A Most Pleasant Lane


I’d traveled 30 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway coming the long way back from a meeting in Roanoke last week and I was looking for autumn images. I headed home empty-handed and disappointed, what with the brooding sky, low haze and cold wind.

As I neared the house, the sun broke through. Less than a half mile from home, here was a scene worth stopping for–the ordinary getting its new look for fall.

I’ve always thought this was the most picturesque stretch of our two miles of single lane road between the house and the hardtop. Off to the left, a notch in the ridge lets the morning light come streaming through. The creek–such as the summer’s drought has left it–meanders along among the stones below the road. There was a time not all that long ago the creek bed WAS the road up this narrow canyon.

This setting is where I had my “driveway moment” a month ago watching the grackles congregate to bathe; you can see in the image for that post the way the morning light looks from the left just where the road crests in this picture.

I have a few more very-nearby recently-snapped views I’d like to show you this week. After all, there’s no place like home.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. After sitting in Cincinnati rush hour traffic this morning I want to move in with you after seeing this photo! You are blessed! And thank you for an informative and entertaining blog. It keeps my day in perspective.

  2. What can I say? Once again one of your gorgeous photos has brought back pleasant memories and tugged at my heartstrings.