I find myself these past few days hungry for any diversion that lets me leave “this mortal coil” and pretend to be some place and some time other than the one Fate or Providence has provided. And this jumping spider, when he moved briskly from the upper right corner of the window as a pulled down the top sash, was a convenient companion. He greets me every morning now for a month. I had no idea they lived so long or were so territorial. Thanks, Spidey, for the chat. I needed that.
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.