Blog

Forage Friday 1 Cattail

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is untitled for the moment as are all the photos in the post. However, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy please use the contact instructions at the bottom of the page.

Before I begin I feel the need to explain the concept behind Forage Friday. First and foremost, Forage Friday is not intended to teach you everything you need to know about wild foraging. Many of the plants I’ll be covering do have toxic look-alikes and for an inexperienced person could result in disaster. It’s highly recommended that you seek out further information before trying it yourself. One of the best resources will be those of the older generation from rural areas who have relied on wild foraging to get by in hard times. They’re just full of knowledge and crave interaction. As you’re reading the post please remember that the author is very human and as such is capable of errors so it’s best to double check with other sources. With that said, it’s my hope that you are entertained and inspired learn more.

One of the first wild edible plants that I learned is also one of the easiest to identify, I’m speaking of course of the common cattail. I remember that when we were kids we’d pretend that the distinctive flowerhead was a corndog. After all, it’s a hotdog shape on a stick. It even looks like it’s breaded. The “hotdog” is not really edible. It’s densely packed fluff would be like trying to eat a down jacket. This is actually the seeds. However, in its season the male flowers are loaded with bright yellow pollen. The pollen is collected by sticking the spike in a bag and shaking it gently. Soon you’ll have a protein rich powder that is generally mixed 50/50 with wheat flour. I have not actually tried it myself but I’m told that it makes awesome pancakes!

What I have tried is the cucumber flavored rhizome and stem base. They are carbohydrate rich and as a type 2 diabetic I tend to avoid carbs these days. But they are tasteful! The big thing to avoid here is contamination. Cattail is capable of absorbing both chemical and biological toxins. Because of this they are quite useful as biological filters in septic systems and in areas where the capture of chemical run off needs to be dealt with. That’s not to say that you can’t ever give them a try but be selective about where you find them. Open ditches in urban and suburban areas are most likely to be full of lawn chemicals or sewage. That pond out in country is a better choice but there’s still agricultural chemicals. Basically, if you wouldn’t eat the fish out of that water source then avoid the water plants as well. As I’ve matured and learned more about things like cryptosporidium I would no longer recommend raw cattail. Instead, scraping the starch out of the stems and leaf base to thicken soups.

Other than the food value of cattail it’s got some tool and craft uses. The fluff from the “hotdog” is a great tinder for your campfire. When I was a kid in Civil Air Patrol we learned that fluffing the down and stuffing it under your jacket makes a great insulation. The leaves are strong enough to be woven into mats or twisted into a string but it’s fairly weak and not suitable for anything that is under stress. But making a sun shelter for an extended stay in the woods is a perfect application.

Cattail is referred to as “Mother Nature’s supermarket. If I tried to list all of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned concerning cattail the post would be so long that reading it would take more time than most people are willing to invest. However, I do know that most of my fellow Appalachians probably have a trick or two to add. The majority of my readers find my posts through groups that I share with on Facebook. I want to encourage you to either comment on the post, or my Facebook page and even my blog is open to the public. I’d love to hear about your experience with cattail. How did you use it? Did you ever fall into the pond when pulling out the stems and leaves?

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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! 😊

April Speckles

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wild Geraniums And Moss” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The soft rain ends with the breaking of the dawn light and the forest comes to life. The morning chorus includes Cardinals, Flycatchers, Catbirds, Gold Finches and more. By mid morning mottled light filters down to forest floor. It may be the best opportunity to get out and catch some fresh air before doing the day’s chores in spite of the wet conditions. I have on my old sandals. The ones that I don’t really mind if the get muddy as I step carefully around the edges of the yard. The little purple pops of color were the first thing to catch my eye as I moved from the kept area of the yard into the transition zone where the woods begins. Wild Geranium blooms in April just as the leaves start to come out. All along the edges of the roads the landscape is speckled with purple blooms. The impression is that God took his paintbrush full of purple and shook it out onto Little Elk Mountain. The soft morning light seems to linger right on this little cluster to make the bloom glow. For a moment my imagination asks if it’s possible that I have stumbled across a fairy village. I could almost see them huddled together with a turkey tail fungus for a front porch and the moss for a shag rug. I blinked for moment and they vanished like the morning mists. And it was in this moment that I knew it was time to rejoin the real world and complete my chores.

Before I close, I want to announce that tomorrow night I’ll begin the “Forage Friday” series. For as long as I’m able I’ll post an image of a wild edible plant found in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. It’s not intended to teach you everything you need to know about wild edible plants. What it is intended to be is sharing some of my personal interests and to give those who want to explore foraging a place to start.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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 Invitation Of Spring 2019

Hello Friends!Tonight’s feature image is titled “Invitation To Breathe” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

As I write tonight’s post the Star Magnolia in Smithers, West Virginia is in full bloom. But about one week ago it was the large white buds that caught my eye as was passing through town. I circled back to the little street that links all the shops together and brought my big blue truck to an abrupt halt. Officially, the Sun crossed the equator at 5:58 PM Eastern Time but for me Spring starts with the first sign of life from the trees. I have been holding my breath since November when the Yellow Popular tree dropped it’s leaf right in front of me.

Clicking on the photo takes you to https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/2018/11/30/panning-for-appalachian-gold-and-why-i-named-it-so/

With the return of the daylight and the new growth in the trees my spirit feels alive. I could not resist the invitation to take advantage of the cement bench and enjoy the sunshine beneath the large egg shaped buds. It felt good to just breathe in the light for while. This was a personal celebration of Spring.

When I processed the image I decided to go with the red filter. I wanted that dark onyx effect on the deep blue sky to symbolize the retreat of winter. The sun obligated my intention by shining brightly on the tree and the bench and allowed me to imply that the time of daylight was now in control of the agenda.

So as the daylight grows stronger let me invite you to find a sunny spot beneath a beautiful tree and enjoy some quiet time.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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! 😊

Casting Off

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Anchor Point 1” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The river never stops. Even when it’s cold enough to freeze the ice slides forward on a thin layer of liquid water beneath. There are times when it rages and sweeps away everything in its path and times when it laps gently at the shore delivering life to the landscape. But it never stops.

Time flows like a river. Our perception can give us the impression of time flying as when visiting with an old friend or we can slow time to a crawl as when that cup of coffee is knocked off of the table and seems to hover in mid air for a moment. But it never really stops. Time erodes the world. It carries away the opportunities of the moment and changes our personal landscape. One way that this happens is by living in the past. It’s good to have a sense of nostalgia especially if it gives us a sense of peace but if it blinds us to the present it can be a problem. I’m guilty of this. I think it’s human nature to hold onto things that bring us happiness. But if we miss today’s opportunity we’re going to miss tomorrow’s happiness as we watch yesterday’s joy fade away into the past. I chose tonight’s feature image to represent holding onto yesterday because it is an anchor point. It’s purpose is to hold the boat in one place while the river flows by. It’s that stability that gives us the ability to board the boat and navigate through the river but at some point have to cast off. Casting off requires letting go of the anchor point that is weathered and worn. Here then is the paradox, letting go of the anchor exposes us to the hazards of the current but without letting go we may as well not be in the boat in the first place. What will we do in the river of time? Will we go boldly into current and build the future or will we hold onto the anchor point until the river swells and sweeps it away? Certainly there’s a place for nostalgia in our lives. But it should be more of an aid to navigation than a anchor the prevents travel beyond the starting point. It’s place in our lives should be where we can visit and resupply for the next journey but never the place where we are stuck.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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 McKees Creek Artifact

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Archways” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The days are becoming more gentle and I have the urge to pack up my gear and head into the landscape. I want to smell the moss and listen to the birds singing. The path in tonight’s feature image is the trail at McKees Creek in the Salmon Run area of Summersville Lake. The trail winds through some of the old homestead properties where you can see some of the old cut stone foundations. In the mid 90s my friend Paul lead me to huge moss covered stone that was well off of the trail. I could tell that the stone was cut into a rectangle by the sharpness of the edges. He asked what I thought it was. I don’t really remember what my exact reply was but I remember thinking that it was probably just piece that was being sectioned out when the work stopped. That is until he rolled the moss back like a rug and revealed the details underneath. The work was indeed unfinished but what I saw was the beginning of what would have been a beautifully detailed fireplace mantel. Long graceful arches would have given the impression of brackets. There was even a French curve carved into the face. It had not been polished. Just roughed out. It must have weighed a couple of tons. It would have taken a team of draft horses just to pull it out of the landscape. Positioning into place in the wall that it was intended to occupy would have required several men with crib blocks and levers. I have done similar work on construction sites where the ground wasn’t stable enough for heavy equipment. It can be nerve-wracking to have a large heavy object resting on a tower of unfastened wooden blocks. In the case of the stone mantle the most dangerous part would have been sliding it from the cribbing into place. It’s possible that a block and tackle would have been used with the horses. If that was the plan then the scaffolding would have been enormous.

Perhaps the reason it was never completed was that the builder realized what an effort it would be to utilize the piece and opted to cut his losses. Whatever happened it resulted in another interesting artifact that was left behind in the Appalachian woodlands. I have never been able to find that spot a second time either. I’ve made several trips down the pathway and through the high arches formed by the trees. There’s several cut stones here and there but the stone mantle has eluded me.

I do have a question for my readers concerning upcoming posts. I have a deep interest in wild edible plants that are found in the Appalachian Mountains. Some are native to my area and some cultivated plants that have escaped. Others are plants that we might have as part of our landscape but never really considered to be edibles. Is that something that you would enjoy reading about? Please let me know by commenting either here on my blog or on Facebook. ( link to my Facebook is below.) For now I hope that you find a chance to get out and find some time to declutter the mind in nature. Be blessed and have a great 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

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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 Magnolia Awakens

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Star Of Spring” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

After long months of slumbering in the darkness nature has awoken. The faithful little Star Magnolia stretches in the winds of early March then opens up an smiles at world. Her joyful awakening fills the air with a sweet fragrance as warblers welcome her with a happy song. Daffodils dot the highway and the willow trees unfurl tiny leaflets of bright green. I thank God for the sunshine even if the wind still carries a bitting chill on some days. I have an inclination that the bees will soon be heard buzzing in the hedges as they work tirelessly to replenish their stores but for now the Magnolia’s smile was enough to warm up a winter weary soul.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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! 😊

St. Patrick’s Day 2019

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “May The Road Rise” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Tonight’s blog post is out a bit late and by the time most of you read it it will be St. Patrick’s Day already. So, I’m simply going to repeat the Irish Blessing.

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at tour back.

May rain fall softly on your fields.

And until we meet again, May God hold you safely in the palm of his hand.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 or use the contact form on my website and 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! 😊