Creek Jots ~ Early November

Somber But Showy:October

â–¶ Made a visit yesterday (for reasons I shan’t explain) to Eagle Rock north of Daleville on the James River. (Image or two coming soon.)

Noting the riverine location as I scouted the destination before we traveled, I remembered that the James was the starting point for the imagined James to Kanawha system of canals envisioned by movers and shakers as early as George Washington.

Turns out the actual project was finally abandoned after the railroad system became a more efficient competitor. Eagle Rock was the site of the westernmost lock on that incomplete project that would have connected the Atlantic coast near Richmond to the Mississippi drainage. That’s quite an undertaking for lots of men with shovels.

â–¶ URGENT! I need somebody who is LADDER_COMPETENT to clean our gutters before the rain already backed up against the guttered leaves turns into a solid twenty foot cylinder of ice until March. ANY suggestions of someone within an hour’s drive of Copper Hill / Check / Terry’s Fork in Floyd County will be appreciated! Leave ideas in comments, email or call.

â–¶ I am happier with the Panasonic Lumix LX7 camera I purchased a few months ago, now that I can actually use the RAW (RW2) images it is capable of taking. I am now using LightZone for this purpose, and finding uses for it in rendering Nikon RAW and jpg files as well. It has some neat features, is free and works on all platforms.

â–¶ I have added some ads to the sidebars, and am happy to tell you that my ad income balance now stands at $0.01. I have not monetized my lassitude and procrastination, and the guilt is gone! A site redesign may be in the offing, to better serve you both, dear readers!

â–¶ Aldo Leopold once said that “one of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” I get to share my eco-loneliness Saturday night with some of you at the Floyd Country Store’s showing of Fierce Green Fire. Details coming soon.

â–¶ Our neighbor saw a female black bear with three cubs just outside his back door the other day. The species is alive and well on Goose Creek. And the “brown bear” is NOT just another name for the black and we will never, ever see a brown bear here. Thank goodness (they get upwards of 1000 pounds or more.) So I win that argument.

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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. A friend just outside of Asheville sees a black bear regularly at her home, and has named him Sparky. She and Sparky have an ongoing argument about who owns the bird feeders.

    I hope you can find someone to do your gutters. Maybe it is time to consider gutter guards so it isn’t much of an issue in the future.

    From what I hear, ads on blogs do not return much revenue for the trouble. But one friend is selling his b/w photos on his blog now, and doing quite well. Your photos are so terrific – you might do well at that. I would be more than happy to try and push people toward you…..LOL