John and Robbin Dofflemyer offer photographs and poetry from the southern Sierra Nevada foothills of California, chronicling weather, wildlife and native plants as well as an evolution of their family-operated cattle ranch. We do not offer public access, but visits to the area of Dry Creek may be arranged through the Sequoia Riverlands Trust, our neighbors immediately upstream and downstream of the ranch.
To learn more about John and Robbin, please visit http://drycrikjournal.wordpress.com/
We raise beef cattle on Dry Creek, a tributary of the Kaweah River in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills of California, about 30 miles east of Visalia. The fifth generation to harvest grass in Tulare County, John was invited to perform at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1989, at a time when the genre was primarily an oral tradition. He began publishing the Dry Crik Review in 1990 as a format for contemporary poetry from rural and livestock cultures. His work can be found in small press lit mags, anthologies, and chapbooks published under the Dry Crik Press imprint. His Poems from Dry Creek, published by Starhaven, received the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for the “2008 Outstanding Poetry Book”.
Robbin has been photographing various aspects of the Dry Creek landscape, livestock and ranch work since the inception of Dry Crik Journal in 2005, sponsored by the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada.
No telling how the Sierras leak
along the granite cracks and fissures
over ranges and across canyons
to make a seep and fill a trough
for all nearby – button willow, buckeye.
Along as many imperfections as
cracked glass, cobwebbed beneath
this thin coat of clay cut by seams
of shale. Old timers claimed it took
a year for snow to recharge springs
gone dry, a slowing leak downhill
in droughts. Some move around,
pool up or down canyon with the shifting
of the fractured while others become camp
sites, wild tracks in mud, gossip rocks
carved with stone, places with names
for centuries, stories come and gone
where cattle drink, make their homes.
- John Dofflemyer