Tracks in the Sand is a collection of essays that maps the contours of a layered life. Outdoorsman and cattle farmer H. Turney McKnight writes about the natural world with the grace of a poet and the ease of a seasoned storyteller. From rivers in the Russian Arctic and Chesapeake Bay to the mountains of Idaho, McKnight leads readers across the varied landscape of his experiences. In language sometimes as rippled and salty as the mid-Atlantic coastal marshes he writes about, McKnight punctuates his prose with equal parts humor and wit, reverence and humility. He recounts adventures (and misadventures) on high mountain slopes and sea-level streams, fond memories of polo and pond hockey, the perennial delight of the calving season on his Harford County farm, and a culinary misstep with a snapping turtle. Whether toting rod, gun, or binoculars, McKnight's experiences have been shaped by ceaseless wonderment of the natural world, the study of which comes through in his writing. Written in the tradition of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, the resulting collection memorializes the author's bottomless gratitude for the people, animals, and places woven into its pages.
Believable characters, lively and contemporary dialogue, and fast-moving story lines quickly draw 8- to 12-year-old readers into the first book of the Ally O'Connor Adventure Series. Summer vacation brings Ally and four friends to North Carolina's Outer Banks. The kids have heard stories about the wild mustangs living on the island and would do almost anything to catch a glimpse of the majestic animals. While following tracks in the sand, Ally and Nick, both fourteen, accidentally uncover a cruel plot to kill the mustangs. Their determination to protect the horses leads to excitement as a mystery unfolds. Who are those two dirty men following the horses? Why is one of them carrying a rifle? Finding themselves in grave danger, Ally and her friends learn to depend on God and each other for help.