Barbed wire twined vine-like and rusted red as wine pulls taut on an aged fence post.
Remote settlements of patchy yellow moss build slow as years on the north side of the graying posts, while spring flowers sprout like fresh ideas in the lush background.
Barbs red as a point of blood on a pricked finger recall land sealed part and parcel by steady pastoral violence. A painful sting pierces the mind’s rustic hide, spilling memories like viscera of species, people and treaties annihilated. For what but range land? Which also was replaced all too soon by black bobbing horseheads, hissing gas wells and highways dangerous enough to ensure a tradition of death on sprawling prairie.
Our roaming photographer captured this image at a ranch in Stony, which is located just a stone’s throw from the eastern Wise County line. The contrast of old and new creates the nostalgia we always look for but never quite find in a land-mine riddled past perfect.