The Woods Are Watching

Just a word of warning if you’re on the trails in the Seneca Rocks area: they are watching–mostly from a distance, but this one brazen-branchy bad-boy was waiting right next to the trail to scare unsuspecting hikers by suddenly opening his eyes and throwing wide his tangled talons.

My hiking companion did not hear it, but I am certain the Monongahela Monster spoke my name. It may speak yours. Beware!

Trail Root Monster

Friday ravings of a pareidoliac. Enjoy your weekend.


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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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