Fading Light of Fall

We take a few hikes nearby each year just to prove we are not dead yet.

One is to the top of HeartAttack Hill.

The one yesterday was not as taxing to the heart, moreso to the ankles, knees and hips as the terrain is strewn with irregular rocks and boulders, now carpeted with a deep lay of obscuring leaves.

Our ankles survived, and the last of the afternoon sunlight (disappearing several hours before actual dusk) was lovely through what remains of the beech, hickory and maple leaves.

We are most fortunate to be able to find places of tranquil beauty and seclusion without getting in a car.

This will not always be the case, so all the more reason to celebrate both the place, the day and the safe hike once more.

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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. Oh, that is Beautiful!!! I may have mold again, even if I have to BRING it in and I MUST breathe only mountain air, per Dr.First. For my health you know!

  2. the leaves are a problem…put me down on a steep portion of the CC Camp trail yesterday but this morning only a bruised hand to show for it. The colors and quiet was worth it.