The Last Of Their Kind.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Nemesis In The Wind” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The following fiction is based on the dragon shape I spotted in the storm clouds above Kanawha County West Virginia. I have always seen shapes in the clouds and made up stories about what I saw.

The old man stood out in his field with his eyes fixed to sky. A hot wind broke over the mountains and shook his crops. His long gray beard whipped in the wind as he gripped his shield and prepared to hurl his spear for the last time. Even if he survived the battle with the nemesis this would be his last fight. Already, he could see the glow of the fires reflecting on the smoke and clouds. The thunder of the massive wings drew closer as the grizzled old warrior ran a finger over the prayers that were carved into the wooden shaft of the spear.

His mind raced back to the time when he was just an apprentice to the previous slayer. Each lesson played in his memory. Every maneuver was learned in the form of dance and the songs of the elders sealed the knowledge in his memory. For generations his people were the first and last defense against the ancient enemy. The tradion would end with his actions tonight. He was the last of his kind and so was the dragon that rode in on the storm.

Though advanced in years his hands were unshaken as the terrible reptile came into view. His shield would useless if the creature made contact with it so he lets it fall to his side. He kept control over his breath as he aimed the spear lining up the crystalline point with the soft spot where the dragon’s neck met it’s collar bone. In perfect form and with practiced accuracy he sent the spear to its mark. The spear itself was more then a mere weapon of war. It was a technology known only to order of slayers. The crystal blade was the only material hard enough to pierce the hide of a dragon. A silver rod was concealed beneath the surface of the wooden shaft and connected to another crystal at the butt end of the spear. The spear hit it’s mark with perfect timing and sunk deep in the dragon’s throat preventing it from being able to breathe fire. Then the storm did the rest as the charge built up in the clouds. Brilliant blue sparks coalesced into a bolt of plasma that found the silver in the spear. The dragon attempted to roar in pain but the spear had cut the windpipe. The dragon shuttered and folded it’s wings as it crashed to the earth. The old man placed a hand on the hilt of his sword until the dragon finally laid still on the edge of the field. When he was satisfied that the beast was in fact dead he relaxed his grip on the sword and knelt down to give thanks to God.

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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A Tale Inspired By Cattails

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Cattails 111619” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My big blue truck finds a spot on gravelly berm. The sound of the rippling water makes it’s way into the cab as the windows glide into their place inside the door frame. I still my thoughts and listen for calls of any birds but if they’re around they’re not announcing their presence. I close my eyes and listen again but something tickles my face. I opened my eyes and found several tufts of down floating on the soft breeze. The marsh is full of cattails. The winter winds carry them to places unknown in hopes of finding just the right spot to set roots and flourish. In my minds eye I have the vision of a tiny child clinging to the downy airborne seed as it floats gently on soft breezes. The little one is carried through a jungle of giant leaves and high into air. The tiny traveler soars over the houses and highways and is carried over the mountains. It’s a grand adventure indeed! The Cattail seed comes to rest on the edge of a large pond where the miniature child finds others like himself.

As I file the daydream into my mental folder for later inspiration the cattail seed that tickled my face floats near the clock on my dashboard. I have been idled for far to long. I leaned out the window and snapped a few shots of cattails to keep the basic story and moved the big blue truck to the next destination.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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Things Are Just Ducky #10. The New Neighbors

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Morning Swim” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article and on the contact page.

The morning sun spread a warm smile across the Kanawha River rousing George the mallard from his roost among the oaks. He slowly opened his eyes and took in the beauty of the morning before stretching his wings and taking a deep breath. He stood up and gave himself a quick shake to smooth out his feathers and waddled his way to the edge of river. As he arrived he saw that the river was already occupied as a mated pair of ducks paddled by. Being a friendly and outgoing duck George’s first instincts was to quack out a hardy greeting but then he wondered if they would even want to be greeted? They seemed rather busy and it wouldn’t be neighborly to interrupt them. But then again, they were in the common area of the river. And if they were going to be neighbors he should at least introduce himself. George stretched his neck slightly as he peered over the weeds and decided to go for it. His webbed toes made slapping noises as he got a running start and hopped over the bank. His wings fluttered as he settled into the water. He bobbled a little and paddled out to meet his new friends. “The best people to meet are new friends.” He thought to himself as he swam. As he got closer he noticed the new couple noticing him as well but they never greeted him. Finally George spoke up and introduced himself. The couple responded and as they got to know each other George began to share the best forage spots and all about life on this particular river. As the day went on they found that they had a lot in common. As the days went on they began to help each other with the daily business of being ducks and all did better together than they ever would alone. The morning swim with the pair became a very important part of George’s life in the park. Every so often George would see his friends coming downstream and be reminded that “The best people to meet are new friends.”

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Before The Freeze

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Grasping Heaven” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The heavy gray sky drained away leaving behind a field of perfect blue broken only by the occasional puffy cloud. The water runs through the delta sweeping away the broken stems that were scattered by the powerful winds which accompanied the storm.

The tree that stands in middle of the marsh seems unconcerned about the water that swirls around it’s roots as it stretches it’s crown ever skyward. It’s pose looks as though it was gripping the sky in an effort to halt the global flow of the jet stream. But in spite of the yearly warm spell that always seems to come with perihelion day the river of time is unstoppable and the deep cold is on the way. The temporary reprieve form winter will soon end and the land will sleep again. But it’s all a part of the cycle. The deep cold us needed for the seed bank to germinate and bring forth the bounty of Spring.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

A Peek At Spring

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Forsythia 1112020” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The months of January and February are the most challenging for me when I’m trying to find fresh images. The landscape is dull and the wildlife is scarce. A few different types of Woodpeckers cruise the forests along with the Blue Jays but they simply refuse to be photographed. The big Pileated Woodpeckers even gave a laughing call as they deftly maneuver through the thin canopy. The squirrels are asleep in their hollow trees and it seems very lonely among the boles.

As I crossed my yard hoping to find a small songbird visiting my feeders something out of place caught my eye. A tiny speck of bright yellow on a drab day. My Forsythia bush has offered one single bloom. It’s actually about four months early. I have been observing the buds on the trees surrounding my home. Some of them are swelling but not really more than normal for my latitude. It’s actually common for some plants to waken slightly in winter and then go back to sleep. But the Forsythia has actually opened up a flower. Just a single bloom but it’s there as if the bush was giving me a word of encouragement to hold on just a little while longer.

It wasn’t really in the news but January 6th was perihelion day. The day that the Earth is closest to the Sun and we often get a snap of warmer weather around that time. But in the weeks that follow is when it’s the coldest. A lot of the plants in North America will open a few buds only to have them frozen afterward. However, if you look closely you’ll see that not all of the buds open. They actually keep a few in reserve to open again in Spring.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Some Random Thoughts On Curiosity

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Curious Onlooker 2” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The forest was soft and green as I stepped inside the tree line to gain a little quiet time. As I admire the colors and textures of my surroundings the little gray squirrel digs through the leaves and works his way closer to my position. I’m sure that he’s a little bit concerned about the human in his territory but squirrels are also naturally curious. Curiosity is how he learns about the world around him and it’s how we learn too.

I have found that some of the most fulfilling experiences begin with a question. It’s one thing for something to catch the eye but it’s something more to catch the mind and engage the sense of wonder. It doesn’t really have to be somewhere exotic or a rare item. It can be something as mundane as a colorful piece of sandstone in a parking lot. You begin to think about how the patterns formed or you might see shapes in the grain that fire the imagination.

On the other hand, you might find something that seems to be mundane on the surface but turns out to be something very special. Such as the 34.48 carat Jones Diamond that was thought to be a large piece of quartz until someone got curious enough to take it to an expert.

The most powerful question ever is “what if?” It opens the door to possibilities and leads us to new things. It’s one of driving forces behind having a real life and not just a mere existence.

For the little squirrel curiosity leads him to food, shelter and fun and of course random encounters with photographers. But it’s the driving force that keeps him moving. And us too.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #41 Smartweed

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Smartweed On Panther Mountain” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Smartweed is one of those plants that has negative effects on some people. It’s said that eating large quantities of Smartweed can cause a sensitivity to the sun and some people can get a rash from skin contact with the plant. However, I have enjoyed Pennsylvania Smartweed fresh off the plant without any negative impact.

One of the first forage plants that I decided to try many years ago was Smartweed. It’s a pretty common plant that’s found throughout North America and it’s in almost every state except Utah and Nevada. Polygonum is a large genus of plants in the Buckwheat family and the different types of Smartweed can vary in spiciness. Think of different types of peppers ranging from a very mild bell pepper to the dreaded Carolina Reaper and you’ll get the idea. So with that in mind I should be clear that I’m speaking of Lady’s Thumb and Pennsylvania Smartweed. Both plants have a characteristic dark spot on the leaves ( I’ll try to do a follow-up this spring when they’re nice and fresh and get a good shot of the leaves) but the spot on Lady’s Thumb is more like a smudge where Pennsylvania Smartweed’s spot tends to be a chevron. The plant I have the most of is the Pennsylvania Smartweed. The peppery flavor tends to be stronger in Pennsylvania Smartweed but my experience with it is that the leaf is relatively mild when compared to other spices. If you’ve never tried Smartweed before then I do recommend starting with a very small piece ( about the size of the tip of your pinky finger) until you’re sure that the plant agrees with your palette. The stronger tasting Pennsylvania Smartweed leaves are mostly used as a spice.

Lady’s Thumb leaves are so mild that they can be used as a substitute for spinach in salads. Or, even cooked and served as a pot herb. The pink flowers of both plants are used as an edible garnishment.

At some point those pretty pink flowers turn white. When they do the seeds are ripe and can be collected in a paper bag and dried to be ground as a substitute for black pepper. From what I’ve read that’s the traditional European use for Smartweed. Again, remember that some varieties are more potent than others and the seeds of both Lady’s Thumb and Pennsylvania Smartweed are more spicy than the leaves. To use the seed they’ll need to be freed from the papery husk and rubbing them in your hands works just fine. Allow the seeds and husks to fall on a plate and then gently blow the paper away. Carefully tossing them up while blowing will also help.

The plant is Native to Europe but was brought here by the colonists and quickly became a Native American favorite. It was used medically to treat a variety of issues including arthritis and poison oak rash. ( Again, some people get rash from it so I would test myself before treating poison oak with Smartweed. )

As I mentioned above my plan is do a follow-up this spring when I can get some more images that includes the leaves. Tonight’s feature image was actually a calibration shot from an earlier project and since foraging can be a little bit of a challenge this time of year I decided to use it.

Before I close I’m going to toss out a reminder that if you forage please remember to either forage your own land or gain permission from the landowner and always respect private property.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤