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Forage Friday #112 – Indian Cucumbers

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Indian Cucumber In Bloom 61521” 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.  Furthermore, please remember to respect landowners and public parks when foraging. Always obtain permission from landowners and keep in mind that most parks strictly forbid foraging.

Just beyond the edge of the tall forest there’s a place where the light is not too bright but not too dim. It’s in this area that the Indian Cucumbers grow. They love rich open forest. However, they’re not really abundant everywhere so they should only be harvested when found in abundance. And if you have access to  land where they grow well it might be worth learning how to propagate them.

Image shows Indian Cucumbers flourishing in open forest.

Most of my sources say that the tubers are the part that you can eat although one source stated that the leaves are also edible. The flavor is like a Cucumber. I’m not really a big fan of Cucumbers myself but have sampled this root in the past and I found that it’s a little milder than a real Cucumber. The tubers are about the size of most people’s pinky finger which makes it worth a harvest if found in sufficient numbers. 

Medicinally the Indian Cucumber is said to have anticonvulsant properties and was as such by Native Americans and specifically for children.

Indian Cucumber growing near a colony of ferns. They seem to enjoy the same growing conditions.  Notice the whorl of leaves at the base.

In August Indian Cucumber will have purplish waxy berries. A few sources say that Indian Cucumber has no wildlife value but I suspect that pheasants and Turkeys may disagree. Nevertheless, because the plant isn’t really found in great numbers this is one that I would consider for a wild edibles garden or even a Guerilla Garden in the Eastern United States. ( If you plan to Guerilla Garden please select native plants and avoid invasive species. )The recommended method is to collect the ripe berries and start them in a cold frame. When you re-wild them try to memic the growth patterns they were found in. They are usually found in loose colonies with a clump of plants here and there in rich sandy soil. When collecting the seeds look up and around. Take note of the trees and other companion plants that were present with the parent plants. This last part is a good idea for any wild plants you’re going to propagate. As noted in last night’s post about Indian Pipes many wild plants require a combination of fungus and trees to do well. If a section of forest has the same trees, shrubs and soil then it’s likely that the fungus is there too. The symbiotic fungus is going to actively be searched for new connections and will likely bond to the new plants. And even if you’re like me and don’t really care for the Cucumber flavor this is a native species that should be preserved for the future. That’s it for tonight’s Forage Friday!

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

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

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://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=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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Indian Pipes, The Ghost In The Forest

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Ghost In The Forest 61621a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The sound of the falling rain overwhelms the forest as we shelter in the rocky outcropping surrounded by the markings of the Native Americans who dwelled here long ago. The rain is gentle and doesn’t last long. I run my fingers across the cold stone surface in an effort to find the traces of the faded lines that once told the story of a special place and the history of the people. Sadly, the public is unkind to history and some of the petroglyphs have been removed while others were overwritten by slogans and profane phrases. It seems to hold true that those who don’t respect themselves will never respect anyone else.

Those who don’t respect themselves will never respect anyone else. ( This image is not for sale)

I’ve done the best I could to make the petroglyphs stand out by digitally tracing the lines and usinga black and white filter to obscure the paint. Some have been chipped off and stolen. Some have simply worn away. The engraving seems to have been done by pecking the sandstone with a harder stone. The texture of the lines is rough and uneven in places. Whereas some of the modern engraving is sharper and the lines are more symmetrical which is evidence of modern tools. One set of initials carved beside the glyphs is dated ’26. Presumably 1926 so we can’t really blame it all on the newer generation.

As the rain lifts my guides indicate that it’s time to visit a ghost that dwells on the forest floor. The small white plants which is more commonly referred to as Indian Pipes. They were a part of my childhood and ghost plants or ghost lilies was the names that I learned first.

Image Titled “Forest Ghost 61621b”

The Idian Rocks Ruritan Club that owns the Indian Rocks Community park calls this area the Dancing Forest because of the growth habits of the mature Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurels that flourish here. I’ll be publishing photos specifically of the Dancing Forest at a later date but you can see one in the background of the image above.

As seen in tonight’s Feature Image the Indian Pipes/Ghost Plant completely lack chlorophyll. This means that they are completely heterotrophic. They cannot use the energy of the sun. Instead they rely on a very special relationship with the forest floor in order to survive.

Image Titled “Forest Ghost 61621c” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

As a youth I became infatuated with the pale flowers that dotted my grandfather’s property. I decided to build a terrarium that would include this unique flower. So I found a small clump placed them in an old Mason jar along with plenty of the native soil. By sundown they turned black and died. It wasn’t until after I took college botany that I learned why this specific plant would never adapt to captivity. It not only requires the right soil but would need one of two mycorrihizal fungus to feed it. Either Russula or Lactarius mushrooms and the fungus would require a tree to harvest nutrients in enough excess to supply both itself and the flowers. Typically the three part combination is linked to beech trees. Under perfect conditions one would need a terrarium that contains a mature beech in Bonsai form, one of the two fungus and viable seeds or root cuttings from the Indian Pipes/Ghost Plant. It’s not impossible but it’s far more effort and expertise than I can provide.

Image Titled “Forest Ghost 61621d” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

So this plant is best and more easily enjoyed in its natural habitat. A great place to do this is at The Indian Rocks Community Park in Craigsville West Virginia. It’s a fifty-five acre privately owned nature preserve that’s doing wonderful work to provide a sanctuary for native species, provide a wholesome place for families to enjoy and support a small community in rural West Virginia. It’s only about a twenty minute drive from Summersville Lake and a nice day trip to get away from the crowd.

Before I close I want to give a special thank you and shout out to Kathleen Curry, Darrin Martin and Ada Cox for not only working so hard to make a nice park but for also being my personal guides on the trail system.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

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

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://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=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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Passing Storms

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Thunderheads Over Summersville Lake 61521a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Dark skies loom over the mountains and the warm breeze carries the strong scent of ozone as thunder shatters the silent forest. It’s not an unusual occurrence in the Appalachian Spring. The edge of the lake is a great place to photograph storms as long as you’re only a few steps away from your vehicle. The storms typically last only a few minutes and the open sky allows me to see it come in with plenty of time to shelter in the big blue truck. The advice from a National Geographic photographer when photographing storms was the if you’re getting wet then you’re too close. The roar of the downpour is almost as loud as the thunder as it tracks across the lake. The squall line forms a curtain that hides the docks across the lake and I begin to judge the speed and direction as it approaches. The sheet of water impacts the landscape like an angry child stomping it’s feet but passes quickly leaving only the dark clouds and wet earth in its wake. The wall of rain was still in sight when I heard the birds start to sing again. Storms are inevitable in life but they soon pass. We can look at them and fear the approach of the storms or we can acknowledge that they are in the process of leaving. It’s all just a matter of perspective.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

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

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://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=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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

A View From The Bottom Of The Lake

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Summersville Dam 60921bwa” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The sound of rushing water fills my ears as I approach the base of the dam. A family of otters playfully dart across the cool grass and glide into the rapids which they effortlessly navigate. The swift waters would quickly overcome most human swimmers but the otters don’t even seem to notice them. The highly oxygenated leg of the Gauley River is rich with crawldads and small fish and the otters will soon enjoy a buffet of all their favorites.

The earthen dam towers above me and I consider how depths swallowed an entire town just two years before my birth. I think about all the changes the mountains have seen. In the years since the lake was created we’ve gone not only to the moon but have sent robots to Mars. The latter being the science fiction of my childhood. I wonder what the next 55 years will hold? I wouldn’t be disappointed if it included submarine tours of the deep lakes. Perhaps I’ll get to see that monster catfish lurking in the submerged caves behind this giant stone wall one day. Or I might even see the descendants of those otters playing their games in the lake.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

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

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://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=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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Family Heirlooms

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Enduring Memories 60921sbw” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Unsteady hands reach for shoebox on the top shelf of the hall closet. It sits on its shelf in a precise row along with others of its kind. Inside the shell of cardboard are kept the most cherished treasures of her life. She’s not impoverished. The safe in her bedroom holds plenty of gold and silver. But those are only trinkets and bobbles. The  real valuables are the treasures of her heart. She wipes away the thin layer of dust from the lid and begins to unload the box a piece at a time. The broken watch that belonged to her father. A necklace of plastic beads purchased from a tourist trap during a special weekend vacation. A little deeper into the box she finds the salt and pepper shakers her young brother gave her as a wedding gift all those years ago. They were very plain but he was a young teenager with no steady job at the time. So he walked the roads and picked up glass bottles to turn in and earn his own money to buy them with. She recounts the story of each item in vivid detail to her visitor. There were the love notes from her late husband that were folded neatly in an envelope. Finally she got to the odd cube shaped bottle in the back of the box. The glass seemed to be thicker than one would think a bottle that size would be. And the lid was fitted with a valve. Inside was a single rose. She told her visitor about how she and her late husband had purchased their first house. It was small and with a small yard but it had a gate and by that gate he’d planted roses for her. For a few years they struggled to get them to bloom and the rose in the jar was the first flower from that bush. She had cut it to adorn the dinner table for a few days but the next morning it was missing. Her husband was a science teacher and had taken it to work where he used the lab equipment to freeze dry it and vacuum pack it so it would last forever. With that her eyes glistened and she opened the valve slightly. The bottle hissed and the room filled with the fragrance of the rose. A few pumps of the valve at the top and the bottle was perfectly sealed once more. Her eyes twinkled again and she produced a second bottle that was similar to the first one except it was full of seeds. The second bottle was the seeds of that rose bush that had also been preserved in a vacuum. They had not been freeze dried, just bottled and the air removed from the chamber. The elderly lady opened the jar and poured out a measure of seeds and handed them to her soon to be married granddaughter. “These are for your first home.” She said as she presented her visitor with the seeds. ” Our lives are like roses. You’ll not always be able to avoid the thorns and it might take a while to get your rewards. But if you keep trying you’ll be successful eventually.”

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Small Wonders 61021” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Sunny days make for Sunny dispositions. Especially when that day holds no particular agenda. We all need a chance to simply exist as part of creation and fresh air in combination with sunlight is the best option. I’ve been told that it’s the little things that matter most in life. My mountains are full of little things. Things that often go unnoticed until we slow down a bit. Like the little yellow inch worm hiding in plain sight on a daisy. His camouflage is so effective that I didn’t spot him until I was processing the image. It brought to memory a poem written by a classmate in grade school. ” If you don’t see me it’s not my fault. I’m no bigger than a grain of salt. ” I wish I could remember who it was so I could give them credit. The assignment for art class was to draw a picture and write a poem about it. The poem was accompanied by single dot in the center of the page.

Now I realize that in reality inch worms are pests in gardens and they damage our plants. Most notably the cabbage loopers that roll the leaves into little cocoons for protection. But in the innocence of childhood they’re so much more. And let’s face the facts. It’s fun to watch them as they undulat their way to wherever they’re going. I remember that more than once they were gently captured and placed side by side so they could race up the tree. One inch at a time. Or if found clinging to an article of clothing that it meant God was measuring you for your robes in heaven. Even today when I spot an inch worm I have the urge to stop and watch it do it’s thing.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

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

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://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=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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️