HERE AT RED CANYON RANCH…
We’ve had a beautiful spring here in northern Wyoming. After a really hard winter, where we spent five weeks riding the snowmobile in and out of the ranch to get to town, it’s such a relief to look out our windows and see newborn buffalo calves frolicking in tall green grass and wildflowers. All across Wyoming, we’re seeing bumper crops of wild onions. They taste so sweet this year. And it’s a complicated world out there, so we try to take the time to enjoy the smallest pleasures--picking wild onions in the early morning, harvesting the horse mint and watercress that grow along the creek, and watching the buffalo shed their heavy winter coats.
Buffalo have a thick woolly undercoat and when summer arrives, they look particularly scraggly, with strings of wool decorating their shoulders and hanging from their bellies. Many buffalo ranchers collect this wool and spin into one of the world’s finest cashmeres. We, however, leave it for the birds and mice to use as nesting material. We have a Phoebe who always nests on our porch, and her nest is composed of 50% buffalo wool. Those chicks will have a soft, warm place to grow up.
People of the Songtrail, about Vikings in North America, was just released this week, and it’s always a joy to hold the first real copy in our hands. The smell of a book is calming, isn’t it? It’s a promise that once you turn to page one, time will fall away and you can travel to distant places that existed thousands of years ago, or thousands of years in the future. You know that you can leave behind all the things that are bothering you, and for a few precious hours, stop chasing happiness and just be happy. Books are magic.
For those of you who might be in range, we will be doing the first book signing for People of the Songtrail this Saturday, May 30th, at 2 PM at Hastings Books in Laramie, Wyoming. Hope to see you there!
We are hard at work on our next book, the sequel to PEOPLE OF THE MORNING STAR, and really enjoying it. Cahokian culture is such a fascinating place to spend mental time. The magnificence of the architecture, the colors of the fabrics, and intricacies of the metalwork, all combine to create a rich tapestry for the imagination. It’s just plain fun being there. We especially enjoy spending time with rogues like Seven Skull Shield, who is entertaining as heck!
In anticipation of the summer, this morning we planted our garden: three kinds of tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, spinach, lettuce, basil, oregano, thyme, and acorn squash--which never mature, but their blossoms are so delicious in the autumn. Every time we plant a garden, we cross our fingers. This is, after all, Wyoming. The temperature could plunge in a heartbeat, and it could be snowing tomorrow.
We hope your summer is filled with great reading, great friends, and enough time to really enjoy both.
Mike and Kathy
Our most recent publications:
Vikings in North America is a short non-fiction piece. We hope you enjoy this look at the research behind People of the Songtrail.
The Dead Man’s Doll is a short story that serves as prequel to: People of the Songtrail.
We hope you enjoy them!