Fido Fiddlehead

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Dog-gone dog. Ann always insists that I take Tsuga along as a photographer’s companion.

And she’s right: the dog is wonderful help if I need a distracting patch of buff-colored fur in my otherwise muted-shadow background; if I need my legged or leafy subject crushed by a size 12 dog paw just seconds before snapping the shutter; or if I need my ears licked while lying prone, defenseless against dog tongues, holding the camera with both hands in the most awkward of positions.

Yeah. Every photographer needs one of these along.

But that was then. This is now, and I’m off for a full day seminar (the first continuing ed for this PT license period) in Roanoke: a program called Memory, Aging and Sleep. I only hope I can stay away through the most of it. And remember what I heard when I get home. Sigh. I hope they have wireless from the meeting room.

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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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