Pattern Recognition: Shapes in the Snow

IMG_2093snowHillocks580There are still some things about water I do not understand. I see puzzles in the creek ice and in the shapes and textures and patterns of snowfall as it ages. 

There are some who have nightmares about ice. Like these people who had thousands of tons of ice shards move like a living thing to overwhelm their houses.

This is not a great picture since there is not really a subject for the eyes to rest on. But if I live long enough, I will have a pretty sizable gallery of unexplained patterns, forms and shapes in the natural world, each a puzzle unsolved–for now–and I’m okay with a certain amount of pleasant unknowing in my life.

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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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