Goose Creek Ice ~ Two


There’s nothing so remarkable here to someone who doesn’t know this exact spot through the seasons.

It appears to be still water reflecting the grasses on the bank of Goose Creek. But those waters are never still, and only when the little creek freezes in just a certain way–and only for a short while–does clear, smooth ice mirror without a thousand ripples scattering the light.

Sometimes you take a picture for yourself, knowing no one else will see in it what your eyes and memory bring 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. Thanks again for these little glimpses of home. In my mind’s eye I can see myself in this photo as a boy roughhousing in the hayloft or “accidentally” falling in the creek (a least that would be the story for my mom) while catching crawdads.

  2. Hi Fred,

    I don’t know if you know this, but the first place I went to in Floyd was directly to Goose Creek. That was in 1976. Everyone I knew then, lived there, so I was there all the time. Boy was that a mountain awakening! I recognize the barn across from your house….and know your house, too. Of course, many of us passed thru the Creek at some time.
    Farther up Check way I tried ice skating on the frozen creek! Now that was quite hysterical because there wasn’t a smooth square inch on that whole creek.

    Thanks for reminding me.