Floyd Co Deep Space: Sundog Nebula

Sundog Nebula

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It was the striking sundog (or parhelion) that sent me scrambling inside for my camera. By the time I got back out, only a much lesser one persisted but I shot it anyway.

Inside on the monitor, it’s muted colors against the dark background pointed farther out, into Hubble’s deep space view of cosmic clouds of stellar dust. I morphed the image toward that interpretation, to remind me of the small and close that speaks of the larger and more distant realities always just beyond our hurried attention.

The microcosm reflects the macrocosm. Indeed.

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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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