When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall


This time of year, even though I have numerous shots of goldenrod, ironweed and all the other usual suspects of early fall, I am drawn to the final hurrah of living things in a rush to leave behind seeds, spores and next year’s infant insects.

These milkweed beetles are some of the showiest, sporting the red warning colorations that says to a would-be predator: “You’ll be SORRY!”

So. You were also warned. More bugs and buds coming.

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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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