Creek Jots Mid-September 2012

â–¶ Anticipating the need to talk more to my computer (yes, it’s true, I don’t get out much) I purchased the upgrade to Dragon Dictate, available on Sept 13. It is Sept 13. It is not available. But that’s another kettle of fish. I’ll have a few weeks to make friends with the new Dragon before my hand surgery on October 11. Some of you will remember that this has happened before, and good news is, after this, there will be no additional thumbs to repair.

â–¶ I’m pleased that my second book, What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader, is being used as “required reading” for two sections of Freshman seminar at Ferrum College not many crow-miles from here. I look forward to speaking to these classes on October 8, though as yet, I don’t know what is planned or expected from me, but will learn about this soon.

â–¶ The pasture is finally mowed, though it took five months from the first call to the last bale. Most folks who put up hay do it in their “spare” time, after their real jobs (if they’re lucky enough to have one), between summer thunderstorms, with equipment that is held together with duct tape. I’m just glad to be able to see the ground again before winter. [I just duct taped my favorite pair of work shoes to eek out another year of wear, Social Security being the mother of all invention.]

â–¶ Plan to have breakfast at the Floyd Community Market (the second and last of the season) on Saturday, September 22. If you’ve been before, you know what a great meal and great time that is–same buckwheat pancakes, Red Rooster coffee, locally-grown sausage, and all the regular toppings and personalities, plus live music. Come early (opens at 830) and stay late.

CAPTION: Yes, the image is weird. I used an app called SlowShutter on the iPhone, set at 1 second, hand-held. Sometimes blur can be used creatively. Not by me, maybe. This one (you can see it best at larger image size) looks to me like “running fast through a tropical forest.” The red is ripe spicebush berries. For giggles, click this link to view this and a few other recent images at–a neat and certainly useful way to present all sorts of stuff. I plan to create a “resources” via and provide the link to participants at a couple of upcoming speaking events. [You can zoom in and out to change image size once on the “mural.”]

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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. says my “browser is not supported,” although my husband says I have the latest version of Chrome.
    Have a good time Oct. 8 with the students who are using your book!