WYMAN MEINZER BOOKS
Foreword by John Graves. Text by Ray Sasser. Photo commentary by Wyman Meinzer.
Wyman Meinzer is a Texas original. His stunning photography forms a visual link to a wild and scenic Texas that few people have witnessed. Known for his camera work, the West Texas native son is much more than a photographer. Woodsman, scientist, historian, trapper, hunter, preservationist, marksman, writer, romantic, pilot, adventurer - Meinzer is all those things and more.
Meinzer's success is a classic tale of hard and uncompromising work and an uncanny knack for recognizing beauty in a harsh environment. This book includes more than 200 of his best photographs of his favorite subjects.
It is the fourth book that Meinzer has done with Dallas Morning News outdoor writer Ray Sasser. Their other three books are Texas Quail, Texas Whitetails, and Texas Seasons (also found within this section).
“There is no doubt Texas hunters will appreciate the work of Meinzer and Chappell. When it comes to partnerships, there probably isn’t a stronger bond than the one between a hunter and his dog. What Meinzer and Chappell do with their latest book, Working Dogs of Texas, is show that the bond between dog and trainer is evident in all kinds of working situations!!” –Fort Worth Star Telegram
With text by author Henry Chappell and photos by Wyman Meinzer, Working Dogs of Texas is a salute to our canine companions whose training by dedicated owners and handlers contribute daily to the enrichment and often time safety of countless lives across our great state. Join us in our celebration for the working dogs of Texas!!!
"In this work "Inspiration Texas Style", we have chosen to ask a cross section of Texans to express their own feelings of what this state means to them. Some are well known on the world stage while others are salt-of-the-earth beings. This is Texas as defined from the hearts of Texans."
Limestone hills, cold spring-fed streams, live oaks and cedar, old German towns—the Texas Hill Country may well be the most beloved region of the state. Unlike West Texas with its dramatic expanses of plains and sky, or the eastern Piney Woods in their lush fecundity, the Hill Country never overwhelms. Its intimate landscapes of rolling hills, fields of wildflowers, and cypress-shaded rivers impart a peace and serenity that draws the urban-weary from across Texas and even beyond.
In this volume, two of the state’s most respected artists join their talents to create an unsurpassed portrait of the Texas Hill Country. With an unerring eye for landscape photography, Wyman Meinzer distills the visual essence of the Hill Country—long vistas of oak-and-cedar-covered hills, clear streams running over rocks, bluebonnets turning fields into lapis-colored seas. His photographs also go beyond the familiar to reveal surprising contrasts and juxtapositions—prickly pear cactus delicately frosted with ice, black-eyed susans growing among granite boulders.
With an equally true feeling for what makes the Hill Country distinct, John Graves writes about the land and its people and how they have shaped one another. He pays tribute to the tenacious German pioneers who turned unpromising land into farms and ranches, the Anglo-American “cedar-choppers” who harvested the region’s pest plant, and even the generations of vacationers who have found solace in the Hill Country. As Graves observes, “since well over a century ago, the region has been a sort of reference point for natives of other parts of the state, and mention of it usually brings smiles and nods.”
Together, John Graves and Wyman Meinzer once again demonstrate that they are the foremost artists of the Texas landscape. The portrait they create in images and words is as close as you can come to the heart of the Hill Country without being there.
In Goodbye to a River, John Graves defined what it means to know a river—as a real place, as a landscape of memory and imagination, and as “a piece of country, [that] hunted and fished and roamed over, felt and remembered, can be company enough.” Readers who’ve taken the canoe trip down the Brazos with him have long wished to travel other rivers with John Graves. Those journeys now begin in Texas Rivers.
This book marries the work of two Texas legends. John Graves brings to Texas Rivers his ability to weave history, geography, and culture into a vibrant portrait of a land and its people. Through photographs of rare beauty, Wyman Meinzer reveals the rivers as few will ever see them in person, distilling decades of experience in capturing light on film into a tour de force presentation of Texas landscapes.
In essays on the Canadian, Pecos, Llano, Clear Fork of the Brazos, Neches, and Sabinal rivers, Graves captures the essence of what makes each river unique. While the Canadian is a river of the plains that runs through big ranch country, the Neches is a forest stream heavily impacted by human encroachment. The Llano and the Sabinal remain largely unspoiled, though the forces of change ebb and flow about them. The Pecos shows ripples of its Old West heritage, while the Clear Fork of the Brazos flows through country still living in those times. Meinzer’s photographs offer a stunning visual counterpoint to Graves’s word portraits, and, together, they show clearly that rivers have been central to the development of the unique character of Texas.
“Windmill Tales deftly presents these mechanical wonders as western icons… Wyman Meinzer’s images, each executed with precision and thoughtful perspective, range from grand, silhouetted landscapes to nuanced details. Every picture invites the reader to investigate further, to explore the contraption’s engineering and rustic beauty” – “Great Plains Quarterly”.
“The only sound that day was from the windmill, a creaking sound that a windmill makes turning in the summer breeze. It is a memory I deeply cherish and why I love windmills so much” – A visitor to the American Wind Power Center.
On the prairies of North America, wind and water were pervasive, but whereas wind was tangible, water in quantity was hidden beneath the surface. The vast grasslands fed great herds of animals, which in turn sustained native Americans, but it was not until water could be brought to the surface that the plains could be cultivated and developed into a great agricultural bread-basket for the growing nation. The self-governing windmill forever changed the culture of this vast region.
The agricultural development of the plains is the story of the ingenuity, hardship, success, and sometimes failure of settlers as they applied a new technology in an environment with which they were barely familiar. The stories of these settlers and of their children and grandchildren often focus on the windmill, for this source of life-sustaining water often became the center of ranch and farm life. In “Windmill Tales”, in ninety-nine beautiful full-color images, photographer Wyman Meinzer shows American windmills as they appear today.
Many of them are still working, and others have fallen or are preserved at the American Wind Power Center, but all illustrate the way of life that was made possible by the windmill. Brief reminiscences and stories told by visitors to the American Wind Power Center give the reader a sense of the central importance of windmills in the lives of early pioneers in the West. Some of the stories reflect the sense of humor ranch and farm families developed to help them through hard times, whereas others hint at disappointment and tragedy. Together with the photographs they give us a fascinating insight into our history.
Explore, as few have intimately done, the Big Bend Ranch State Park and the Chinati Mountains State Natural Area. Trust Wyman Meinzer to see as no one ever has the desert sanctuaries of the vast Big Bend and to pay tribute to their best-kept secret, the twin canyons of the Chinati Mountains, San Antonio and Los Pelos. Trust, too, that the images he delivers are as true as his eye, that the light bathing cholla at sunrise, on the eastern rim of San Antonio Canyon, is unfiltered.
Meinzer is one photographer who still waits for and catches the light, even if he has only a thirty-second window. ‘Placing a border around the vastness of the Big Bend is typically an invitation to disappointment. Reducing its depth to a medium of two dimensions tends to flatten a landscape known to be anything but flat. Catching the ever-changing moods of light and color in fractions of a second normally embalms the scene. So how does Wyman give us photos full of expansive depth and color? His skill is his passion for the beauty of Texas and his unwavering will to get to the toughest spots. He is an adventurer first and a photographer second. Wyman feels the land and sky. He becomes a part of the terrain, and his photos make you part of the scenery’ – From the Introduction.
This is a lasting tribute to the land that bore a state photographer and state poet laureate. Clarity, focus, and startling detail are the stuff of lasting images in poetry or photography. It is all about beholding, about taking in what is ours to absorb if only we will. Little can overwhelm the senses more than our great lonely plains, expanses of sky and horizon so enormous that sometimes composition gets lost in between.
Who better to illuminate what would elude us than a native state photographer and native state poet laureate? Although Meinzer and McDonald have both devoted careers to seeing and celebrating these plains, garnering significant honors and awards along the way, neither had realized how much his work spoke to the others. Now seventy-seven pairs of poems and color photographs testify to the kinship of poet, photographer, and all of us who inhabit their territory. Selected from hundreds of photographs and poems, these pairs show surprising harmony of vision and insights about the vast, wide plains, their dramatic colors, and the calm, vigorous people who thrive beneath their sprawling skies, accepting the risks and splendor of it all.
No one captures Texas like Wyman Meinzer, whether his subject is its skies, weather, wildlife, rivers, or what lies below the skyline of his native West Texas. Here, in this gem of a portfolio, are fifty vistas of those geological wonders that have fascinated artists, writers, and musicians from around the world for centuries and continue to hold spellbound a half million visitors annually.
Through Meinzer’s eye the reader beholds the change of seasons beneath the Palisaded Plains skyline in Palo Duro, Tule, Caprock, and Cita Canyons. Framing Meinzers work in elegant historic context, preeminent Panhandle historian Frederick W. Rathjen gives us a rare appreciation of the topographic majesty of the Permian Red Beds that 230 to 280 million years ago lay below a shallow sea and through subsequent millennia and riverine deposit, erosion, and redeposit would gain variegated walls and formations of gray, yellow, maroon, lavender, and orange shown most conspicuously in the lovely Spanish Skirts.
Only from high above can one grasp the totality of topographic relationships in the canyon lands and appreciate the massive complexes extending eastward from the escarpment of the Llano Estacado. Even a person of only slight imagination must be overwhelmed with this mighty work of nature, and must stretch both emotion and intellect to take in its magnitude.
Text & Photography by Wyman Meinzer and Ray Sasser
"Texas Seasons," (along with "Texas Whitetails" and "Texas Quail") is the latest publication in the enormously popular series depicting the widely diverse sporting life in Texas.
Beginning with the opening day of dove season, the calendar event that ushers in the first of a series of annual hunting rituals, Texas Seasons highlights the hunting and fishing opportunities of a state that offers more than twenty species of resident and migratory game and fifty different species of freshwater and saltwater game fish.
Whether it's pheasants and sandhill cranes in the Panhandle, mule deer and pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos, snow geese and redfish on the Gulf Coast, monster whitetails near the Rio Grande or monster bass near the Red River, co-authors and photographers Ray Sasser and Wyman Meinzer have captured the thrill of the great outdoors as reflected in the sporting seasons of Texas.
Folks who live on the plains of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado call them playa lakes. Sometimes, depending on the rainfall, these drainage basins fill and truly take on the personality of small lakes. At other times, when the sun is hot and rain is just a memory, these wind-dished catchments are just so much baked earth and brown vegetation.
Steiert calls the playas ‘a priceless resource’. He writes: ‘Something about playas nurtures the spirit. Perhaps it is the truly wild abundance that springs from the gooey clay muck where we dare not drive our tractors. We need these pools of diverse life in an environment as unforgiving as the Plains can be’.
In this book Steiert examines the history of playas and the roles they play in life on the Llano Estacado. He explains how and why playas exist and the controversy they generate. He takes a look at the laws that govern the playas and at the wildlife that populates them. He writes eloquently of the beauty of the playas and the respect he has for them.
Illustrated with 75 color photographs by award-winning photographer Wyman Meinzer, “Playas” is a book for everyone who has gazed out across the horizon and admired the jewels of the plains. For all their abundance on the Llano Estacado, it would seem the playas are little appreciated for what they represent. In a region where land is dedicated almost exclusively to growing cotton and wheat, corn, sorghum, and cattle, the playas have too long been considered an inconvenience, even a liability.
In their wet state, they must be worked around or turned short of with the tractor. When sufficiently dry to cultivate, they are subject to flooding and its accompanying crop loss, erosion, and invasion by noxious weeds. The unending quest for a form of productivity to be measured by the scales of a grain elevator or cotton gin has eliminated much of what is wild from the plains.
For everyone who loves the bird we call roadrunner, camino corres, paisano, chaparral… Southwesterners are well accustomed to this sleek, mostly brown and white, long-tailed nemesis of coyote as it darts across roads or perches on a post or branch never too far from the ground.
Equally familiar is the stylized image of the roadrunner, which adorns everything from Native American pottery and jewelry to clothing and logos. Clearly the roadrunner continues to thrive as a cultural icon. Yet no other study comes close to equaling Wyman Meinzers stunning classic, now available in this tenth anniversary edition. Meinzers photo study is his personal account of the years he has spent observing and recording the daily routine of several roadrunner families. Through his lens, Meinzer chronicled roadrunners courting, mating, nesting, hunting, and rearing their young.
Punctuated by humor and poignancy, his story possesses an unmatched connectedness and insights afforded only those who develop a longstanding relationship with their subjects of study. Many of the roadrunners that Meinzer recorded became comfortable with his presence one even permitted his assistance in catching a lizard. Though it is hard to improve upon a classic, this new edition, celebrating the books tenth year of publication, includes a new preface from Meinzer and several new photographs, including that of a rare white roadrunner.
Beneath the brilliant sky of the Texas panhandle grazes the remnant nucleus of the ancient herd that was almost lost, a blood line whose genetic code still remembers the primal howl of the extinct Texas buffalo wolf, still prepares the remaining few for flight at the long lost smell of the hunting Comanche, or propels them to stand and fight to the death when recourse offers no other choice. At Caprock Canyons State Park, the lost Texas herd of Southern Plains Bison now thrives under the watchful eye of personnel from the Department of Texas Parks and Wildlife. With the herd size increasing annually and their new found home encompassing over 10,000 acres of state park property, this indigenous herd of Southern Plains Bison once again graze peacefully beneath the shadow of the caprock escarpment, once again to retrace the lost trails of those ancient millions before them.
In their third collaboration, Wyman Meinzer and Andrew Sansom will let you experience, up close and personal, the resurrection of the lost Texas herd.
Through his stunning photography, Wyman Meinzer chronicles the life of the coyote from a flea-covered, one-pound fuzzball whelp into a glistening, furry jewel that moves with fluid grace across the Texas plains. The coyote has become the symbol of western freedom in popular culture, and historically its range was limited to west of the Mississippi River. Yet now in spite of a hundred-year effort to exterminate this wild caninecoyote howls can be heard from Los Angeles to the Bronx and from Alaska to Costa Rica. Apart from the mythology, until recently little has been known about this intelligent, adaptable creature. As he did with "The Roadrunner", Meinzer gives us a personal account of the years he spent observing and photographing this often maligned animal. Seasoned with humor and poignancy, his observations give us a glimpse into the heart and soul of this intelligent and adaptable native North American.
"Coyote" is a fine overview, covering in an informal way the major aspects of the coyote story, from its status as a demigod to the Plains Indians to its socializing and vocalizing habits. - Austin American Statesman
In fall 1916, Charles Goodnight invited the people of the Texas Panhandle to his ranch to witness an event taken from the pages of history. A party of Indians from Oklahoma, he announced, would hunt one of Mary Ann Goodnight’s bison in the traditional way from horseback and with bow and arrows. Word spread quickly, and Goodnight had no idea of the excitement and anticipation that his announcement would create. The idea of holding an old-fashioned buffalo hunt grew out of Goodnight’s desire to perpetuate his life’s work and to develop his ranch as a bison park. His life’s work to this point culminated in establishing himself as one of the pioneers of the cattle industry in the Texas Panhandle, as well as a leader in plains conservation.
Wyman Meinzer, the Official Photographer for the State of Texas, and B. Byron Price, the Director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma, explore Goodnight’s history and offer insight into the life of this Texas legend. (Shipping September 25th, 2012)
The thin morning fog, hanging over the sage and bluestem, obscures the trucks and trailers around the pens at Peek Trap. The sun, edging above the horizon, draws the eye from modernity toward something more durable. A whinny in the distance sharpens your focus on a band of shadow cast by a low bluff. The first few horses run into the new light, and the rest of the remuda emerges, strung out along the base of the bluff, nine dozen geldings running parallel to the horizon a quarter mile out.
Now you hear churning hooves and the shouts and whistles of cowboys as the lead horse turns toward the pens. Dust mixes with the dissipating fog as the sun clears the horizon. In the pen, cowboys form a semicircle to hold the remuda just inside the east gate. Breath and pipe smoke hover about their heads in the November air. The shifting column of horses, strung out a hundred yards or more, begins to pour through the gate. The blockers stand calmly, hands clasped behind their backs as horses bunch, balk, snort, and pace before them. Another day begins. A day that has endured over a century in character. Welcome to the Waggoner Ranch.
The Four Sixes is not a relic, showpiece, or preserve. It’s a working cattle ranch, some 290,000 acres of West Texas prairie carefully used. Here, men still earn their livelihoods on horseback, not out of blind adherence to tradition, but out of necessity.
Since Samuel “Burk” Burnett began buying rangeland in King County in the 1890s, his cowhands have relied on methods developed by early vaqueros and refined on the great trail drives. In managing cattle, these methods are still the most efficient and humane. Spurs, broad-brimmed hats, and scuffed and patched boots are not fashion statements but essentials—as are loyalty, toughness, and resourcefulness, traits still common to those doing dangerous work in remote country.
Perhaps, though, the Four Sixes’ greatest legacy is the land itself. Across four generations, foremen have striven to nurture and restore, to leave a healthy range. That stewardship has produced some of the richest, most ecologically diverse grassland found on the Southern Plains today.
Meinzer and Chappell’s defining study of the Sixes’ heart, soul, and heritage illuminates and spellbinds, teasing out a continuum that reaches out to and claims us all with rich lessons in give and take, need and nurture, enterprise and farsightedness.
Wyman Meinzer and Henry Chappell take you on an unbelievable journey through the beauty, the grandeur, and the drama of one of the most magnificent ranches on the planet.
Wagonhound Land and Livestock is first and foremost a working cattle operation. On its 200,000 acres, mostly in the foothills of the Laramie Mountain Range in southeastern Wyoming, cowboys still earn their living on horseback, working cattle in much the same manner as their ancestors did more than a century ago.
At the same time, the Wagonhound program embodies an innovative philosophy that has made it one of the top players in today’s highly competitive cattle and Quarter Horse markets. With an abundance of water from the North Platte River and its tributaries, and state- of-the-art irrigation systems, the Wagonhound maintains a self-sufficiency rare among modern cattle ranches.
Yet, despite its focus on production of top cattle and ranch horses, Wagonhound is renowned for its stewardship of some of most stunning and ecologically diverse ranchland in North America.
In this defining study, Wyman Meinzer and Henry Chappell capture the essence of the Wagonhound Way: The Spirit of Wyoming.
Wyman Meinzer and Henry Chappell
Between heaven and Texas, there’s a sky that goes on forever. On cloudless mornings after a norther has blown through, the sky is such a perfect cobalt blue that you forget the “between” and know that heaven is Texas, or Texas is heaven—it doesn’t really matter which. But most days there are clouds between Texas and heaven—puffy white clouds that set us dreaming on lazy summer days or roiling storm clouds that unleash lightning, tornadoes, and hail. The sky between heaven and Texas is a stage for drama more often than not, just like the lives we live below it. Perhaps that’s why we’re always looking up.
In this beautiful book, noted photographer Wyman Meinzer revisits the place that inspires his most creative work—the Texas sky. His photographs capture the vast dramas that occur between heaven and Texas—rainstorms that blot out mountain ranges, lightning strikes that dazzle a night-black prairie, trains of clouds that rumble for miles over wheat fields, sunsets that lave the whole wide sky in crimson, gold, and pink. Meinzer’s striking images reveal that in the sky above, no less than on the land below, endless variety is commonplace in Texas.
Joining Meinzer in this celebration of the Texas sky are two fine writers, Sarah Bird and Naomi Shihab Nye. In her wonderfully personal introduction, Sarah Bird describes growing up as a dedicated cloud-watcher who, after several years among the cotton candy clouds and cool fogs of Japan, was shocked and exhilarated by the limitless hot skies of Texas. Naomi Nye has chosen poems by twenty-six Texas poets, including herself, which explore a spectrum of emotion about the sky above Texas and the weather in our lives beneath it. Together, photographs, memoir, and poems create a lasting connection with the power and presence of what Meinzer calls “that vast frontier and ocean above”—the sky between heaven and Texas.