image copyright Fred First

Here’s what the HWA (Hemlock Wooly Adelgid) is doing to our forest. Have you noticed?

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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. Oh, yes, everytime I’m out in western NC, I see more of the effects.

    First the elms, then the chestnuts, more recently the southern pine beetle explosion, and now this!!!

  2. The best way to kill a cocktail party conversation that I know is to discuss the waves of pests and pathogens that are ravaging or are poised to ravage our woodlands. Emerald Ash Borer, Sudden Oak Death, Asian Longhorn Beetle, and soon one gets the impression that all that will remain are hickories – I’ve not heard of anything that devastates them – and invasives.