Vidito II, oil by Eric Andrews, Taos, New Mexico (2003), personal collection of J. Matthews.

Sage to Meadow is my ecological reflection about living with the land and people of the American Southwest.  It encompasses historical narratives of the past and immediate present.  The most important element in this blog is nature.  The second most important element is humanity’s presence in nature.  The dynamic between the individual and nature is my focus.

I live with livestock and wildlife on 53 acres of mostly arable land in north Erath County, Texas.  An intermittent stream, Salt Creek, runs through the ranch that is divided into three basic parts:  the ranch house on Poprock Hill with barn, stables, corrals, and arena; the Grove with Salt Creek; and Pecan Tree pasture that borders State Highway 108 and adjacent to Barton Creek, a major source of water for the area.  I moved to the ranch in 2003, from Mingus, Texas.

The ranch is called Flying Hat Ranch or “Ranchito,” as Donald Worcester, my professor at TCU, used to call his 142 acres near Annetta, Texas.  I raise and train horses, and, from time to time, Angus cattle, depending upon pasture grasses.  I established and am maintaining the land, livestock and wildlife according to concepts that congregate under the terms: sustainability, holistic management, conservation, preservation and low-impact ranching and farming.

This brings me to the name of my blog, Sage to Meadow.  Coffeeonthemesa of Taos, New Mexico, wrote a piece on a covey of scaled quail, using a phrase that described the covey moving from “sage across the meadow” near her home.  I liked that.  It describes plant and terrain, sage and meadow: expansive geographic images and symbols of the American West.  And, the image has motion, a covey of quail moving, sentient creatures passing from one place to another on this good earth.

What I seek to accomplish in Sage to Meadow blog is to write about nature, wild and domesticated living things, people that live with the land and the constant cycles of the seasons that envelop our lives.  It is not all pleasant, this nature writing, because life is abundant and green one season, gone and brown the next.  If my writing ever accomplishes anything, what I want it to do is to get human beings back into balance with nature and out of boxes called houses, board rooms and classrooms for a time, maybe a season or so, while looking at water, earth, sky and fire as the wind and sun and rain grace our face.  I write about these things because I think human beings can be persuaded by the written word.  I may be wrong.

Jack Matthews