Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fire and Ice

“Do not seek for warm fire under cold ice.” –Samuel Rutherford

However, You can find the nandina's firey leaves under cold ice today.

We woke up to ice as I knew we would. But it’s not as bad as the last ice storm. This morning, I postponed feeding as long as I could—in hopes it would melt—but finally had to slip through ice, mist, and puddles to feed the critters.

When I fed at 9:15 a.m., I took the camera and got a few shots of nature’s ephemeral art:

The wheel on my overturned garden cart isn't going to be turning anytime soon.

Branches on a sapling become an abstract sculpture.

Cupcake's tail is loaded with horse-sicles.

An icicle hangs from the beak of the dog pen flamingo.

This morning, I received an email from my Lake Writer buddy Sally, who lives near where the Witcher Creek/Toler’s Ferry Road fire had been burning in Bedford County. I'd been worried about her, but it turns out she'd lost email for a while:

We're fine. The fire on Smith Mountain started in Pittsylvania County, evidently jumped the Roanoke River, and meandered on the back side of the mountain on down across from us. Sunday evening we heard it had jumped our part of the lake and had spread to Witcher Creek Rd. . . . and for us to evacuate. It hadn't spread, so we stayed put.
Here is a picture she took on “Sunday night just as the flames came over the ridge.” Fortunately the firemen put out the blaze “after the fire had raced up some trees and exploded the tops.”

I hope today’s rain takes care of the fires. The Witcher Creek fire burned a couple of hundred acres. Bedford County’s Blackhorse Gap fire has now burned over 1,500 acres. Two decades ago, Cupcake and I used to camp at the Jaycee Camp in Montvale and ride all day on the National Forest’s beautiful trails in that area. A sixteen-year-old riding an ATV illegally on a restricted part of the trail supposedly started that fire. Because of the kid's stupidity, a lot of the beauty will be a long time returning. The Green Ridge fire in Roanoke County has burned 2,400 hundred acres, and the Craig County fire has burned more than 2,700 acres. I can't wrap my mind around the extent of all the destruction.

Anyhow, this morning’s ice and the last few days’ fires reminded me of a Robert Frost poem that was originally published in the December 1920 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

That poem speaks to me on several levels.


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Blogger Amy Tate said...

I love that poem. I'm a big Frost fan - no pun intended! I think everyone will rest a bit easier when ALL of the fires are out.

5:05 PM  

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