On Peace, Fear And Faith

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Fruits Of Winter 11221” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The January sun is bright but cold above the little mountain delta on Muddlety Creek. It’s on days like this that I enjoy the heater in my big blue truck and aim my lens through an open window. As I drift over the narrow single lane my mind mulls over the question “What is peace?” At the moment I feel peaceful with a podcast playing in the background as I take in the tranquility of still waters and gently swaying reeds. But is this peace or simply “peaceful” as in like peace.

I don’t claim to have any profound knowledge or divine insight as to the nature of peace. Only a few things that I believe are true as I search for answers.

Peace is not the absence of violence. It is the absence of fear.

I’ve had too many people who have been thrust into violent situations that say they felt stress and were aware of the gravity of the situation but that also felt that wave of peace come over them and they knew that everything would be okay in the end. Some would say that they were brave and that’s true to a point but..

Bravery is not the absence of fear. It is absence of inaction. If we review the stories of people in dangerous situations we find that they were frightened beyond description and yet calmly handed the actions they needed to take. On a side note, most of these people were not completely confident that they were making the right choices. They just did what they thought would help. Was it their peace that gave them the opportunity to act and hope for the best? I’m sure it played a role but fear was also present.

So perhaps things like peace and fear are not a dichotomy. Like light and darkness we are given a measure of each and it only matters where we focus as to what we experience. Which leads to thought that if fear grows as often described can peace also grow within the spirit of a person? I’ve been told that whatever you feed grows. If we focus on fear then it becomes stronger and eventually transforms into panic. And if panic is the ultimate fear and bravery is action in the presence of fear then it’s likely that action will be in error. However, if we focus on our peace and feed that instead we get clarity of thought and logic. Our actions will then be those that most likely will improve the outcome.

I believe that ultimately our peace comes from the Prince of Peace himself. Namely, The Lord Jesus Christ. It would be easy to point out the uncertainty of the times we live in but the truth is that uncertainty has always been present. For my generation it was the Cold War and the threat of Nuclear Weapons. For the WW2 and WW1 generation it was global combat and starvation during the Great Depression. There has always been a reason to fear. But the same God who brought mankind through all of that can also see us through the current age. So let me encourage you to choose the light and focus on the peace. If you do then it’s more likely your actions will be well taken and you will make it through to the other side.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement:

I am adding additional social media to my network. Eventually, I’ll be leaving Facebook behind for a multitude of reasons. Even though the Lloyd’s Lens Photography page is strictly non-political I have been restricted from interacting with followers with no explanation for why. But it’s not just that. For years now Facebook has throttled content providers in general. They encourage us to grow our audience and then want to sell us back the access to them. In addition, they collect and sell the data from our interaction. So Facebook has become an entanglement of thorns. In response I have created the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe. We can still interact directly on the blog but starting today I’ll be looking for more platforms that respect the privacy of my followers and don’t limit who gets to see the post.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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/

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 use 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!

Stonework

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Old Stone Chimney 122920a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for cut stone. It’s not just the rich texture and earth tone colors or even the solid strength of something built to last hundreds if not thousands of years. Working with stone is an art and a science. In fact I’d say that stonework is probably the oldest science. Even the most primitive stone arrowhead requires an understanding of the nature of the stone. A person may not have the mathematics of physics or chemistry but they must be able to look at a stone on the ground and understand how to strike it so that it breaks in just the right way.

Image Titled “Old Stone Chimney 122920b” showing a tighter view of the large stone at the top.

Some years ago I became so interested in stone masonry that I spent days in a library reviewing VHS tapes of old techniques. (yes I’m that old.) I went out and bought a two pound sledgehammer and a variety of chisels. I experimented with stones out of the creek and got some advice from my wife’s grandfather who had worked with some stone masons at one point in his life. I by no means achieved a mastery over all of knowledge but one thing that stuck with me was that it takes a bit of patience to cut stone. It’s not the mighty blow of the hammer that’s needed but the consistent gentle tapping on the chisels. A powerful blow will definitely break the rocks but unless you’re making gravel the prize of that perfectly shaped block will be lost. It’s all about lifting the hammer and controlling the fall. Making sure that the chisels are directing the shock in the right ways and listening to stone. When the sound of the blow goes from a sharp “tink” to a dull thud the fracture is formed. If you remove the hammer and chisel you can often give a bump with the palm of your hand and separate the pieces.

We often use the term “heart of stone” when we describe someone who is hard to convince of any point. And I’m guilty of trying to use “a mighty blow of my hammer ” to try and change that heart. But that’s the wrong technique. We need to use the gentle taps and listen to that heart to tell us when it’s ready to cleave. And stop when it’s time to stop.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement:

I am adding additional social media to my network. Eventually, I’ll be leaving Facebook behind for a multitude of reasons. Even though the Lloyd’s Lens Photography page is strictly non-political I have been restricted from interacting with followers with no explanation for why. But it’s not just that. For years now Facebook has throttled content providers in general. They encourage us to grow our audience and then want to sell us back the access to them. In addition, they collect and sell the data from our interaction. So Facebook has become an entanglement of thorns. In response I have created the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe. We can still interact directly on the blog but starting today I’ll be looking for more platforms that respect the privacy of my followers and don’t limit who gets to see the post.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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/

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 use 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!

The Thorns

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Thorns 11221” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

As I approached the old barn to photograph the rusted hinge and weathered gray wood I’m given one of those “gifts” from nature that I don’t much like to receive. A thorn in the flesh. But it’s okay. I’ve fought this battle many times in my life. I know almost all of the tricks to overcome the trial. I first acknowledge the pain. One the first lessons of adulthood is that uncomfortable doesn’t kill. Don’t recoil from the pain. Accept it. If you try to pull away the Thorns will only rip your skin and cause more pain. The cane that bears the thorns is long dead and brittle. It’s a simple thing to reach down and break off the parts that are not embedded in my skin and clothes. Carefully reach down and lift the remaining branch opposite of the direction it went in. There will be more pain but not as much as going in. I took the photos and headed back to the road. But as did so that thorny branch sought it’s revenge by tangling itself in my pants and trying to make me fall.

It’s an unfortunate fact that some of life’s situations are in themselves thorn patches. We’re drawn in by the idea of a reward such as the perfect rustic image or perhaps it’s hope of gaining approval from others. Whatever it is it’s the idea of the rewards that distracts us from the surrounding hazards and before we know it we’re caught. Most of the time we panic and struggle but the struggle only leads to a greater entanglement. We have to stop and break off the excess material. We have to remove the catches that have attached themselves and do so knowing that it’s going to be uncomfortable. And as we leave tangling thorns we have to be careful not become tangled again.

God, guide my steps but do so knowing that I’m human and as such I’ll most likely make a wrong step. And when I make the wrong step give me the grace to get free. And as I leave those circumstances behind pick me up if I fall.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement:

I am adding additional social media to my network. Eventually, I’ll be leaving Facebook behind for a multitude of reasons. Even though the Lloyd’s Lens Photography page is strictly non-political I have been restricted from interacting with followers with no explanation for why. But it’s not just that. For years now Facebook has throttled content providers in general. They encourage us to grow our audience and then want to sell us back the access to them. In addition, they collect and sell the data from our interaction. So Facebook has become an entanglement of thorns. In response I have created the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe. We can still interact directly on the blog but starting today I’ll be looking for more platforms that respect the privacy of my followers and don’t limit who gets to see the post.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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/

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 use 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!

Forage Friday #90 Golden Alexander

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Golden Alexander 50320a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice. A little extra caution is to be observed when foraging members of the carrot family. There are poisonous plants like hemlock that are often found growing in the same area.

At the time of writing this article in mid January 2021 my world is covered in ice. But when I do venture out into the frost coated wilderness I can already see the earth showing signs of preparing to receive the coming changes. The throw of the frost is making ready for the tiny seeds to be in just the right place so they may be awakened by the warm Spring rains.

Last year I was out on the edge of my property and was blessed with the sight of Golden Alexander poking up from the hillside.

One could think of Golden Alexander as sort of a wild broccoli. To the best of my knowledge it’s not actually related to broccoli but it’s used the same way. If you don’t already know the part of broccoli that we eat is the flower buds. If you allow broccoli to go without harvesting it produces a pleasant yellow flower. The flower buds of Golden Alexander are harvested the same way and can be tossed in a salad along with the tender growing portions of the stem. They can also be cooked and served as potherb.

Medicinal value of Golden Alexander is a little scarce. It seems to have been used as an analgesic by Native Americans and they used the roots for that in the form of a poultice. The action of the root is anti-inflammatory however the root also contains xanthotoxin which can cause you to be sensitive to the sun.

As we transition into the colder portion of winter I’ll be posting more photos from my archive until more plants begin to sprout.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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/

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=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!

Witch-hazel and folklore

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Witch-Hazle 10521a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The January sun burns cold in the open sky as the big blue truck takes me to my familiar haunt on Salmon Run Road. It’s so close to the highway but teaming will wildlife. In the distance a woodpecker laughs knowing that he’s once again escaped my lens. But just barely for I did manage to catch him distracted for a moment.

The woodpecker was so busy that he didn’t notice me until I got out of the truck.

But as soon as I opened the door of the truck he took to the wind and disappeared into the branches.

Even though it’s January the bright yellow witch-hazle is still blooming strong. In fact I think that they’re in better shape now than they were a few weeks ago.

As I approach the tiny clusters of frilly golden bloom I noticed the forked branches. Now a normal person might look at those forks and think of a slingshot. But I think about dowsing rods. In the 90s I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of the American Dowsing Association where I learned that witch-hazel was one of the preferred woods used for finding water, oil and minerals. There is a trick to how to hold the stick. You point the stick to ground and hold it by the fork with your thumbs pointing to the sky. Rotate the wrists inward until the tip of the stick comes up to a 45 degree angle to the sky and when you’re over the target the stick twists in your hands to point out the water just like a compass pointing north. It’s not just an Appalachian tradition. Variations of this is used worldwide. But does it work? Well I was skeptical but as soon I was over the target that stick twisted. I tightened my grip in an effort to stop the rod. But it just kept turning downward. I was convinced. But sometime later I realized that we never actually drilled to see if the stick was right. While I’m open to the possibility that there could be some trick of physics that just hasn’t been explained yet it’s going to remain a mystery. Life needs a little unknown element to remain interesting.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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/

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=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!