Room. With a View

Another winter, warm

I’m much more a spectator than a participant in winter any more. Since our kids have fledged and our inner children have grown cautious and perhaps unnecessarily averse to extremes of thermometer or muscular exertion, there are no snow forts or sledding, no snow cream or snow angels.

But at least we live in such a place that we are the first to walk the pasture while snow falls on an unblemished sheet of white, and the next day, find the burrows of rodents, the leaping imprint of rabbits, the hand-sized peace-sign three parted Y of turkey tracks, just outside our windows.

But today, in January, we’re happy to be in from the wind, not far from the wood stove, with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine and a good book. We’re happy to watch winter pass from inside the glass, through which we will search for the first reddening of the maple buds high on the ridge to tell us we can emerge soon from hibernation and say hello to green again.

Click the image for a little gallery of winter images, a few you’ve seen, a few you haven’t.

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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. Having retired, or more accurately, having given up my job because of the unbearable pain in my elbows from the arthritis, I spend a lot of time in my “office”.
    About half the time, the blinds are open for the view out the back window. The “white” is either accumulating or diminishing, but always there. If it weren’t for the Knotty Pines that semi surround the house, this would be a bleak place, indeed.
    I’ve been an outside kind of person all my life and not accustomed to nursing cabin fever, that incurable ailment that I suffer from, not being able to go outside and “play”.
    It get’s to the point, eventually, that I dress in heavy clothing just to escape this self imposed prison camp for a short while. Walk the dog, take my pistol up to my range for a few shots, drive to the Post Office, anything that provides a break in the monotony.
    Oh, Miss May, that beautiful month that brings to me that wonderful color of Earth in it’s fullness, wherefore art thou? Have you forsaken me? Bring to me your blessings and restore my heart!

  2. The 5 photos were beautiful, Fred. But that “Minus” site didn’t work well for me. To switch from one photo to the next, you are to click on a small image, I presume. On my screen, however, the small image is a small blur that can’t be identified for what it must be. Therefore, it took me awhile to guess how to see the images.