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


April 19, 2018

Tags: Maine

I donít think my beloved home state of Kentucky has anything on Maine. My adopted Texas isnít even in the race.

Iíve 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, Iím 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 Iíve 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 youíre thinking about taking up martial arts, know the truth.

Birthday Girl

March 1, 2018

Tags: Maggie

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

Geezers Defacing Books

December 19, 2017

Tags: Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut, Hebbronville

Wyman Meinzer and I had a fine time signing copies of Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut: The San Antonio Viejo Ranch of Texas last Wednesday in Hebbronville. Our thanks to Charlotte Hellen and the Museum Foundation of Hebbronville for hosting us and to the people of South Texas for their remarkable support of our work. I love the Wild Horse Desert.

Half a Cheer for Bullies

December 2, 2017

Tags: The New English Review, Bullies

My first piece in The New English Review, a little autobiographical essay.

Interview on the Master National

November 5, 2017

Tags: Master National, Gary Joiner

Up-and-coming young pro trainer Luke Cour and his Cody after a near-perfect run on a water-land series. Luke's expression says it all.

Here's recent, short interview I did with Gary Joiner of "Texas News and Views" on this year's Master National Retriever test held at The Big Woods on the Trinity in east Texas.

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