Trout Fishing on Goose Creek

might be the speckles on the leaves give this plant its fishy name (click to enlarge)

▶ The flower you may recognize as  Trout Lily. I have rarely seen  flowers this large, so  had no choice but to get down at bugs eye  level to grab a shot, even though I got dirt down inside my cast.  This reminds me to tell you about the Mount Rogers naturalist rally.  I will do that tomorrow.

â–¶ I’m hearing some heavy machinery approach,  and I can only hope that  it’s VDOT, come to turn Saturday’s stream bed back into our road. One  of the concrete bridges near the house pretty much fell apart, but  then, this was more rain than we have seen in the 11 years we have  lived here——including some amazing hurricane seasons. We had to park  the cars Saturday afternoon and walk the ridge to get home. By later  that day the state road crews had filled in the 4 foot deep washout  where Griffith Creek meets Goose Creek.

â–¶ The lands sake event at the high school on Saturday, in spite of the  hardest rain I’ve ever seen outside of tropical storm or hurricane,  was well attended and high energy. It felt good; I was glad to be  part of it, but now we have set expectations high for the future. I  only hope we won’t wait until January to start planning. A number of  sign-up sheets were available for start of groups like an edible  plants hiking group. I may see if I can put those online for those of  you who were not able to attend.

â–¶ We are still needing small wood for fire first thing in the morning.  I tried to get enough would split  and up to the house to see us  through, but we’re running out of the small stuff. But the good news  is that I’m able to hold a chainsaw with my left hand  (don’t tell my doctor) and cut up wood that is small enough it doesn’t need splitting. The bad news is that I’m also able to push lawnmower, and I thought I would  have a  legitimate excuse  to avoid that warm season, onerous chore.


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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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