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WORDS & VIDEO by Bobby Lee Messer | WestVirginiaVille.com | dec27.2020
It is extremely rare for Huntington, W.Va. to get snow on Christmas, much less the perfect snow and the perfect weather for sledding. Of all the years to have a perfect snow, this was it. The Christmas Eve snowstorm at the end of the long, hard year of 2020 will likely remain for a long while in people’s memories, as Christmas unfolded with snow, sunshine and the holiday all wrapped into one day.
If you know Huntington enough, you know Ritter Park is the place to be to take advantage of a good snow. In the center of the city park, near the amphitheater, is a bowl, which has just enough decline so as to achieve a good speed, heading downhill on your favorite inner tube or sled. It’s also not so steep as to cause injury if you do spill into the snow, even if— kids being kids and adults being kids—they roll off their sled and tumble dramatically downhill, as if they’d just experienced the world’s worst sledding mishap. And then, pop back up, to head downhill once more.
When you’re there, you will see the best of people. They are happy and thrilled and cold, all at the same time. Whatever worries may be present on any other day seem to dissipate while playing in the snow.
VIDEO: The debut of “Animals in Appalachia” with “Deer Me”: dec22.2020: In the start of a new short video series, “Animals in Appalachia” by WestVirginiaVille.com, a mother deer puts her foot down as she momentarily loses track of her two fawns.
PHOTO|ESSAY: 10 ways of coping with a dreary West Virginia winter’s day: dec17.2020: On a winter day of all-day rain and bone-chilling cold, I give up trying to Figure It All Out. Instead, I sift through my photos, crop and lightly filter them. Maybe I can find order and meaning there. Or an aesthetic distraction, which may be just as good.
PHOTO-ESSAY: Five WV Variations on the Art of Thankfulness: nov26.2020: From horses on porches to possible sightings of Jerry Garcia in a rural marsh, here are five images from around West Virginia that spark our thankfulness. Happy Thanksgiving.
NATUREGRAM | 10 Variations on a West Virginia Ginkgo: nov20.2020: It is an auspicious place, this former plantation and home to more than 50 slaves before West Virginia ever came to be. But on this Autumn Appalachian day, the ginkgo biloba trees recall a more illuminated present.
READINGS | A Stroll Deep into a West Virginia Marsh: july10.2020: If it’s true we are mother, father, sister, brother, related all to all, maybe that’s one way to comprehend and befriend the ten thousand things. The hundreds of voices, cries, and songs rising from this manifold marsh.
NATUREGRAM 1 | Sheltering-in-Nature during a Pandemic: june26. 2020: Could you use some Canadian geese, chuckling water and scenes of nature not trying to sell you something? Here is a WestVirginiaVille Public Service Mental Health Pandemic Video.