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Silk Tree

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Silk Tree 70620a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The warm humid air carries a sweet scent as I cross the little bridge over Peter’s Creek near Panther Mountain. I stop the big blue truck in the middle of the bridge and look over the edge I see the silky pink puffs that connect Appalachia to an ancient civilization on the other side of the world.

Image Titled “Silk Tree 70620b”

This beautiful delicate bloom would have once graced the landscapes of ancient Persia. As a child I learned about the hanging gardens of Babylon as one the ancient wonders of the world. Today there’s a little controversy over if it was Babylon or Nineveh but either way it’s safe to presume that it was the Persian culture in one form or the other. We also tend to think of ancient Persia as the desert that Iraq is today but I don’t really believe that’s accurate. There’s evidence that as recently as 5000 years ago the Sahara Desert in Africa was a lush landscape with a large river. If that’s true then perhaps ancient Persia was also a climate more like Southeastern North America today. And I think that the Persian Silk Tree is evidence of that.

Image Titled “Silk Tree 70620c

The tree is tolerant of hot dry conditions that we see in the region of modern Iraq but in the the humidity of the Southern United States it thrives to point of being invasive. The dried seed pods spread on the wind similar to Honey Locusts and other pod bearing trees. However I would be amiss not to mention that the humidity also encourages a particular blight that shortens the lifespan of Silk Tree here.

I grew up calling this tree a Mimosa but the scientists who decide on what classifications a tree falls into chose to remove it from Memosea and into the Fabaceae family with trees like Redbud and garden plants like peas.

Image Titled “Silk Tree 70620d”.

Regardless of the name it seems to be a particular favorite of butterflies. While there didn’t seem to be any butterflies visiting the tree on the day that I took the photos I have seen Swallowtail Butterflies if every kind swarming the pink blooms. But this brings me to a personal conflict with myself concerning the Persian Silk Tree. While it produces a high quality food for the adult butterfly population it also crowds out the plants that many of those same butterflies host their eggs on. Eventually this leeds to a decline in the population of native species. West Virginia is already experiencing a crisis in the native firefly population and because silk tree is a pioneer species that means that it competes with the pines. Because the litter from pine needles create a good habitat for fireflies to reproduce it’s possible that Silk Tree along with other escaped non-native trees and bushes could be one of many factors leading to the loss of fireflies. But that’s just my theory for now. And nurseries are already trying to develop a sterile version of Silk Tree that provides the beauty and the nectar but isn’t capable of producing viable seed. It is possible that pollen spread to wild strains of Silk Tree would also produce seed that not viable and thus slow down the spead of the invasion.

My grandmother used to tell me that there was times when we had to laugh with the sinners and cry with the saints. It was her way of saying that you take the good with the bad in life and that sums up my thoughts on Silk Tree. It’s a beautiful plant that I enjoy seeing and smelling but it’s also one that I keep an eye on and don’t want to allow to spread more than it has already. There has to balance in everything.

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.

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/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=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!❤

Diver Down

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Diver Down 71020a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The dog days of summer have arrived to my little slice of Appalachia. The air is so humid that I’ve often joked about being able to swim over the yard or needing a snorkel to take out the trash. Ironically enough the most popular way to escape the heat and humidity is in the water. As a child I always wanted to learn how to scuba dive. Especially after watching Jacques Cousteau on Saturday afternoons. The expense of the lessons as cost of the equipment made it a little too impractical but a set of goggles and a deep breath brought the underwater world within reach. To the young imagination every discarded beer bottle from the bottom of lake was evidence that Atlantis was real and just a few feet away from the surface of the local lake. We learned that if you can sit quietly on the bottom you could tell where the boats were idling by from the clicking noise made by the gears in the drive shaft of an outbound motor. Even the person who is paddling a raft in the swimming area gave their location away with every stroke. Jacques Cousteau may have thought that it was a silent world but fish in the lake know better. The pressure in my lungs begins to build up as a mud turtle decides that my presence is just a little too uncomfortable. He scurries beneath a log for cover and slips out the other side. The turtle is more that safe. He can stay down for much longer than a kid in swim goggles. The urge to breathe is really getting strong now and I know that I have to return to the surface. As I rise up from the bottom ( which in reality is only about 12 feet ) I can feel the temperature of the water change. Looking up at the surface I can see an amorphous window of light opening to welcome me. My hand breaks the surface first and I feel edge of the water slip around my forearm and I exhale just before my head makes the transition from water to air. And with a giant breath I dive right back down again.

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.

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/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=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 #67 St. John’s Wort

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “St. John’s Wort 71420a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and not an endorsement of treatment. All of the information is presented as trivia only.

The rocket’s red glare had barely faded above the Appalachian Mountains and I’ve turned the big blue truck onto a road I haven’t traveled since the mid 90s. The gravel crunches beneath the tires as I pass the little side roads that once lead to logging operations and then to strip mines. In the years since I last came here to learn how to cruise timber the property has been sold off in plots and a good portion of forest has healed from the disruption of industry. I had gone as deep into the road as I was comfortable with and not knowing if there would be a place farther up the mountain where I could turn the long wheelbase of my truck I took advantage of the nearest private drive. No sooner had I brought the front wheels back around to face the way home I spotted the bright yellow flowers in the ditch.

Image Titled “St. John’s Wort 71020b”

The plant is one that’s commonly found on the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets but when I was last here this wild medicinal herb was hard to find. That’s because those who harvest for the purpose of selling to commercial buyers had gathered the vast majority of the plants off of the mountain. At the time St. John’s Wort was celebrated as a natural cure for chronic depression and supermarkets couldn’t keep it on the shelf. At this point there was a controversy over if the herb was any better than modern day pharmaceuticals. There were people who took both treatments and from what I can remember a few died from the interactions between the herb and the pharmaceutical.

Image Titled “St. John’s Wort 71020c”

So did it work? Well that’s a bit tricky to answer. Some people say it helped. Others say it did nothing. And since I’m not legally able to give an opinion I’ll have to ask you to do your own research.

However, the use of St. John’s Wort in treating depression was only the latest use. Traditionally it’s a topical ointment for wounds, bruises, herpes and shingles, as well as burns and rashes. The websites and books that I’ve read say that when used topically St. John’s Wort should help sooth the nerves in the affected area but they also warn that St. John’s Wort may cause you to be sensitive to sunlight.

Image Titled “St. John’s Wort 71020d”

To make the ointment the internet suggests collecting fresh buds and flowers and soaking them in olive oil until the oil turns red. Then strain and cap the bottle or jar.

As a forage plant St. John’s Wort would seem to offer a wide variety of herbal uses and it’s probably one that is worth further research.

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.

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/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=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!❤

Kanawha Falls & Visions Of The Past

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Kanawha Falls 71420a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The bright afternoon sun glistens on the waters of the Kanawha River. The faint whine of the hydroelectric turbines are just barely detectable over the roar of the falls. This area of Fayette county is a land of cascading water and the overflow dam that powers the plant enhances that beauty. I could get lost for hours just exploring the details of the falls. In my mind’s eye I see a a group of Shawnee crossing the big river on top of the stones. Their world was a place of wonder. They may even collected freshwater oysters from the pools that collected on rocks of the falls and roasted them in hot coals as they look out at the mighty waters flowing westward to Kentucky, their land of of tomorrow. Looking back at the rocks with my visions of yesterday I wonder who would have been more impressed. The pre-columbian Shawnee examining my ability to capture an image and share it worldwide within seconds or the modern photographer observing Shawnee ability to roam freely with all the riches of the earth at their fingertips?

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.

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/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=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!❤

Canada Lily. The Appalachian Native Alternative To Orange Lily

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Canada Lily 71020a”and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The big blue truck idles it’s way up the gravel road as my eyes search the dappled light for inspiration. Then I saw the bright orange color which at first I mistook for more Orange Lily growing on the edge of the forest. But something was wrong. These orange lilies didn’t look quite right. These bell shaped flowers seem to bow their heads in prayer. The orange lily is a proud invader that always holds its head high. But this source of humble beauty was a native species. This was a Canada Lily.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Orange Lily was a hardy and beautiful plant but doesn’t really do much for wildlife when it escapes the garden. In fact it’s considered an invasive species that squeezes out the native plants. And what’s even worse Orange Lily has no food value for wildlife. There’s not even nectar for butterflies and bees in the Asian Orange Lily. But with the Canada Lily it’s a completely different story.

The gracefully nodding bloom opens to welcome Swallowtail Butterflies and solitary bees. The deer will not touch Orange Lily but they browse so much on Canada Lily that in some states it’s considered a threatened species.

In my previous article on Orang Lily I was amiss to omit Canada Lily. Perhaps one reason why I didn’t think of it was it’s preference for shade and moist soil. Orange Lily does well in full sun and I think that’s why people tend to gravitate towards Orange Lily. Neither can I recommend propagation of wild Canada Lily because in areas where it’s threatened it might be illegal to remove it. However, I did see that several online sources offer either seeds or bulbs. For most of the lilies planting a bulb is probably going to be the easiest method. Because the bulbs are eaten by mice and voles you may need to provide protection for them.

So, if you like the looks of the Orange Lily but want to support the preservation of native species look into Canada Lily. If your land will support it you’ll also be attracting wildlife as well as providing yourself with beautiful flowers.

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.

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/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=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!❤