Rule #1

We had horses for 24 years, and among the lessons those sweet Arabians taught me were these three: 1) Fencing Is Never Done; 2) wet horse manure weighs more than dry horse manure; 3) always close the gate behind yourself.


The emphasis I placed on Rule #1 can’t be overstated—I could easily write 500 words or more on building a fence, reconsidering, rebuilding, and starting over. And that doesn’t include mending—that’s another 500 words, at least. The best thing about my so-called rules is, they can apply to more than fencing, and have.

These days, except when I remove an old section of barbed wire that’s become overgrown by weeds, my dealing with fences is symbolic—they are wonderful subjects, always appearing right when you need something in the foreground to complete a composition. And, for once, a rundown condition adds character.

I thought of Rule #1 again yesterday, and had to smile at those memories as I shot along the neighbor’s downtrodden fence line.


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