Winter Arrives on Goose Creek

Country Road in Winter / Digital Photo / Fred First / Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
Ann just called from work and she arrived safely, even though the roads were already getting covered with snow on her way in at 5:30 this morning. It’s getting home this afternoon that will be the greater concern.

It was hard to believe with yesterday’s blue skies that things would change so drastically. Even the US weather radar didn’t look so bad. While they still miss it with some frequency, the computer models for predicting weather a couple of days into the future are a far cry better than they used to be, and this info helped us to be prepared last night as we decided if Ann should spend the night at work (at the hospital) or would it be safe for her to wait until this morning.

Now, I’ll have to keep a close eye as this system passes, hope VDOT updates their road conditions page frequently and accurately for our out-of-the-way part of the Roanoke District, and make the call about 4 this afternoon. It’s always an embarrassment to say “you’d better stay put” based on available predictions and then have her stuck spending the night in a hospital bed when the bad weather goes north of south of us and she could have easily made it home.

This image is a grab shot a yellow labrador retriever and some unidentified woman (who will kill me for putting her picture here dressed in her winter garb) walking back toward the house. (The dog isn’t usually leashed, but we heard other dogs barking not so far away, and didn’t want to chase Tsuga up mountainsides.) Goose Creek is below the road to the right, the barn is just off the picture as the road disappears to the left.

Oh, and for your viewing pleasure on this bleak winter day, I recommend the Fragments Flickr Slide Show.

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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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