Tag Archives: nineteenth century


Re-wilding the monocultural self

While reading the recently published Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, by Emma Marris, I found myself simultaneously cheering and exclaiming with a steely squint: Hey! Real conservationists can’t think this! You’re just giving ammunition for them to … Continue reading

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A holy fool in “the land of the Philistines”

Greeks and Trojans, Christians and Muslims, Jews and Arabs, Serbs and Croats, Tutsis and Hutus—the collision of cultures is rarely, if ever, a pleasant sight. The protracted and bloody war between the Plains Indians, especially the Comanches, and the white … Continue reading

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"The Blackest Crime in Texas Warfare"

Our usual route from Austin to Madroño Ranch takes us through Johnson City to Fredericksburg via Highway 290, and then down Highway 16 through Kerrville to the turnoff opposite the Medina Children’s Home. Every time I pass the sign for … Continue reading

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Madroño’s mythical bison

We spent last weekend at Madroño with Shawn and Susanne Harrington of Asterisk Group, who are designing a visual identity for the ranch suitable for use on business cards, website, food labels, letterhead, gimme caps, T-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, … Continue reading

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Wings over Luckenbach: Jacob Brodbeck and the limits of history

This week, for spring break, we flew to Colorado to ski and to visit Heather’s sister Isa and brother John and their families. As I sat on the plane, gazing out the window at the green and brown patchwork unfurling … Continue reading

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Stonewall: permission to dig

There must be a story behind the sign at the front gate of the Stonewall Community Cemetery—I mean, who digs a new grave in a cemetery without permission?—but I don’t know it. Even though I wrote the entry on Stonewall … Continue reading

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Massachusetts, part III: take a walk on the wild side

A Very Long Time Ago, my mother brought home a Peter Max-style poster with this quotation from Henry David Thoreau: “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Each time we moved, its reappearance was an indication that I was … Continue reading

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Massachusetts, part II: in defense of Thoreau

On our recent trip to snowy Massachusetts, as Heather told you last week, we carved out time for a pilgrimage to Walden Pond, just south of Concord, the very wellspring of American conservationism. Walden Pond, of course, is where that … Continue reading

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Extra! Americans losing sense of place!

One of the things that we hope will characterize Madroño Ranch: A Center for Writing and the Environment is a strong sense of place. It’s right there, implicitly and explicitly, in our mission and vision statements, just off to your … Continue reading

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Bigfoot Wallace

Wallace Creek, which flows through Madroño Ranch, is named for Bigfoot Wallace, the legendary nineteenth-century Texas Ranger and Indian fighter who received a grant of 320 acres about five miles north of Medina in 1849. Wallace was celebrated as “the … Continue reading

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