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The Color Of Tranquility

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

The big blue truck takes me down the Midland Trail just as it does nearly every day. The exception being that this time the sun is higher in the sky than usual. The cool Fall rains have fallen softly onto the mountains rescuing the chance for those Fall Colors. The changes are still in the early stages as lush green leaves begin to shift into the different tones. The Kanawha River peacefully echoes the forests as they reveal their glory to all of creation. I have no particular schedual today and it’s a perfect moment to stop by the water and refill my “tranquility reserves”.

As gaze at the wonderful creation thats been laid out before my eyes the thought that fills my heart is that “Light is the language of the forest and the trees sing in harmony”.

What must it be like to be able to actually hear their voices?

Believe it or not, there is an answer to that question. There’s a rare medical condition known as Synesthesia where some people see sounds and hear color. (Clicking the blue link takes you to a virtual reality video of what it’s like to experience Synesthesia). A good Appalachian Fall must be quite a concert for those people. I can only imagine what that would be but my imagination sees a sound graph in the reflections on the water.

As the season progresses the songs will come to crescendo and slowly fade away as a lullaby when the forest sleeps and only the silence will echo through the mountains.

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/

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

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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! 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!❤

Forage Friday #28 Chufa Or Nutsedge

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Chufa 82019”. The photos in this post were taken specifically for this article. All of the photos on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Every so often I encounter a wild edible plant that has real potential to bbecome a cash crop in the right hands. As the world population grows and as urban sprawl puts pressure on wilderness the demand for high quality nutrition becomes more intense. Many people ( and I am one of them ) believe that the solution is to move away from agriculture ( The tending of fields ) to horticulture ( The tending of plants ). Rather than go into a long time consuming explanation I’ll just say that it’s better to have a decentralized system. And plants like Chufa lend themselves very easily to the broad range of conditions a decentralized system would require.

The part that is harvested is a marble sized tuber called Tiger Nuts. The tuber is collected in November and December and an individual plant is capable of producing around 2000 nuts in lifetime. Being a perennial plant, Chufa doesn’t need to be planted every year. Like a potato, it be required to save some of nuts to replenish with but unless you destroy the plant during harvest it will come back by itself for multiple years.

So, when I decided to write about Chufa my knowledge of the plant came mostly from old dusty books on my shelf. I knew it was a wild edible plant and that it produced an underground nut that you could eat. But, I never took the time to actually gather it and try use it any meaningful way. But after learning a little more and recognizing the potential I thought that I would simply step out onto my property and collect enough to do a presentation. The next image shows my entire harvest.

Today’s harvest was rather sad.

In fact the entire root system of the second plant was devoid of tubers.

None of the plants had tubers for me.

I collected a total of 1 tuber that was about 6 millimeters in diameter. I just sat there asking myself how this could have ever been a staple crop 4000 years ago in Egypt.

Even today it’s grown commercially in the Mediterranean. More research gave me the answer. The nut doesn’t form until after the top dies off. I am actually about 6 weeks too early to harvest the nuts. They have only just started to form. But in the harvest season for Tiger Nuts the ground is often frozen here. And that’s where the solution for harvest intersects with the techniques of urban farming. Chufa adapts very well to a container garden. And because it seems to like wet soil aquaponics would seem to be the best way to bring this plant out of the wild and back into the garden.

I mentioned that it was a staple crop. The ancient Egyptians kept it and so did Native Americans. The nuts were used to make flour, and they are the main ingredient for Spanish horchata which is a drink similar to almond milk. In fact while researching for this article I encountered a lot of comparisons between Chufa and Almonds.

Recently, the consumption of almonds have come under fire because they require so much water to be diverted into a plantation in an area that’s naturally prone to drought. But here in the Eastern Woodlands a Chufa substitute can easily be grown and a harvest extracted in far less time. Plus, these aquaponics systems can be set up in any number of empty industrial buildings that are scattered throughout the rust belt.

But, if you want to try this unique food on a decentralized scale by growing it yourself then I recommend a simple flower pot and decent potting soil. I have seen the plant growing in shade, open fields, rich bottom lands and old strip mines so it will adapt to almost any environment.

Since I wasn’t able to provide an example of how to use Chufa myself I’ll end this post with a link to a very well done video of how to make horchata.

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/

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!❤

The Curious Onlooker

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

The crisp morning air is full of chirps and whistles as the local songbirds carry on hundreds of conversations at the same time. The rain has stopped for now but the grass is still covered with the morning dew. Scattered clouds drift across the little slice of sky between the mountains of my my home. I have put out some feeders in hopes of charming the birds in for a shot but so far they’ve been been fairly shy. As I scanned the forest for signs of a colorful songbird I saw something moving stealthily along a fallen branch. Since the leaves are still wet he barely made a sound as he searched for the perfect spot to hide the hickory nuts. I began to zoom in and focus but wasn’t really able to focus through the dense underbrush. As I watched him tuck the nuts under a clump of sphagnum Moss he suddenly became aware of my presence. But instead of scampering up the nearest tree and escaping through a network of branches he came in closer. Something that isn’t really unusual for a squirrel in an urban environment where they might get a free meal but up here in the mountains they tend to be more cautious. Often they will give three quick barks and sit high in the tree tops flashing their bushy tails like a warning flag and chatter as loud as they can to alert the others that mankind is in the forest. I have had more than one hunt ruined by a bushy tailed tattler. But for whatever reason this one wasn’t really sure what he was seeing and decided to get a better look. He sat up there on his branch for several minutes pretending to be invisible and peeking out every few seconds. The only other time that a squirrel has been this curious about me was when I was about ten years old and playing in a tree fort with some friends. The fort was simply a few boards nailed to a fallen tree at a friend’s house but it was enough for us to sit on. A large branch ran behind us horizontally and gave us a back rest. That squirrel snuck up on us so quietly that we didn’t notice until it crawled onto my arm. When I turned my head to see what had touched me it startled the squirrel. In a brilliant tactical maneuver he jumped to the top of my head and sprung into canopy above never to be seen again. I hadn’t thought of that for a long time. Even now it makes me chuckle.

The curious squirrel in tonight’s feature image must have decided that I wasn’t really anything to be concerned about because after he finished his game of peekaboo he went back to collecting the hickory nuts from the edge of the forest and hiding them in his little moss vault.

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/

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!❤

Refreshed

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

My eyes slowly open to darkened room lit only by the alarm clock numbers next to my bed. My head is still a little foggy as read the numbers and learn that it’s only 4:00 A.M.. I’ve only been asleep for two hours so I pull the covers up and try to go back to sleep. Then I hear it. The rhythmic tapping sound of water dripping onto the window sill. I knew that the rain had finally found my mountain. I listened as the taps got faster and stronger. Soon the sound blended into white noise and it wasn’t long before the sandman lulled my back into a deep sleep.

The next morning came with that wonderful smell of the forest after a good steady rain. The birds were all out playing in the puddles and the landscape seemed less pale.

The rain continues to fall gently over the mountains refreshing the earth. As it collected on the windshield of my big blue truck I wanted to stop and just play in the rain.

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!❤

The Promise Of Rain

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

It’s still dark when I step out on the porch with my little buddy Scout for his morning walk. The motion sensor turns on the lights in my yard but the mmountain is still dark. I can hear the dry leaves continue to tumble through the branches and hit the forest floor. Scout is part Beagle and aware of every little scent on the wind. Normally when we’re out his nose is in the grass trailing whatever has passed by his yard in the night but this time he raises his head and scents the air. I can hear the wind on the ridge line rushing through the trees. The mountains shelter my home from the high winds in all but the worst storms so I pay attention to the sounds above me. When I look skyward the first thing I noticed was that the thin slice of sky has no stars. I looked back down at Scout and he’s still got his nose in the air flaring his nostrils one at a time. “What is it buddy? Is it rain?” I asked him. He replies by dancing his front paws like he does every time I pick up on what he’s telling me. We go back inside and finish the morning routine which ends up with me climbing into the big blue truck and rolling into the Kanawha valley.

Driving towards the Kanawha valley on a foggy morning.

The road ahead seems to manifest itself from the thick fog giving the impression that the day is still being written just moments before I reach the edge of reality. For the first time in months I turned knob on the dashboard from air conditioning to heat and crank the window slightly to allow the heat to vent. And, as cooler air curls in through the crack in the window I can smell the rain myself.

I reached the river just as the morning sun breaks over Gauley Mountain revealing the beautiful clouds that have gathered overnight. Over the course of the couple of days the rain has fallen steadily and while the deeper roots are still dry the rain promises to fall softly for the next few days. We just might have those Fall Colors after all.

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!❤

Unexpected Smiles

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

Quietly I walk along the edge of the road taking care not to make any sudden movement. Sometimes this time of year a Great Blue Heron is stalking the wanter in Little Elk Creek. The lack of rain means that the water us very shallow and minnows will be trapped in the low spots. They would be easy pickings for wading birds. I can hear the gentle trickling of the creek spilling over the large pieces of shale that line the bed of the creek. If you listen closely there’s a difference in the sound of the deep eddies and the shallow pools. In some places the creek even runs under the visible bottom and makes a hollow droning noise. In spite of the late season I can find a faint wiff of water mint growing on the steep banks. The knotweed is still pretty thick but there’s an odd hole in the foliage here and there where I can peek through and see the creek. The blue heron never made an appearance but the Asters are standing proudly in the full sun growing with all of their might. Their bright yellow centers stand out as if God himself left smiley faces on the landscape. Perhaps it’s God’s way of sending a message to let us know that he’s thinking of us. Of course when God smiles at you the proper thing to do is smile back. So I raised my face towards home and thanked God with a smile of my own. I was once told by a friend that God had never spoken to him. The thought that his words provoked was “Just because you ain’t listening doesn’t mean that He ain’t talking.” God’s voice is that “still small voice” that speaks peace. We tend to think that he only speaks in the storms but is that because we only look for him when we’re in trouble? He said that he’d never leave us or forsake us so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find him in the peaceful places too.

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

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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!

Rust And Gold

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

A slight breeze sweeps across my yard showering me with dry leaves. Even with the dry conditions the wind stirs up the rich scent of forest humas. As I look skyward to watch the leaves flow down from the ridge I see the maple keys fluttering in the filtered sunlight. In my childhood I would pretend they were paratroopers dropping into battle. On a breezy Fall Saturday afternoon we’d gather all of green plastic army men and command titanic battles with the skies full of “paratroopers”.

As the rain of leaves and airborne maple seeds tumbled down through the twigs they made a sound like rain. The cool breeze slows to an eventual end and rustling leaves quiet down except for one spot.

I have allowed the brambles to claim a few spots on the banks of the creek that runs through my property and the canes are still shaking even though the wind has stopped. The berries have dropped from the thorny branches long ago and the leaves have cured to a golden hue in the amber Fall sun. The movement pattern is recognisable to me and so I cautiously stalk forward.

In spite of the fact that I have set food out and provided plenty of cover for the small songbirds they are still very shy. If I move too suddenly or push myself too close he will vanish behind the oaks on the other side of the road. This is as close as he’s ever allowed me to get. My guess is that he was so preoccupied with a catipiller in the bushes that he didn’t really notice me on the other side. The golden color of his feathers blend well with pale leaves and without my glasses it would have been hard to pick him out if not for movement of the canes.

His colors are that of the Magnolia Warbler but they’re not supposed to be in this area. They breed farther North and spend the Winter in Florida. I’d guess that he was just passing through on his way South but he’s been here every year all Spring and Summer.

I raise my lens and begin to snap photos when he finally decided that I was too close for comfort and dropped into the creek only to suddenly burst straight up the other bank. I lost sight of him as he climbed to tops of trees but the rest of afternoon I could still hear his song and catch movement in the canes out of corner of my eye.

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!