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Monday, June 18, 2018

Upcoming Events (Blog 396)

Yesterday, I turned in my first outdoor related blog to the Virginia Game Department. I'm excited to say that I will be blogging about various outdoor activities in the Old Dominion for the VDGIF. This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I will be giving more details later about how to read these blogs.

Also, this Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00, I will be at Book No Further in Downtown Roanoke, I will be having a book signing for my two Young Adult Fiction novels, Ninth Grade Angst and Tenth Grade Blues.

And, finally, the rains have stopped, and I will be able to go summertime fishing for the first time this month. I have trips planned to the James, New, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our 40th Wedding Anniversary (Blog 395)

Last weekend, Elaine and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by having dinner at Liberty Station in Bedford and then spending the night at a wonderful bed and breakfast, Whitetail Lodge ( operated by Dan and Lisa Lovelace. The B&B is situated near the rural community of Sedalia, and it was just the perfect romantic getaway for us.

The next morning we visited Tom Smedley's farm not far down the road. Tom's son Bob was one of the ushers at our wedding, and we wanted to hear from Mr. Smedley how Bob was doing.

Elaine and I had only had five dates when I asked her to marry me - the smartest thing I have ever done in my life. And she has given me the best 40 years of my life.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Elaine On Stage at the Barter Theatre (Blog 394)

Elaine and I spent Tuesday through Thursday morning in Abingdon doing magazine articles, one of which involved going to the Barter Theatre. We were able to have a tour of the Barter and as part of that tour, Elaine was able to go on the Barter stage with Amy Fiorini, one of the theatre's staff members.

So my wife now is able to say that she has appeared on stage at the historic Barter Theatre.  Here is a picture of Amy and Elaine documenting this momentous event.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Locavore Lunch on a June Saturday in Virginia (Blog 393)

Today's morning hours and lunch were great examples of why I enjoy summertime Saturdays - or any day - with Elaine so much. To start we turned our heritage Rhode Island Reds into the backyard to let them forage while we worked in the garden and yard.

I picked the last of the strawberries and also gathered spinach and onions for lunch while also pulling weeds. I forgot to gather some chives, but so it goes. The weeds were placed in our two chicken runs for our birds' green food and entertainment.

For lunch, we dined on venison burgers from a West Virginia doe I had killed last fall. The burgers were adorned with the onions and spinach from the garden. We also had sauteed asparagus from the garden and strawberry pie (obviously from our strawberry patch) for dessert. It was a really, really good morning and lunch.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tenth Grade Angst Comes Out (Blog 392)

Thursday when I came home from Lord Botetourt High School where I teach, a box of books was on our stoop. My eight book overall, and second Young Adult fiction novel, Tenth Grade Angst is now out. After all these years as an outdoor writer/photgrapher, it feels weird to now also be writing fiction for high school students.

I'm half way through the third book in the series, Eleventh Grade Stress, which I hope to finish this summer and have my Creative Writing students proof in the fall, just as they did for the tenth grade book and the first in the series, Ninth Grade Blues.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ingram on Western Virginia PBS Channels (Blog 391)

Just a little note that I will be interviewed on the western Virginia PBS series Write Around the Corner on Thursday night at 7:30. The show was originally on Tuesday night and this is a rerun. The show is about my writing career and also covers how Elaine and I met and how my students at Lord Botetourt High School helped me write and edit my first two Young Adult Fiction novels, Ninth Grade Blues and Tenth Grade Angst.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Interesting Morning on the Last Day of West Virginia's Turkey Season (Blog 391)

I didn't see or hear any turkeys, or even spot any fresh sign, on the last day of West Virginia's spring gobbler season. And both my tags for that state went unused.

Still, as always, there are always things to marvel about in the spring woods. I was hunting at over 3,200 feet in the mountains of my Monroe County land, so I was able to listen to a rose-breasted grosbeak singing for several hours. I kept scanning the tree tops to see him, but no luck for the longest time. 

Then, finally, the male materialized just 20 or so yards away and warbled his robin-like tune. The red patch on his breast was dazzling.

I had heard the distress sounds of a raven for most of the morning, so when walking out of the woods to go home, I decided to see what the bird's issue was.  I walked right under the raven's perch.  The bird was only about 10 yards from me, the closest I have ever been to a raven. The bird was struggling to remain on its perch, so something was clearly wrong. I was surprised that the avian let me come so close, again, indicating that something was wrong.

So my turkey hunting is over in Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia for the season. Next weekend, I am floating the James River.