Friday Shorts ~ 16 Nov 07


Seasons Greetings: High today in the 30s. This may mark the beginning of the 24/7 woodstove fire that will run from now until the January thaw, and beyond that until mid-March. I have enough wood laid by for the season, but barely a start on next year’s supply. I’m going to have to concede and buy the stuff someday. Even so, I’m glad we live where our fuel grows on trees.

Playing Possum: The dog headed straight for the branch just beyond the lilac out the back door, and in the dark, found, chomped and (Ann thought) killed a medium size possum before we had gone 20 feet on our last walk of the evening. Stay behind and put the carcass in the bed of the truck where Tsuga won’t find and eat it, she said. He’s not dead, I said. But I am an obedient husband (some would argue this point) and as she and the dog went ahead, I lifted the corpse by the fat-rat-tail to dispose of him. Yep. T’weren’t dead a’tall. Just playin’ possum. Had he struggled, the dog wouldn’t have stopped until Mr. O. Possum was subdued. He wiggled free of my hand and I was happy to let him go.

Bridge to Understanding: Did you see this? Anti-Bush is anti-American? What th’….

On the Grid: Does your electricity come from mountaintop coal removal practices? Check here and see.

Globesity: Paradox–that the previously malnourished are at increased risk to rush toward overnourished. It is a world-wide problem: fat people in starving nations of the developing world.

Image: from November 2005, my young photog friend Jonathan Kingston braces against a stiff gale for one last sunset shot from Buffalo Mountain. And I want to tell you: the Buffalo and all of the county has been a windy place the past couple of days. I could barely walk against it yesterday in downtown Floyd.

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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. I played competitive bridge for over 30 years and while every anti-Bush act lights up my life, this was not the place for politics. I know all of these ladies and agree they did it in the spirit of levity. Disagreeing with our president is not un-American but an opinion of our leadership. But this event is comparable to the Olympics and the last thing we want is to make it political. They should be reminded of this but they should not be sanctioned.

  2. the wind has been howling here, too. kept me up last night.

    i love what ilovemountains is doing with the google earth and connecting people from all over the US to MTR. the nation needs to know that we all are part of it.

  3. The possum face is a nasty one with sharp teeth (like the rabbit in Monte Python). You are braver than I.

    What would you have done if it were a racoon?


  4. Starting a war when there’s no imminent threat to this country is un-American. Torturing people under any circumstances is un-American, too. We’ve become hated around the world. I don’t blame the Bridge ladies, I’d have done the same thing.

    Yes I like what I love Mountains did last week. They sent info about my local electric companies, there are 2 of them, and they are both involved in mountain top removal. I emailed both with my comment and I also sent them some info from Hope they liked it.