Treacherous Travels

Mountain Stream in Winter / Digital Photo / Fred First / Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
The dog barked his “people” bark–different from his squirrel or deer bark: more urgent with overtones of anticipation. His assumption seems always to be that humans are coming here to admire him.

This particular visitor yesterday around noon was a stranger–very young, very cold and very careless about the roads he chose to travel in his jeep for a Sunday afternoon joy ride. Said jeep was now only partially on the ice-covered bobsled run that is Goose Creek a hundred feet higher and west of here. One back tire hung in the air, off the cold shoulder of our steep, northy not-for-winter road. Could I please come with some chains and my truck and pull him to safety?

Well no, son, sit down by the fire here. Sounds to me like you need something with a lot of weight and a lot more traction than my small Dodge Dakota truck will get you. I’ll call 911. The sheriff’s office will know of a garage that is on call over the weekends. Might need two trucks: one uphill to anchor the front end while another tries to pull your back wheel back up onto the road.

Three hours later, the boy and his father (they live in Shawsville) stopped by to thank me for what little help I offered. And I resisted the fatherly lecture, shuddering to think how, if that tree hadn’t been there, that man’s son could have been down in that creek bed upside down in his mangled vehicle overnight before anybody else was foolhardy enough to take the winter road less traveled.

Buffalo in the Back Yard

image copyright Fred First

Another image picked up on the way home from the winery last weekend–and the first using the combination of (new) tripod, 80-200 telephoto lens (and new tripod mounting collar for same) and the 2x teleconverter.

The silhouetted shape behind the house takes the reposing form of a buffalo, hence its name, Buffalo Mountain.

Were there buffalo in these parts in the days before the western migration of the white man? Does anybody have any info or stories about that? I’d like to know.