Magpie Rising: Sketches from the Great Plains
The rolling, billowing, delicate landscape of Nebraska?s Sandhills; the tombstone of Billy the Kid?stolen so often that it must be caged and shackled?in Fort Sumner, New Mexico; an intercontinental ballistic missile trundling down a highway under heavy guard in Weld County, Colorado; cottonwoods and cranes, faded hotels and abandoned trailers painted aqua and purple; the ghosts of Pawnees, Cheyennes, and Kiowas and generations of settlers whose descendants now grouse in a cafä in Heimdahl, North Dakota, or roar off to a bikers convention in Sturgis, South Dakota. These are some of the things that catch Merrill Gilfillan?s eye and ear in this radiant collection of essays. ø Written with a poetic economy that often attains grandeur, Magpie Rising is an exhilarating tour of the Great Plains?its geography, wildlife, history, mythology, and food, its vast spaces and weirdly synchronous time. This is nature writing at its most evocative and insightful.
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Arikara Baird's Baird's sparrow beef birds Black Hills bluestem bottomlands butte cafe camp cattle Century Cherry County Cheyenne Chinese elms Cimarron Circle coffee Colorado Comanches corn cottonwoods Creek cross culture dozen drift drive drop drove early earth east edge flock Fort Sumner George Dickel grass grasslands half Hamlets hang head herd High Plains highway horse hour human Joads John Clare kingbirds Kiowas Kiowas and Comanches landscape Llano Lone Wolf look Loup Loup River miles Milk River Missouri tribes Montana morning mountain Mouse's Road moving names Nebraska night North Dakota Oklahoma Pawnee Pecos pickup Platte ranch sage sagebrush sand Sandhills somewhere song Souris space sparrow stands stars street summer Texas Texas panhandle things town trees tribes truck upper Missouri valley village walk watching west Kansas wind Wyoming yards yellow