Storm Home: Flakes from Floyd Updates

Looking like twitter-like updates the best I can do for a few days so will update this post as one long-ish chronology.

2009-12-18 540PM Nightfall. Five inches on the ground, a soft powdery snow at this point, though the wx guys still talk about it being wet and downplaying the chances of major drifting. We had an ordeal getting the chickens back into their pen after snow had already obstructed their way from the barn stall where they had taken up residence. I angled an old piece of plywood up against their house to keep snow from piling up so deep we couldn’t even get their door open. Tomorrow promises to be VERY interesting. I’ve never seen VDOT road conditions THIS BAD.

2009-12-18 143PM Ann was able to get off at noon, is home helping with the storm prep chores. First flakes falling at 1:20, tiny flakes out of the north, not the main surge yet. Minor matter, relatively speaking: truck battery is dead because I didn’t turn off the lights, spoiled by the Subarus, so it will be hidden (and soon snow covered) behind the barn for some weeks until I can get a jump-off. Wood (4-5 days worth) is now under cover on the side porch.

2009-12-18 814AM Shaky. Enough breakfast to web-browse and write, not enough to do what initial work I’ve done getting the second wood ring to the house, filling a 5-gallon bucket with laying mash for the chicken pen, positioning the car facing out and far enough the (hopeful future) VDOT road scrapers can get past, etc. Having supplemental blood sugar boosting pound cake with Ovaltine, and fortified, will be back out and busy. Need to run up the neighbors for 4 square bales of hay, the chickens will need a good layer covering the snow to venture out of their pen, walking around in their bare feet as they insist on doing. First snow crossing the Virginia border now.

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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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