You Wanna Piece of Me?

I was not thrilled with the duty of a trip to town to gather supplies for an afternoon picnic up the valley, but the drive to town at least offered several photo-ops.

This snapping turtle stared me down as I started up the last hill before the hard top.

He impressed me as an ancient warrior–a Goth perhaps–in a coat of mail, shield permanently in place to protect him from behind.

I am sure that when I drove off, he returned to the upright position, retrieved his sword from the side of the road, and continued on his quest for adventure and romance.

Or maybe I’m just a permanent victim of a long history of Gary Larsen exposure.

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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. That chain mail armor looks strong, flexible, and very effective. I love all the wrinkles in it. Great photo, Fred. Thanks.