Creek Jots ~ 2009-12-07

Morning sun finds snow in the tops of the tallest pines
Morning sun finds snow in the tops of the tallest pines

☼ For those of you with ties to or interest in Floyd County or the southern mountain culture and those who have lived it long and well, watch for This Pleasant Land: a Blue Ridge History. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but when I read Max Thomas’ writing in the book, I’ll hear his voice. Max was our 90-plus neighbor and friend when we lived out on Walnut Knob. His daughter, Jean Schaeffer has compiled Max’s stories and nuggets of wisdom  in this book (I’ve met few wise men in this life, Max was one of them) and they are just now available for purchase. You can see more details at Harvestwood Press. This would make a great Christmas gift!

☼ Chicken Avalanche ~ You’ve had them: the Dope Slap “what were we thinking” moments. We had one this morning. What happens when all the snow on the barn roof slides off? It’s never been an issue before. But then, we’ve never had chickens trapped in a pen against the side of the barn at risk of being crushed by a localized snow-and-ice slide. I’m liking chicken ranching in winter less and less. Blanche, Rhoda and the rest–you would be nice and toasty in the Crock Pot. Never happen.

☼ Dog Gone ~ It seemed to us like a simple game of toss the Dog Toy. But let me tell you, my friends (shudder–made me think of John McCain), the dog is a duplicitous beast, and I have no doubt, when suddenly he altered his usual east-west back and forth running path to north-south, he had in mind that on his next loop, he wouldn’t stop. He didn’t. We followed him north (as he followed a scent, no doubt) up the slushy, steep, snow-bent pine-blocked hillside behind the house. I’d have let him find his way home eventually. But she is not deterred by threat of bodily harm when it comes to her kids or her dog.

☼ Video Learning Curve ~ The Droid does much better saving videos to disk than shipping directly to QIK. Here are two 30 second clips (because I haven’t gotten around yet to changing that option) uploaded to YouTube. Goose Creek journey home Part One ~ Part Two pot holes and all.

☼ I have received six calendar order forms from the 30 who expressed an interest. I am told the calendars are on their way, and I will go over to Christiansburg to pick them up as soon as they arrive. My hope is to mail them off this weekend, so those of you who send the forms with payment should have them first of next week, in time to get them off to their recipients. Here’s the link to download the form (which also includes books!)

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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. With snow like that this early in the season, I wonder what the future brings? What did the yellow jackets and the wooly bears tell you this year?