Indian Summer: Jots and Dashes

â–¶ Best we can figure, Gandy just had her first birthday. When we picked her up in mid December, she was “about” eight weeks old. It has been  six months now since the last time we threatened to take her back to the Humane Society, and I can’t imagine life here without her now.

â–¶ Leaves from the five maple trees that surround the house — and are our summer air conditioning — are almost all fallen now, and they will decay where they hit the ground. I will not be any good at all this year for raking or mulching them with my right hand out of commission. So the house looks like it slept in its clothes.

â–¶ The image is a composite of five separate images — of a favorite magnolia tree along the edge of the pasture. I also recently downloaded a magnifier app for the phone, and will be exploring details of decaying leaves at some pretty good level of magnification. I find I am able to use the phone as a camera, even while the Nikon will have to stay in the case for another month or two until my hands are equal to the task of dealing with its size and weight.

Here are some links to topics I’m currently reading and thinking about, and writing about (theoretically) in other places.

▶ Plants vs. Animals — Initial Development of Plants and Animals Is Remarkably Similar « How Plants Work

▶ A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity

▶ Great Resources You Can Use : The New Nature Movement

▶ Exploring a Sense of Place

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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 hope you are doing well with the post surgery recuperation. I hope the hand isn’t hindering the stove hand. It looks like ya’ll could be having some cool mornings about now…

    I stumbled across a book this past week that had me immediately thinking about you. You may want to check it out. Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (Southern Gateways Guides).