Floyd County is hosting two dozen students from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia who are participating in the ApEx (Appalachian Experience) and Voluntours work-travel programs. They will be here all week, ending with a Friday night in Floyd.

During their time here they will visit/work at Plenty, Riverstone, Seven Springs, Spikenard, BRCCM and more, while housed and fed at the Floyd Ecovillage.

If you see these energetic, courteous and engaging young folks about, do extend to them a big portion of Floyd Love. I have warned them: “Floyd is a huggy place. Don’t be surprised! if you hold your hand out and a newly-met stranger throws their arms around you.”

I have three hours to spend with them this afternoon, and while I have more than enough indoor topics for discussion, I don’t see how I can resist taking them outdoors. Looks to be moist for the rest of their stay here.

Might be that the skunk cabbage is up over in the wetland adjacent to the meeting place today, and we’ll go over and see what stage they are in, as some or our very earliest emerging greenery.

I’ll also be carrying enough “scratch and sniff” materials with me to discuss the role that the senses play in “sense of place.”

Should be fun–at least for ME!

Color me perplexed: I just went hunting for a skunk cabbage photo to illustrate this blog post and the entire 2013 image folder is empty.  Somewhere along the way, I must have drug a thousand images off into deep space. Makes me sick. Ah well.

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Published by fred

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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