On another occasion, Meinzer surprised Benjamin townsfolk by landing a single-engine airplane on the Knox County village's main street and taxiing it through town.
Such hijinks aside, he worked hard to perfect his craft, adding humans to his roster of subjects.
In North Texas he found denizens of a bar who competed at swatting flies, the least successful swatter buying the drinks. In East Texas, he discovered raccoon hunters and an old man who festooned his house with squirrel tails to ward off evil spells. In 1995, Meinzer published a book of photos on the 6666 Ranch, a producer of quarterhorses and black Angus cattle in Guthrie.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife, he crisscrossed Texas to chronicle its "vanishing heritage."
"From the prairies to the mountains, rivers to sky, in a two-month span I photographed in each corner of the state," he says. With John Graves, the famed author of "Goodbye to a River," the story of the naturalist's canoe trip down the imperiled Brazos River, Meinzer chronicled six Texas waterways and the people whose lives were reliant on them. For that project he shot 20,000 images.
From boyhood, Meinzer has been struck by the uniqueness of his West Texas home.
Memories of those times flow nonstop as he leads visitors on a pickup tour of the 27,000-acre ranch where he grew up. He points to rattlesnake dens and muses over a sun-bleached cow skull. "It just screams 'ragged land and hard times.'?"
Then, gliding to a stop on the sheer bluffs overlooking the Brazos, he remembers how the quicksand-filled, nearly dry river mesmerized him as a boy.
"At night I would lay awake — the windows would be open and the curtains blowing — and listen to the sounds of that river after a rain," he says. "That river would be roaring. The old Germans around here would call it the 'roaring lion.'?"
Meinzer steps from the truck as the river glistens to the horizon in the morning sun.
"You come out here on a fall morning with the fog and the sun is just coming up on that far end of the river," he says, drawing a deep breath. "Ooooh boy!"
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com