Alone On The River

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

A few leaves cling to the branches and the river has taken on the cool green hue it often shows in winter. Most of the songbirds have either moved South or settled in for the winter. The cold North wind whispers a lulaby as it moves through the empty forest. My big blue truck eases off of the pavement and into gravel lot on the edge of the Kanawha River.

At the far range of my lens the single sycamore stands tall among the maples and oaks. The pure white barks also stands out giving the tree the appearance of priesthood. The sycamore reaches skyward with its limbs asking God for protection from the winter storms on behalf of its sleeping wooden flock.

It’s not hard to imagine that the sycamore is a priestly tree. In the Book of Exodus chapter 15:25 God instructs Moses to cast a tree into bitter waters to make them sweet. I’ve always imagined that it was a sycamore tree. Partly because the sycamore has the ability to filter contaminated water.

Wilderness survivalists are taught to tap into a sycamore tree to get a drink in areas where the water isn’t thought to potable. Special cells in the vessels of sycamore function like a filter to clean the water. It’s not a magic bullet but it’s said to be effective in removing waterborne diseases. Chemical contamination might be a different story though.

Yes. The sycamore has to be a special tree indeed I tell myself as the wintery scene echoes in my lens.

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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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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Forage Friday #36 Basswood

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken just for Forage Friday.  All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article. 

It’s said that only God can count the number of trees there are in a seed. And one of most unique seeds on my mountain is the Basswood. (Known as lime it linden by my European readers. ) Basswood gets it’s name from the fibrous inner bark that comes in interwoven strands that was called bass in the old days. The bass is best collected from wood that’s been dead for the few days but once you have it it’s made into cordage by twisting and coiling. The resulting cords can me made into fairly strong rope or baskets.

The wood from Basswood is best known for carving. It’s fairly soft and easy to shape by beginners. But it’s also the secret behind Viking shields. The wood is relatively easy to peel into sheets. These sheets were then layered in a way that is similar to the way plywood is made today. The trick is to make the grain of the wood criss cross on a 90 degree angle so that the layers support each other. The Vikings held the layers together with a glue made from milk. Think of how tough it is to scrape melted and dried cheese out of a dish and you’ll get idea of how strong the milk glue is. A final layer of linen was glued on and painted. The whole shield would be reinforced with either an iron ring or laminated linen. This technique lasted well into the Renaissance .

Defense from roving bands of Viking raiders isn’t really a priority today but the Basswood is still a tree with a lot to offer.  The mildly sweet flowers are a favorite food for honey bees and are collected by herbalists. The tea made from linden flowers is used for a wide variety of issues. The properties of the tea are said to be especially useful for colds and flu.  The tree is rich in mucilage ( a slimy type of plant fiber that also found in okra ) which is soothing to sore throats and believed to help congestion of the airways.  The linden flowers are also said to be a mild sedative as well as help fight inflammation. ( as always please remember that I have no medical training and I’m only pointing out interesting tid-bits with the intention of providing a conversation starter. ) 

The food value of Basswood is if particular interest to me. Not only does it provide honey (with help from the bees ) but it can also feed us directly. Several of my primitive serval books talk about the spring buds being used to thicken stews. Or that can be steamed and eaten by themselves. The young leaves if Basswood have been useful in salad. Older leaves are edible but not as tasty. They can also be a little tough if they’re too mature. There’s about thirty species of tilia ( The scientific name of Basswood) and this quality might vary depending on the species and growing conditions. The food potential for Basswood makes it a desirable tree for those who might live in areas with limitations on gardening since it’s mainly grown as landscaping. A single tree planted as landscaping probably won’t feed you all year round but the option of collecting the flowers for a high quality tea could provide a source of enjoyment and give you that sense of accomplishment that all gardeners have.

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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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

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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.

Thank you again for your support of my page! ❤

Stepping Stones

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

With the lake at winter pool the lake bed is exposed tempting the curious soul to walk in places that are normally the domain of turtles. The surface of the mud is deceptive. It looks dry and cracked but one step in the wrong place and you’ll sink into mire up to your knees.

However,  if a person is determined they gather large slabs of the local stone and create a solid path out to center.  Which seems to be exactly what someone has done.  I can tell by the displacement of mud that each stone was dropped from about waist high and a few of them sank fairly deep but the pathway seems to have been serviceable. I imagine that the person who built it stood on the previous stone when they laid the next one.

My take away from seeing the line of stones leading out to McKee’s Creek on the bottom of the lake was that sometimes if it seems that there is no way that with a little effort and creative problem solving we can get to where we need to be.

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.

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A Quick Stop At Gauley Bridge And Morning Memories

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

The fog gently floats on the surface of the river as the Sun breaks through the gap between two mountains. The small birds below the bridge quickly scatter into what’s left of the high weeds along the banks of the river.  They get quiet but the still flit around a bit rustling the dead leaves.  Sometimes there’s a heron in the shallow edges but today it’s decided to stay on the roost until it warms up a bit. I rolled down the window for a better view of the outside world and when I do the cold air spills in and causes the steam from my coffee to show.  I listened for the geese calls but they’re on the ground today and not giving away their position. I can smell the wood smoke from a nearby chimney and it always takes me back to random memories of stoking the fire in that old Fisher stove on cold mornings.  In my mind I can hear the squeaky iron hinges on the stove and feel the heat of the hot coals as I rake back the ashes and lay a fresh piece of cured oak on the grate and breath new life into the fire. As the flames spring to life and catch on the fresh wood I’d close the door of the stove and open the draught. Soon the crackling sound of a strong fire would prompt me to close the draught again. 

A gust of wind invades the cab of my big blue truck and I’m pulled into the present by the sudden chill. The sooner my morning errands are finished the sooner I can go home. I carefully back up the truck and head back on the road.

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!❤

The Watcher

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

The wind howls across the ridge top causing the old snag to creak and sway. A family of crows call this ridge home. At any given time they’re seen exploring the parking lots of the industrial park looking for bits and pieces of food accidentally dropped by the workers as they rush to clock in. The one on the highest perch is the lookout. It’s his job to watch for dangers or opportunities. With nerves of steel he lights on the uppermost part of the dead tree with ease. I think that he was having fun as he rode the moving snag like a swing. Shortly afterwards the wind subsided and the old snag creaked to a halt. The crow scanned the landscape below and gave a sharp call that echoed from the hillside across from his roost. I looked on with thoughts of Poe’s raven in my head. I was waiting for the call to be followed by “Never more” when those thoughts Poe turned to thoughts of Hitchcock as the rest of the flock emerged from the lower branches in the woods. Together they brought forth a tremendous clamor of calls as they took positions beneath the old snag. Then one of crows flew out over the hill and out of sight. Then another which was followed by pair and a small group. Soon the whole murder of crows became airborne and followed the same course as the first. The last to leave was the one in tonight’s feature image. He was the first to arrive and the rear guard when the time came to move on to the next leg of whatever journey they were on.

The members of the Corvidae family are no bird-brains. In fact they are quite intelligent and have even shown the ability to make tools and recognize their own reflection in a mirror. Young members of this group of birds even play games. And when a member of their social group dies Corvids even show elaborate grieving rituals that includes making wreaths of grass.

Corvids are known to live in multi-generational families. I remember learning about how some crows and ravens will stay with their parents for two years and help raise the next brood.

Ravens do seem to be able to not only comprehend human speech but also speak it back to us. I’ve told the story before about one that learned not only to mimic my grandmother’s voice but also picked up on what time my uncle was supposed to be out of bed. It would sit outside of his bedroom window and call out his name in her voice until he woke up. The story goes that the bird was quite persistent as well.

When it comes to folklore a person could probably break it down and do a whole series on the folklore alone. I won’t go into a lot of detail about that tonight but the Corvidea family has represented everything from rain makers and messengers to omens of death. Each culture has it’s own tales of a corvid doing odd things. But, we’ll save that for another day.

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!❤

December Sunrise

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

The morning mists pour out of my Appalachian Mountains as the big blue truck comes to a rest on the Kanawha River. I step out and drop the tailgate and have a seat. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee rises up from my travel mug as I take a sip. From somewhere out of my sight I hear the geese calls as they gather for a morning swim in the chilly water. The golden light is carried into the valley on the fog as it traces the flow of the rivers and flock of small birds cross the sky in unison. The breeze isn’t strong but it does have a bite as passes. As take in the ever growing glow of morning sun I hear the train approach on the other side of the water and I know that it’s time to return to the road and be about my daily tasks. But perhaps I don’t need to leave my peaceful moment behind. With the snap of the shutter my morning sunshine is safely tucked away into my little black box where I can rake it back out anytime I want a peaceful moment to be lost in.

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/

Click here to visithttps://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! Simply message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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!❤

On The Edge Of Winter

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “On The Edge Of Winter 1” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The overcast skies cast a soft light throughout the Kanawha valley as the rain falls. The Kanawha River is a translucent green that makes me think of antique glass as my big blue truck pulls into the small lot next to the hydroelectric plant at Kanawha Falls. Peak color has ended and the remaining leaves turn from brown to burnt orange and amber in the rain. The stark white boles of the Sycamore trees are a bold contrast to the landscape. I have been referring to the time between the end of peak color and the first blossom of spring as the “Gray World”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As the rain pauses I have a chance to drop the driver’s side window and feel the chill in the air that fortells an oncoming change in the season. The mirror-like quality of the water at the top of the dam rolling mists open up the doors to another world. If I could walk on water I’d stroll out beneath those trees and build a small fire on the rocks. Perhaps I would spend all day under the trees sipping fresh Sassafras tea and waiting for the cardinals and jays to come and play in the branches. As the rain begins to fall again I allow my lens to extend just beyond the glass and capture as much as I can of the colorful late Fall and early Winter colors. It’s only 21 days until the new light rises in the east and the long nights begin to wane.

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/

Click here to visithttps://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! Simply message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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!❤