So I had this notion a month or so back that my experience as teacher, speaker, field trip leader and engaged citizen would mesh nicely before small groups of folks who come to Floyd County lacking any depth to our natural or human communities here. Well, you know about plans. Mr Murphy is always ready to give us a ground in The Way Things Are. If you plan something so well that nothing can go wrong, something will. Before you can do what it …

Traveling Hopefully Read more »

If you drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in late May and early June, you’ll be missing the forest for the trees if you don’t stop your car, get out, and walk along the forest edge. You’ll see, hear, smell or otherwise learn something just about anywhere you do this. Walking speed allows our senses to work for us. Even the parkway’s slower-than-usual 45 mph is nowhere near slow enough for full comprehension of the full nature of any place along its 450 mile …

Black and White: Mt Laurel Read more »

No, not that kind. I’m not one for those kind of games. This is just a quick Saturday morning note to let you know that the Photo Note Cards are on the shelves at… [su_highlight background=”#c8cfe2″ color=”#191f5a”]▶ The Floyd Country Store in downtown Floyd. ▶ Chateau Morrisette Winery Tasting Room Store[/su_highlight] With regard to the latter, I was to provide five packs of each of the five sets to the Winery store yesterday.  I could have taken them jumbled in an empty cardboard box. Instead, I packaged …

Showing Your Cards Read more »

The wave of green has reached the higher peaks of the southern mountains now, the canyons and corridors of leafery having become the only view from all but a few open vistas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yesterday’s  performance by cooperative clouds at least offer a bit of sky character to this view from Tuggles Gap, adding white to blue and green–the color pallette of the next four months in southwest Virginia. The source for the title of this post? Anyone? Lyrics often come to …

Green, Green, Green They Say Read more »

I have been feeling the pain these past few well-below-freezing April mornings knowing what our local vegetable farmers are suffering at the hand of winter that won’t give it up. Thousands of tender sets and sprouts in long rows, the results of hours of back-bending work and tedium, lay limp and lifeless in the cold soil this morning–AGAIN. Native plants have evolved in place and are more-or-less adapted to late frosts and freezes. Our food crops, OTOH, are bred for color or firmness of …

Frozen Peas: Thousands Die Young Read more »