economic downturn or whatever it is, subdivisions and strip malls continue to crawl over the North Texas Prairie and creek bottoms. Where are all of these people coming from? What happens to the homes they're leaving? My part of Plano is full of empty strip malls.

I've been thinking a lot about Matt's recent post about "letting the cold in." That idea has stuck with me since I first encountered it more than twenty years ago in Vance Bourjaily's The Unnatural Enemy.

Warm spots are getting awfully scarce in northcentral Texas.


Matt Mullenix said...

Bourjaily's book is a favorite, one of several in my infamous "stolen library book" collection. Did you know he was an LSU prof.?

Your article is well done. One passage in particular reminds me of a certain Kentucky farmer we know:

"This tiny parcel of prairie had been a hay meadow set aside like money in a savings account, a hedge against drought, hail, pestilence and worn-out soil. A healthy patch of Blackland Prairie, unplowed and used with care, will feed grazing stock when the vagaries of nature lay waste to cotton, corn and sorghum."

Thanks much for the link to my post. I went out there yesteryda to run my dog and spoke with the foreman. He invited me to come help vaccinate the cattle in April and I plan to take him up on it. Time to start paying my dues I guess. :-)

Henry Chappell said...

Many thanks, Matt.

I didn't know (or didn't remember) that Bourjaily was an LSU prof. I've always associated him with Iowa Writers Workshop.

I applaud your upcoming cattle vaccination work. If more of us showed farmers a little respect and consideration, we'd have a lot fewer access problems and the urban-rural divide would be a lot narrower. And after all, they do produce most of our food.