This is only a test

Banjo, guitar, fiddle and mandolin / Floyd County music / Southwest Virginia

Here’s a shot from the house concert–toward the end, when the hosts are up front playing a tune or two with the featured artists-friends they hosted for the evening.

I’ve been trying to share my ignorance with Mac there with the banjo. He and his wife and singing partner are wanting to get another album out and also to set up a simple web presence for their music appearances, CDs and such.

So here I’ve uploaded directly from Picasa –which I will recommend he download, as the price is right. We’ll set him up blog, and maybe a wiki through pbwiki.com to refer to in his sidebar for pages about their albums, maybe some background on their music interests and backgrounds, and as a place to upload some music clips.

So this, dear folks, is just a test. You can see the back of Ann’s head there next the chair vacated by the photographer. There are far more people behind me than in front of me. The place was packed. And a nightmare for photography what with only the table lamp. This was shot at ISO of 3200 with the D200–grainy, but heck–we got the shot!

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Mountain Music

Mountain Music: Digital Photography from Floyd County, Virginia by Fred First
It’s a fur piece from Goose Creek to Ferny Creek–a good two-thirds the length of Floyd County. But for a house concert like last night, it is worth the drive.

Some faces were familiar: characters from around town, friends of the hosts, and some folks we’d met before only at previous gatherings like this, and in this house. And there are always a few initiates, first-timers who appreciate old-time traditional Appalachian mountain music on the close and personal stage in someone’s livingroom.

We’re hoping before the summer is over to host a house concert here, in the AnnEx. Or heck, maybe we’ll just take the lawn chairs out under the stars along the banks of Goose Creek and let’er rip.

Friday Shorts

Old Orchard on Blue Ridge Parkway / Digital Photo / Fred First / Floyd County, Virginia<br data-recalc-dims=” border=”0″ height=”262″ hspace=”10″ vspace=”10″ width=”437″ />
Blog to Book ~ It’s a natural progression, and likely to become increasingly common. Take a look at this long list of entries (including Slow Road Home, of course) for the LuLu Blooker Award. Top prize: $10 thousand!

No Fair Peeking ~ When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Peekvid.com would show me full episodes of X-files to my hearts content. I’d so far seen only the pilot, saving these for special occasions. Man, I missed Maulder and Scully! But no. Peekvid got busted, I heard as I left the house Wednesday morning, for pirating copyrighted material. It sure was love while it lasted. (Star Trek Enterprise has survived so far!)

Ad (non)Sense ~ Well so far, I’m unimpressed with context-driven ads. I thought Google’s mentation was a bit quicker than to saturate my sidebar with ads for Colorado condos. But then, it IS winter so it got that part right. And heck, it’s only been four days. And I’d best hush. Your visits to ad sponsors is making a difference in the bottom line here at chez Goose Creek, and much appreciated.

Slow Road Scan ~ I debated the matter, did some reading, and in the end, decided to let Google Books scan mine. It will also be available as an eBook. Some day. The process is taking a while. So far, this place holder is up. I’ll let you know when it is finally birthed.

Size Does Matter ~ 120 Gigabytes seemed far more than I’d ever need four years ago when I got the Dell XPS. But then, file size max was 2mb. Now Nikon RAW files are 16mb, plus all the copies and versions that come from some of them. So a Lacie 500 Gig external is on the way. I can do a total backup and still have years worth of space for pix (he said). Memory is cheap, some of these photos are personally priceless, so I’m over the guilt of the expense. Think of it as insurance.

Jamboree Remake ~ Tonight is the first night of the rest of our lives in Floyd, Virginia: the Country Store has been face-lifted and expanded, and reopens tonight! Welcome back to the Friday Night Jamboree in downtown Floyd, Virginia! (See Doug Thompson’s post about it.) I know I’ll be whupped from work, but the winter storm that we expected only grazed us, so roads should be passable. See you there!

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.

Ice Embryos: Where Snowmen are Born

Beautiful Winter Photography / Digital Photo / Fred First / Floyd County, Virginia
It was no secret that she was as much interested in getting the husband out for a walk as in getting the photographer to the scene of a potential winter image. The physical investment would no doubt be greater than the photographic reward: her sighting of “weird” ice formations happened to be at the base of Ann’s Falls–a “trail” supplemented in two places with ropes to make it under the best of conditions both possible and somewhat safe.

Covered by an inch of sleet, my Muck Boots might as well have been snowboards–a fact that became more evident on our way DOWN this same trail after snagging a few shots.

But she was right: these were odd little hummocks of clarified ice, more or less regularly spaced in the splash zone of our little hidden waterfall.

Two years ago (or was it three?) she discovered the falls and “improved” the trail to them. It is still a special place. But I’ll be darned, it’s a sure thing that if she hadn’t drug me up there under the pretense of a potential photograph, I’d have been content to let this snowman nursery come and go unseen.