The bluegill darted away from the bank and swam to the edge of the moon-bright shallows and vanished into the deep water through a dark seam.
—from “A Lovely Simplicity"
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Reading this book makes you feel like something has happened to you that is real and palpable.
Yonder is a gathering of tales drawn from the author's many seasons afield and astream. In these pages, we follow bird dogs through October's colors, fish for bluegill and brook trout, watch a red fox trick a pack of trailing hounds on a snowy morning, and discover spent shotgun shells "reloaded" with notes from the author's father. Here, too, we are introduced to cherished friends and family, beloved hunting dogs and wild birds, "russet dreams" and the "bright, liquid colors of sunfish," and to a friend in woodcock country who plays hand-painted saws with a violin bow. Yonder. It is, as Merrill Gilfillan tells us, "A book to keep near at hand."
Tales from an Outdoor Life
By Ron Ellis
Foreword by Robert DeMott
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PRAISE FOR YONDER
Yonder is a lovely book. Going from one chapter to another is like turning a diamond and experiencing a dozen facets — in this case each different but reflecting part of the same love for life and the outdoors and the specifics of each. All is patient and thoughtful in the writing.
It has been said that all art is selectivity. We can always count on Ron Ellis to pick the one specific detail that best conveys his journey through the natural world and the fabric of time. It is this attention to the moment that makes his work timeless. I've been waiting a long time for Yonder. The wait has been well worth it.
As a child I often listened to my father's bedtime stories, unrehearsed stories that usually moved easily through a congenial outdoor setting and ended in a warm sense of peace and gratitude. Ron Ellis's stories in Yonder invoke the same feeling . . . these tales, at once both nostalgic and clear-eyed, leave us with the rich, ripe "gift of remembered light," as the author puts it. A book to keep near at hand, at the bedside.
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By Ron Ellis
Foreword by Rick Bass
Preface by Nick Lyons
The taking of the gear from the trunk was done with a great deal of ceremony. Dad poured himself another cup of coffee from the thermos, lit a cigarette, then stood quietly for a few moments just studying the darkness and listening. Though I was close by, I suspect he was, during those brief moments, very much alone with his memories and with familiar sounds and voices I could not hear.
—from Cogan’s Woods
PRAISE FOR COGAN'S WOODS
The act of remembering is above all a celebration of cherished things—friendship and family, storytelling and nature, the physical senses, and the beauty of permanence existing right next to stunning impermanency. The brevity of such things in any individual’s life is all the more reason for noticing them, and celebrating them, as Ellis has done here so well.
Cogan’s Woods is a wonderfully textured portrait of a father and son discovering each other and the deep forest in which they hunt. It makes me think of Harry Middleton, though Ellis’s voice is new and richly his own.
With Cogan’s Woods, Kentuckian Ron Ellis has added a superb volume of prose to our permanent literature. Not many books I see do that. . . Cogan’s Woods is as well-seasoned a literary debut as I can recall reading.
Of Woods & Waters
A Kentucky Outdoors Reader
Edited by Ron Ellis
Foreword by Nick Lyons
Brushes with Nature
The Art of Ron Van Gilder
Text by Ron Ellis
Foreword by Ron Schara
In That Sweet Country
of Harry Middleton
Selected and Introduced
by Ron Ellis
PRAISE FOR OF WOODS & WATERS
This is as good a volume of hunting, fishing, and nature writing as I've seen. It gathers over a century of fine writing about the central Appalachian landscape from John James Audubon's day to the present.
—Christopher Camuto, Gray’s Sporting Journal
A superb collection. Ellis has covered an extraordinary swath of ground with this collection, the first that I know of to so thoroughly plow through the state's deep outdoor roots.