Creek Notes: 2 February

Tsuga of Goose Creek
Image by fred1st via Flickr

☼ This Friday from 6 to 8 across from the Floyd Country Store: come to the Artisan’s Center in The Station and say hello. Hang around for as much of the running image show (on my laptop, the place is too small for a bigger display) as you’d care to. The whole series of 100 images is about 15 minutes. I’ll be signing books AND also have the last of my stock of photographic note cards available. Do come keep me company for a bit, won’t you? This is very informal–a drop-in kind of event.

☼  Cancer-sniffing dogs: Labrador retrievers (no surprise there) have an incredibly discerning sense of smell. This story describes how, with the appropriate rewards, a black lab can be trained with 98% accuracy to detect colorectal cancer. You can imagine the examination process I automatically imagined, and wondered if dog-to-dog greetings I’d witnessed over the years were actually medical exams. But no, at least in this case, they examine human breath samples.

☼  Vulnerability. We can’t do it. We must do it. I highly recommend you spend 18 minutes and listen to this TED talk by Brene Brown. Our mental and relational health could benefit from knowing when, how and why to be vulnerable. I struggle with this just about every day in considering what to share on this blog. What are your vulnerability issues?

☼  Yasi is the name of yet another “catastrophic” natural event. Interesting how, over the past few days, this terminology has entered the meteorological lexicon. It is what comes next after SEVERE. The ice storm in the mid-west was deemed catastrophic. “Monster cyclone” Yasi, now approaching Australia, bless their beleaguered hearts, is increasing beyond a category five cyclone. Get used to the word CATASTROPHIC in regard to future weather, folks. Yasi looks every bit as bad as Katrina–and possibly much worse.

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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. Sorry I won’t be able to drop in at your event, the twelve hundred mile journey seems a bit much.

    You are correct. Catastophic will become a regular part of weather vocabulary. And that is not a good thing. Hang on to your hat! Here we go!