HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell


May 22, 2018

Tags: Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut, Houston

Great event last night featuring Horses to Ride Cattle to Cut. Wonderful crowd. Signed a bunch of books. Wyman strategically positioned himself so that I would have to write all the personal notes. Payback time. I did the same to him at the last signing. Our thanks to the the East Foundation, TWA, and our great hosts at the Houston Country Club. We finished the evening with Brandy Freezes. I'm afraid I could be a 400-pound lush.

Berry Picking Time!

May 22, 2018

Tags: Blackberries

We put away seven quarts tonight to make sixteen for the season and we’re just getting warmed up. We had our second cobbler of the season last night. People ask me if I’m growing one of the thornless varieties. Never! I’m certain that fine flavor is proportional to blood loss and number of chigger bites. These are Brazos variety, native to the Blackland Prairie.

Big Guns

May 1, 2018

Tags: Gordy & Sons, Best Guns, The Land Report

You’ll find more fine shotguns and rifles at Gordy & Sons in Houston than at Purdey, Rigby, and Boss in London. Russell Gordy invited me into his vault. I’ve got your story.


April 19, 2018

Tags: Maine

I don’t think my beloved home state of Kentucky has anything on Maine. My adopted Texas isn’t even in the race.

I’ve always wanted to visit Maine.

A Memory from The Callings

April 16, 2018

Tags: The Callings, All My Tears, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Julie Miller

This song was ripping through my head when I wrote a certain scene in The Callings. (Actually a rawer version by Julie Miller, but I love this version too, and Buddy and Julie are there with Emmylou.) Nowadays when I hear "All My Tears" I can't help but think of two teenagers grappling with hope and death on the Canadian River in late autumn of 1873.

Homesick After 35 Years

April 15, 2018

Tags: Kentucky, I Know These Hills

Texas has been awfully good to us these past 35 years, and we're here for the long haul. Still, I can get awfully homesick for Kentucky.

Blackberry Winter on the Blackland Prairie

April 9, 2018

Tags: Blackberry, Gardening, Cobbler

Blackberry Winter on the Blackland Prairie. Temperature dropped into the thirties this weekend in North Texas. Tomato and pepper plants and onions came through Friday's hailstorm okay. Pulling winter mulch off bean, pea, cucumber and cantaloupe beds so the soil can warm for planting later this week. We'll see if I have enough ambition today to go ahead and erect lattices.

In the 35 years I've rambled around rural parts of Texas, I've never heard mention of Blackberry Winter. Is it just a Kentucky thing?

The Estimable J. reorganized the freezer yesterday, and I couldn't help but notice how many pints of blackberries can be produced by a small, coddled blackberry bed. (Only a small part of ours is pictured. I'm a little embarrassed by the unruliness. I never got around to my customary pruning.) Much to my anticipation, J mentioned that we need to be making room for this year's blackberry crop.

Cobblers forthcoming.

You Are Not Jason Bourne

March 1, 2018

Tags: Martial Arts

This is absolutely true. As I work my way slowly and painstakingly up the Krav Maga levels, I’m forever hearing from parents about how their kid memorized and demonstrated the required katas and earned a black belt in karate at the age of 13, at some MacDogo. I passed my 3-hour Level I test this past fall. Adjusting for my age, it was the most physically demanding thing I’ve done since my college football days. (The instructors opened a side door in case someone needed to run out by the trash dumpsters and puke.)I was covered with bruises and could barely hold my head up. If you’re thinking about taking up martial arts, know the truth.

Birthday Girl

March 1, 2018

Tags: Maggie

Happy 15th Birthday, Maggie! She’s amazing. Hears pretty well, shows no signs of senility, and still chases backyard rabbits and squirrels. My beloved old girl.

Selected Work

"I regard Silent We Stood as being among the finest Civil War novels I have ever read"
  • David Madden, Civil War Book Review
  • "Blood Kin is historical fiction at its best."
  • Bruce Winders, Historian and Curator, The Alamo
  • "The finest book on buffalo hunting and the resulting conflict with the Comanches that I have ever read."
  • Doris R. Meredith, Roundup
  • Non-fiction Books
    "Sharp and colorful also describe the economical prose of sports and wildlife writer Henry Chappell"
  • Elaine Wolff, San Antonio Current
  • Magazine Work
    Articles and Reviews
    Articles and Book Excerpts
    Feature Articles
    Columns and Feature Articles