Summer’s Comin’ On

Done laid around, done played around, this old town too long…

(If you’re old enough to remember where those lyrics came from, be careful you don’t break something getting up to fetch that next cup of coffee.) And come to think about it, I think it said “Winter’s coming on, and Summer’s almost gone. But I garbled my blog post title out of it anyhow.)

* Well we have arrived in a new season. It is early summer when the pasture grass is puppy-back high. We can easily lose Tsuga these days over in the field, except that his tail pokes up out of the grass like a periscope. Maruading for mice has grown more difficult over there now that their hiding place is protected by the thick pasture grass, so Tsuga has turned to woodland prey–chipmunks and baby rabbits, and of course the ubiquitous burrowing moles–to assuage his hunter instincts.

For those of you who live in or are expecting soon to visit Floyd, be sure and check out the artwork of Floyd resident Ron Campbell. You can find samples of his work in the Chamber of Commerce window on Locust Street, in the Country Store (see side image) and for sale at Bells Gallery.

Ron came out to Goose Creek this weekend and took some pictures of our old barn. His images will serve as a basis for black-and-white artwork–the kind you can see, for instance, on this page of artwork from Floyd County. So, soon, there will be cards and prints (and maybe even a bench) available with Slow Road’s favorite barn. I’m looking forward to several potential collaborations with Ron, so stay tuned!

* And, as I told a friend this morning in an email, I don’t set my sights so awful high anymore, knowing that it is often better to travel hopefully than to arrive. I am certainly thankful for the visibility, but can only vouch for ONE acknowledgment from the WaPo blurb over the weekend. Maybe you can’t here from there. I dunno.

* And finally for now, I needed to expedite the replacement of an image on a friend’s blog he uses for business purposes. He needed to know how to resize a picture from the gallery I had done for him some time back. Here’s a great online image processing site you might want to bookmark for such a purpose. Pixenate

Now I feel like I gotta travel on. (Kingston Trio do this first? Anybody know and willing to admit it?)

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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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