From Tree Dialogues

What kinds of stories do people have about trees? Why are we so inspired by these huge, slow-moving leafy towers in town or out in the wilds? We all universally …

Desert Running

Prickly Desert Outing: Volunteering at Paatuwaqatsi, the Hopi run for water and life This must rank as one of the most unusual running events anywhere: to cover 30 miles across …

Of Gravel and the River

Stringing ropes across a river on a March day sounded like pleasant work, especially on the Jacks Fork, which may be the most dazzling place in the world. A few …

World’s Greatest Dog Man

They told me I should go to Joplin and talk with O.L. Beckham, a legendary dog trader who wrote extensively about hounds. “He’s the best storyteller in the Ozarks. The best anywhere,” they said.

It took more than a decade for me to act on that tip. Luckily O.L., then in his early 80s, hadn’t slowed down much. He particularly loved reminiscing about his father, the youngest of ten, an Ozark walking preacher and himself father of nine.

While moving the family back north from working a spell in Texas, his family’s wagon got caught behind slow-moving cattle herds. That’s when O.L. was born, on April 12, 1907, in brush alongside the Chisolm Trail in Oklahoma.