TOOLS TO MEET OUR NEEDS We create tools to work for us: to dig foundations, to hoist steel girders for bridges, to record our words and thoughts for others or capture a likeness of another in a silver emulsion of an early photograph. Over the course of history, need drives those who make things to meet those needs by building tools to do the work. It is just who we are–two-thumbed, bipedal, big-brained inventors who get things done. And at every turning point when …

Digital Maps to Nature Literacy Read more »

Ah yes. Now I remember. Life in the cloud. It was mysterious and eerie and the relentless fog lent a kind of drama to the aloneness that first year in Floyd County living, just me and the cat, on Walnut Knob, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I especially remember the disembodied language of a flock of Ravens roosting in the invisible trees a few hundred feet into the milky distance. This morning, it is the crows, in the same opaque beyond that ear …

Life in The Cloud Read more »

Back in December, I was offered the opportunity to contribute a “500-700 word article on Southwest Virginia’s outdoors or nature” by the Crooked Road folks. It now appears (on page 23) in the program guide for next week’s Mountains of Music regional celebration. The topic I chose (because Jane Cundiff and I had been talking about Big Trees in Floyd County) was SWVA’s known and as-yet-unrecorded Big Trees–and the Stadium Woods issue on the Va Tech campus. You can read my article; see a …

Music, Mountains and Big Trees Read more »

Mountain Lake (on Salt Pond Mountain) in Giles County, Virginia, was familiar territory once upon a time. I took five-week-long studies at the UVa Biological Station there in the summers of 1977 and 1978. I have been back a few times since, doing author tables maybe twice. The last time I was there, I think there was still a lake. Last week’s visit was sad: there is now no lake at all. Memories abolished by cataclysm, “progress” or decay are bitter sweet. I remember …

Mountain Lake(less) Read more »

Two weeks ago this morning I was in high clover–among vegetation and birdlife unlike anything around here, that’s for sure. Sarasota is another world, and on a beautiful balmy morning surrounded by herons and ibises and spoonbills and ducks and… It was really the first time I’ve been able to use the long-lens function of the camera I got only last August. So here’s a gallery of images in a slide show. Or click them individually at the gallery link here.  [su_frame][/su_frame]