Rainy Day Crazies: Averted!

Oh joy. When you’re in charge of activities for two little girls and a dog on speed you dread the prospects of being rained indoors.

Not that we would have been, completely, had the forecast continued to call for 80% chance of rain as it did earlier in the week.

We’d have taken the “creek walk” in the rain, following Nameless Creek from the house to the “Fortress of Solitude” slogging along in our creek shoes, turning rocks, building dams, getting soaked. The rain would not have mattered, really.

But a little warm sunshine will make that cold spring-fed creek feel even better. And the butterflies will be out for tormenting with too-small nets. And the minnows in the creek and the crayfish will be easier to see with some sun, when it breaks through the low morning clouds.

Later today for the first time, I’ll be installing the Gibbon’s Slack Line that Ann bought for the girls. Personally, I have my doubts how much use it will get after they get frustrated with it. I tried to make sure they don’t expect to do THESE tricks on day one. Amazing, the balance and agility and strength some young folks have. I was one of them once, but decided to leave that way of life and get old.

And later today, contingent on a good room cleaning by the girls (age 5 and 12) I’ll show them the new iPad app — Musyc— that I downloaded this morning. Has anybody played with this cool tool

Lastly, this is one of the coolest discoveries I’ve read about in a long time. What an unlikely place to find this most unlikely–and oversized–insects, thought to have been wiped out 80 years ago by rats from a wrecked ship that struck the island. Some survived.

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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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  1. Both of those videos were amazing. Both were about phenomena I had never heard about or seen before. Thanks!

  2. What a fascinating video about the walking sticks! Those were some very adventurous scientists, to climb that vertical cliff in the dark!! I’d like to point out that the melaleuca is a bush there only because it was growing in a inhospitable environment. It’s a terrible pest tree here in S. Florida, though.