Thursday Shorts 10 May 07

* ~ * Good News from Melville: the 18-200mm lens is fixable (you may remember how poorly it bounced on the clinic floor two weeks ago tomorrow) and will cost me just three hours pay to fix! oh JOY! It will be back in a week

* ~ * I visited professional photographer Johnny Sundby in Rapid City last week, and I must say, his studio is most impressive as was his kindness to show me around and talk about the processes in his work, including the production of full-color books (he has at least three.) He made me aware of Four Color Imports and gave me a contact email which turned out to be the president. I was contacted by email by a rep offering to call and discuss my project, and lo and behold, at the time I had requested (yesterday morning) I had a pleasant and helpful conversation with a representative who is now working on a quote for me. Gulp. Johnny got a good price per book because he was confident of sales of 3500 to 5000. I, on the other hand…and no, I don’t begin to have the book completed even conceptually. Just something for me to be thinking about, an uncertain carrot on the very real stick that creates that wonderful tension between what is and what can be.

* ~ * So. I’m hoping for a good turnout at the winery tomorrow night, especially as I have chosen to attend that event instead of the Mt. Rogers Naturalist Rally this weekend–a gathering I first visited with my students in 1975. A scheduled field trip leader didn’t make it, and at the last minute (as participants were gathered at the steps of the old Konnarock CCC building on Saturday morning) they asked “is there anybody here who can lead the wildflower trip at Grindstone Nature Trail?” and my students vociferously volunteered me. I lead that same trip for 11 years, and once again in 2005. There are 12 field trips Saturday morning–salamanders, invasive weeds, geology, trees, mollusks and more. Sigh.

* ~ * I have several panoramas and other shots from the Badlands I’ll share starting tomorrow.

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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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