In this stunning photographic tribute to one of Texas’ most intriguing and perhaps least understood rivers, Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches takes readers on a unique adventure along, and sometimes into, the wild and murky waters of the Neches River.
The Neches flows through the heart of East Texas, past primordial bottomland forests, timber and oil industries, and elusive denizens—humans, alligators, bobcats, and herons. Although the river and its watershed have inspired authors, artists, and photographers, it can also seem impenetrable, intimidating, or just plain unsightly to outsiders.
Spending many days canoeing the river and nights camping on the banks, Charles Kruvand was drawn to the complicated allure of the Neches river and woods. Once common across the southeastern United States, the Neches bottomland forests exemplify an ecosystem that has almost passed out of existence.
Thad Sitton, an East Texas native and noted historian, opens the book with an introduction to the historical, cultural, and ecological significance of the Neches River. He takes readers through time from early Native American inhabitants to Spanish and Anglo settlers to present-day East Texans. He also describes the environmental battles fought over preserving parts of the river woodlands surrounding the waterway and wildlife that have depended on the river for sustenance.
Through beautiful photographs and stirring recollections of his trip along the river, Charles Kruvand weaves a rare portrait of one of the last wild rivers in Texas.