Tuesday Shorts

Get Your Garden On
Should you find your husband suddenly interested in gardening in his later years, find out what he’s got coming up out there–so to speak. It might be winter-flowering heather. And hey, I’ll take a cutting or two–for purely botanical reasons, of course.

Caped Defender
Thanks to a Fragments reader for putting us onto the Dog Anti-static Cape (Storm Defender ) that calms some dogs fears of storms by removing the associated electrical field that must feel really creepy. However, I think that before we spend the coin, I’ll try rubbing Tsuga with a dryer paper next storm. At least he’ll smell less like the mole he rolled on yesterday in an attempt to elevate his hunterly status with the ladies. Except there are no dog-ladies in these parts.

Butterfly Kisses
WaPo writer has close encounter with a Red Admiral Butterfly–we’re talking for weeks. An individual butterfly seemingly imprints on one man, and sticks by off and on for some little while–long enough for a kind of bond to form between this man and nature in the larger sense. I found the article quite remarkable, as I’ve had my threshold lowered to the value of “low life” forms. You might have noticed if you hang around this blog much.

Bee Busters
Also from a Fragments reader, this info regarding unwanted yellowjackets (as opposed to those who you adopt as personal pets and develop a loving relationship with).Isn’t it interesting what folks do for work?

Bee Busters is a small company (1 man, I think) who will come to your site and eliminate most kinds of stinging insects which have nested there. For FREE!

He comes, he surveys the situation, he dons his ‘bee suit’, he sets up a vacuum that runs for about 1/2 hour, vacuuming most of the critters from the nest, and then dusts with Sevin to kill any remaining bugs and the queen. You’re bug-free. Obviously, he will handle wasp nests and other kinds of pests differently, but you get the idea

He sells the live bugs to a company which extracts the venom from them for pharmaceutical purposes. Everybody wins!

His name is George W, his number… email Fred for the name and number.

Gustav, Gas and Grief
I’m very thankful for the rain we continue to receive (it could rain this way for a week and our water table would still need more, I think.) But I look the temperatures of the Gulf (as warm as we keep our therapy pool at the clinic) and its unpredictable course now potentially heading for Louisianna over the Katrina weekend) and it seems an item worth keeping an eye on. Gas prices are already likely to go up in anticipation of oil rig damage.

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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. Early on in our relationship Joe picked me a bouquet of flowers that had a butterfly on them. It stayed for the day just like that as if it were trained. I was pretty impressed with Joe and the butterfly!