Have you ever talked to a fence post? Not a treated, fancy white four-by-four or steel post. I mean a real fence post that’s been around for a while. An old twisted cedar leg that some rancher stuck in the ground a hundred years ago or more.
I walk by them every morning on my trek up the gentle slope toward the lip of the Arkansas River Valley near Cañon City, Colorado. Most of the time I find new wire stabled to the old fellas. But occasionally I’ll spot a length of rusty devil rope hanging on.
“Who planted you here? A cattleman sick to be fencing the land, or a homesteader eager to keep the cows from his crops?”
“Was he single? Did he have a sweetheart? Did he ride by every season to check on you, see how you were holding up?”
When I bend close to the weathered creases and knots, and feel the sun peeking up over the hills, I can almost hear the creak of saddle leather and the soft riffle of grass against a horse’s lip.
But times have changed and they changed people, or maybe it was the other way around.
It doesn’t take much to imagine one of those cowboys hunting out a good cedar stand, limbing the longest leg with a sharp ax, and replanting the tree as a post. Makes me wonder if some of those cattlemen felt tamped in like the cedars, with their open range stitched into sectioned acres.
The first cowboys who drove their “Mexico” cows into the high parks of this country didn’t pack fencing tools in their saddle bags. This was open range and barbed wire had not yet been invented. However, a good man would string wire, or board off a garden plot for his missus if he had one. A missus, that is.
In my upcoming novella, The Columbine Bride, fencing plays a subtle role in the story of young widow Lucy Powell and her neighboring rancher Buck Reiter. She isn’t too happy about him riding up into the timber to snake down a long pole behind his horse. But she doesn’t mind his help when it comes to fencing off her garden.
But fences don’t keep everything out—or in—and when Buck takes a liking to Lucy and her two young’uns … well, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The Columbine Bride is the sequel to last year’s The Snowbound Bride. It releases in book 4 of The 12 Brides of Summer collection from Barbour on Sept. 1. However, a special printed collection will be at select Walmart stores July 14 in Old West Summer Brides.
Set in 1886 Colorado in the high park country above Cañon City, the tale of this hard-working couple came fairly easy to my writer’s heart.
Guess I talked to enough old cedar posts over the winter.
Leave a Comment to be entered in the drawing for The Snowbird Bride in e-book form. And look for 12 Brides of Summer in September!
Columbine Bride” releasing Sept. 1, 2015.
Pre-order buy link for The Columbine Bride
BIO: Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. Her work has finaled for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the Selah, and the Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and at writing workshops. She and her own handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue. Connect with Davalynn online at www.davalynnspencer.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavalynnSpencer