Tag Archives: Roanoke

Fair View Cemetery, Roanoke, Virginia

December 2019.

I toured Fair View Cemetery by my friend’s house in northwest Roanoke just around twilight, which made for a couple of interesting shots.  The cemetery occupies a sweeping, broad hill.  It was established in 1890 and actually includes the grave of Confederate States of America Congressman (Waller Redd Staples).









A new Thanksgiving friend.

He goes by the name of Jasper, and he’s one mellow rabbit. He was one of my (quite gracious) hosts for Thanksgiving dinner today in the vicinity of Roanoke. Seriously, this guy is chill. He lets all sorts of visitors pick him up and pet him. He has two siblings — one cat and one dog — and I’m told he chases them around the house.




“Roanoke Thanksgiving”

I am thankful for

fine friends, gracious neighbors, and presently forgotten adversaries,

the smell of smoke outside, its rich and deep and ageless burning notes that sound upon the palette,

the hills under all my days, which pluck up my breath,

all the countless “hellos” their slopes will yield,

the mountains’ incandescence in this cooling season,

the colors now igniting their high and wooded perches,

this new home, this Old South,

this ranging, easy vale of firming winds and firm tradition,

its gentle people, and their surprising hearts —

this fair, far Star City.


~ Eric Robert Nolan, Thanksgiving 2019




Dudes, this might be the biggest leaf I’ve ever seen.  That is indeed my foot next to it.  And I don’t have small feet; I wear a size 11 and 1/2.  (Now, now … this is a family blog, people.)

I found these tarp-sized leaves in the exact same place where I encountered that giant spider — the one the size of a housecat.  This makes me think there’s some sort of “Food of the Gods” -type sci-fi shenanigans going on in the vicinity.

Will investigate and report back.



Southern hospitality, I guess.

Chilling in the Star City with a café mocha — courtesy of a super-cool writer pal. Thinking up some future stories.  (Thank you, m’Dear.)  No, I cannot close a Starbucks lid correctly — it’s why I’m always spilling coffee on myself.

Everyone is so extraordinarily nice in this town.  People actually slow their cars to a stop to allow you to cross the street — even when they have the right of way!  They even make eye contact, and smile and nod when they do it!  Such a thing would be virtually unheard of in New York, which is basically Thunderdome when compared with Roanoke.

How can such vast numbers of people in this city be so polite?  This city might be the eighth wonder of the world.

I need to learn to be a little more pleasant and sociable to match the spirit of humanity here.  I can think of it as getting into “Roanoke-mode.”




I swear this spider was as long as my thumb.   I could have put my shoe or maybe a quarter next to it for scale, but I don’t want to stick any part of my body near this thing, and I don’t want to subsidize its hellish agenda.  (I did kinda zoom out so that you can compare it to the size of the curb.)

What does it eat?!  Birds?!  Why does it appear to have racing stripes?!

To quote the immortal Ellen Ripley, I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.  It’s the only way to be sure.

Update: someone is trying to persuade me that this is a “garden spider,” and that they are quite harmless.  I’m not sure I buy that.


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