Green, Green, Green They Say

The wave of green has reached the higher peaks of the southern mountains now, the canyons and corridors of leafery having become the only view from all but a few open vistas along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Yesterday’s  performance by cooperative clouds at least offer a bit of sky character to this view from Tuggles Gap, adding white to blue and green–the color pallette of the next four months in southwest Virginia.

The source for the title of this post? Anyone?

Lyrics often come to mind when conjuring a post title because they still, for some reason, have a permanent apartment in some of my limited memory modules.

Musical memories persist, even after other long-term memory might have faded–hence the success at times of bringing a dementia patient back to themselves by playing “their music” to them.

Today’s post title is, of course for you age-enhanced fellow travelers, from the name of a song by the New Christy Minstrels–a song that peaked the charts in 1963.

The other green green song that comes to mind is less upbeat–one I used to sing and play on the guitar–the Green Green Grass of Home. I think Tom Jones brought this one on up into the top 40 in 1967.

All of this lyrical dalliance notwithstanding, it is the green green grass out the back door that will be the subject of my attention as soon as it dries of last night’s dew to attack with machinery. And I guess I know what I’ll be humming.

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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. I eagerly planned a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway 30 years ago, and was so disappointed that the portion we got on after leaving DC was almost entirely a tunnel of trees, with no vistas. Your photo has far more meadow than what I recall. We didn’t stay on it after the first day. A trip 10 years ago starting at the southern end and in early May had more vistas and I enjoyed it.

  2. Sadly, two things have happened over the past decade to officially-maintained overlooks on the parkway: 1) funding for staff and scenic maintenance have been cut to the bone, apparently, as overlooks get scant attention anymore; and 2) tree of heaven grows out of control all along the parkway, but especially where former clearings (overlooks) let in a bit more light.

    This is not to say that there are not still some stunning views from the parkway–in Floyd County between Tuggles Gap and Chateau Morrisette Winery in particular. The Rock Castle Gorge overlook near the (now unstaffed and closed?) visitors center is particularly awesome.