Greener by Degrees

Spring's first translucent yellow-greens
Spring's first translucent yellow-greens

Some Floyd friends went down-mountain, newcomers to full-time living in the mountains, recent transplants from much warmer, flatter climes. They discovered how far ahead Roanoke is compared to Floyd County in bud-and-bloom dates.

“There are leaves coming out on the trees there!” they discovered with delight–a change of seasons in a 30 mile trip.

This reminded me of how much I love the soft, translucent greens of late April, and don’t think I ever saw them more wonderfully displayed than from the top of Buffalo Mountain a few springs back.

We’ll miss a good bit of that verdant transformation, travels carrying us away for far too much of bud-and-bloom. But I’ll know fully what is happening back home, coming back to this image and memory to make it real.

Feel the warm wind on this mountain ridge that lifts the smell of green? Click the image to enlarge.

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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. Those soft, translucent greens have made their appearance in Raleigh this week, and yesterday, mr. kenju and I drove around town to see that, as well as the dogwoods and azaleas which are in full bloom here now. It’s my favorite month in Raleigh.

  2. Fred, this will be our first spring in the mountains and we’re really looking forward to it. We’re already sleeping with the balconey door open!
    Thanks for sharing all your great pics with us.