Valley Animals 2010

$16.95

The animals of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley are plentiful and varied. Some fly, some swim, some slither; others gallop, or trot, or ride in the back of pickup trucks. Some are wild and others domestic; some are workers while others are pets; there are prize winners and there are bandits; many of the animals are beautiful and friendly, whereas others are beautiful and dangerous.

The Valley is home to meadowlarks, condors, and ostriches; cattle, sheep, and alpacas; polo ponies and work horses; prize-winning cattle, goats, and swine; dogs and coyotes; cats and mountain lions; elands and even an elephant. Brooks Firestone, who has lived in the Santa Ynez Valley for over thirty-five years, knows the animals well. He has ranched with them, lived with them, laughed at their antics, and marveled at their beauty.

Now he has written a book about them: dozens of stories about his encounters with his animal neighbors, as well as retold tales heard from his human neighbors. These stories cover a wide range of emotional territory, from hilarious (a parade of dogs gossiping about their human companions) to heart-wrenching (prized and treasured horses lost in a tragic barn fire) to beautiful and inspired (a flock of migrant geese waking up after spending the night in a foggy meadow).

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