I got this book at a book signing last month whereupon I got not only a copy for me but also for my horse-loving aunt who lives with my grandmother in Wisconsin. As I have finally gotten around to finishing a letter to my grandmother and mailing the book, I thought I would delve into it just so I can say I’ve read it if it comes up in a Facebook conversation.
Which is kind of funny: The copy of the book I sent to Wisconsin lie upon the table for a couple of weeks until I sent the letter, and now my copy has rested upon the table for several days since I read it and before I wrote this report on it, and it’s a large book, consuming a lot of real estate on the desk. So with this report, I’ll be able to clear a little space.
At any rate, it is what you would expect: some text about the photographer’s introduction to the wild horse herds while camping over a decade ago. Shannon County apparently supports four herds, but the herds are not very big–ten or so horses roughly–so they’re not like herds of buffalo from horizon to horizon. They very in levels of shyness, which means there are more from the Shawnee Creek herd than the Broadfoot, Rocky Creek, or Round Spring herds. The photographer has caught them in a variety of seasons, dispositions, and poses, from running across a river to emerging from a fogbank.
So it’s a cool book, not a long read, but an interesting look into the places nearby which are still a bit wild. As I mentioned, well, probably explained to my grandmother, I pass through Shannon County not far from these herds when I drive to Poplar Bluff. The book gives the history of the herds and the attempts to preserve them as well as the photographer’s story–the book raised money for the organization founded to protect them–and one of the headlines reproduced is from the front page of The Current Local, a paper out of Van Buren which was one of the first of my adopted hometown newpapers to which I subscribed.
Or maybe I’m just getting old that I’m relating to local books more acutely these days, especially the ones related to local history (see also Buff Lamb: Lion of the Ozarks). I’ve lived at Nogglestead for 13 years, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, and the experience of having lived somewhere for a while might be altering my perception of time and my place in the world. Or perhaps I’ve had too much coffee today.