Long Shots: Creatures from Afar

Okay. Two really bad pix this morning but it’s all I got.

IMG_6371FeatherFromSpaceFirst, I wanted both of you who might be interested to know that The Google has made significant improvements in the quality of images it will show you in satellite view on Google Maps or from Google Earth.

Read more about that here.

The (iPhone screenshot) image above shows (look closely) our white-ish perpetual-visitor neighbor-dog Feather rounding the bend of the pasture road. Our hay was mowed a month ago. So this is recent and the detail is much sharper than before.

Google Earth maps I don’t think are ALL new and improved (in both color, sharpness and absence of cloud cover) but where you do have the new shots, the detail is stunning.

I toured Glacier National Park a few days ago and especially dropping down and looking from a few thousand feet with a side-looking (vs a straight-above) view, the medium is immersive. I dreamed about the possibility of this kind of tool thirty years ago, and whaddaya know! I lived to see it happen, and for free.


And don’t tell Doug Thompson about my pathetic bear picture.

I grabbed this one with the phone the other day. Ann was cutting the grass on this side of the creek when she looked up and saw this very large lumbering bear slowly making its way across the pasture.

The bear is the black splotch. I hate saying that but it’s the shoot-from-the-hip best I could do.

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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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