Visiting the Neighbors


Made another visit to Grayson yesterday under threat of freezing rain, and we didn’t entirely get what we went after, but so it goes.

Getting out of the car at the home we were visiting, I was struck by the radiant light from the two tractors waiting patiently in the monochrome barn. They seemed almost alive, animated cartoon machinery granting a splash of otherworldly color on the grayest of early winter days. (Click image to enlarge.)

A light, cold rain was falling. But it wasn’t freezing. And if nothing else, I’d come home with one digital memory of the day. I wiped the drops off my lens and went inside the warm farmhouse to join the conversation.

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: 3012


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Your email address will not be published.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. Ditto the above comment! It makes me smile and want to know more about it. And then, I wonder…would I want to park my shiny, red tractor in there…lest I need to dig it out from all that grayness on the ground one day? Even so, I like old barns. And your photo is a gem.

  2. I burst out laughing when the old barn and tractors came into view afteer reading the title: Visiting the Neighbors. That barn is in the worst shape of any usable barn I’ve seen! Next, I was reminded of the wrecker truck in the animated film “Cars,” which also made me smile.