Sensing Danger

Fred is one of my favorite bloggers. He lives away from civilization in a beautiful valley in the mountains near Floyd, Va. There are no other houses near his home. He found himself in an tense, potentially lethal situation recently. Here’s one of his observations:

…I ought to remember I am not invincible just because I am on my own property.

I have encountered strangers with guns many times in the woods, and it can be unnerving (even if you haven’t seen Deliverance).

Here’s the link: Big Angels

Long ago, in what seems like a dream, Bob Bushnell, Neil Hauck, Jack Lester and I encountered two deer hunters on a backpacking trip in West Virginia. They were waiting in tree stands in a grove of apple trees deep in the Monongahela National Forest.

They were very angry — they said that we had ruined their hunt and we shouldn’t be there. I apologized that we had walked into their hunting area; I also said that we were in a National Forest and had a right to be there. Then they disappeared down a trail deeper into the forest. Even though it was mid-afternoon, the situation felt very ominous as the daylight was fading due to a snow storm moving in. We decided to not to spend the night in the forest.

We hiked several miles to the parking area and unloaded our backpacks. Big flakes of snow were falling as we prepared for the long drive back to Charlottesville in the dark. As we drove out of the parking area, the deer hunters emerged from the forest.

It was one of the strangest days I ever spent in the woods.

Longing for Beautiful Places

image copyright Fred First

Once upon a time I spent a lot of time in places. I really miss the sound of running water, the clean air, the shadowy shapes of trout feeding, the call of a kingfisher taking flight from an overhanging tree limb, and the possibility of seeing bear tracks or a bobcat.

When the door opens, we will leave the Atlanta suburbs to live in an area where beautiful streams are within a short walk.

Photo by Fred First from his back yard in Floyd, VA. He’s a lucky man to have such beauty so close. Here are more of Fred’s photos on Flickr.