I have to admit that, so far–with the disturbing exception of our very local ongoing drought–it has been a benign summer. We can even cut grass and string trim and do other puttering in the middle of the day, off and on during a week, so are less cabin-bound by the heat than we’ve been in hotter late Junes past.

The days are long and start in the mornings–my usual web-perusal and writing space. So I’m more often outdoors at the hour I used to be parked in my chair. Consequently, I’m back down to my fighting weight and can get into khakis I thought last winter were going to have to go to a trimmer man.

down2earthFlyer300I’ve been busy also lately with this notion of providing a kind of teaching that seems compatible with my skill set, experience and passion. I write a good bit about sense of place, about appreciating the “wheres” of our lives. Maybe I can convey in some small measure that kind of personal orientation for guests to Floyd County.

And so Down2Earth Micro-Tours seems to be about to go live. Out of this engagement–a kind of eco-infotainment for visiting guests–may come a better personal fix on the lay of this particular land: its history, its personality and stories, on its sidewalks and on its mountain paths.

NOTE: it does not become officially sumsumsummertime until we take the first bite of our first home-grown tomato. Looks like that will be another couple of weeks down here in the canyon. We are importing additional truckloads of sunshine from up top to speed things along.

Now if it would just rain.

IMAGE CAPTION: At a recent summertime gathering of a largish group of humanity of very mixed ages, a young boy found a kayak on the bank of the pond. I was there with him that moment his paddle lifted from the fish-smelling water,  as he revelled in the relative serenity of that open space while so many danced and cavorted in a wild rumpus on shore.

Share this with your friends!

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.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Gorgeous photo, Fred! How come mine didn’t turn out like that?! BTW, up here on our mountaintop in Willis, it’s rained a little almost everyday. I hope you get some of it soon! Our grapes and flowers have done SO well this year. As for your fighting weight…you ARE looking good, but then we all do in Floyd! 😉

  2. It always makes a hike so much richer to know the names of the trees, flowers, medicinal plants, etc., and the back stories of places. John Luckton, a friend of mine, does ghost tours in Lewisburg, WV which are popular. One of my ancestors lived and died in Floyd County (which in a search for info on him is how I happened onto Fragments From Floyd)…Soloman Washington born about 1796 and his wife Ann “Nancy” Prillaman, granddaughter of Jacob Prillaman. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and passed around 1878.

  3. Beautiful action shot, Fred! The low sunlight (late afternoon?) is so good. Best wishes with your new venture. Your flyer looks great!