Creature Feature Et Cetera

Sorry I was too lazy/busy this morning to crop this image as I should have. It depicts a true act of friendship–that my buddy would lend a hand as a platform for display of this lovely Rhinoceros Beetle we came upon in downtown Floyd last week.

And that, my friends, is about as focused as I can be today. Too much else going on. Following on the heels of…

…yesterday’s trip to Draper Merchantile for the Wayne Henderson performance and a great meal. Thanks to Liza Field for helping to pull this together. It was good to see familiar faces from our former Presby Church in Blacksburg, from our once-upon-a-time lives in Wytheville, and from the NRV Land Trust–whose fall celebration is coming up this coming Sunday.

And BTW, my books are now for sale at the Mercantile, as the folks there were very accommodating, even with the large crowd on hand last night. It was a good experience to be there–and to get there. Driving over with friends, we met at Riner and took the back way along Lead Mines and Lowman’s Ferry bridge, avoiding the interstate entirely.

And on a completely different note–and yet another bad-dream-inducing sea story: take a look at the 10 foot long Bobbitt worm (a polychaete named after Lorena, who some of you–especially maybe the guys–will remember.) This creature is truly remarkable in the predatory jaws area, and even given all my early focus on invertebrates, I’d never even heard of it.

You can bet this creature has inspired more than one science fiction other-worldly predator. Watch the movie, see if you agree.

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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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