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Seeking Solitude On A Winter Day

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image “The Seeker 2”. Unlike most of the photos on my blog this one is not for sale but plenty of the other photos on my blog are. If you see something that you like just follow the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Cool air fills the forest as a light mist settles across the land. Small streams form pushing the fallen leaves out of way. The rain settles out and the sun breaks through the clouds for a little while. It’s a great opportunity to get out on a pathway and leave the artificial life of T.V., internet and radio behind. The fragrance of the moss gently wafts from the wet ground and the birds fill the forest with happy chirps. On this trip they’re the only companions. In 9 weeks give or take the forest will slowly begin to open sleepy eyes. I’ve already seen a few green leaves peeking through the leaf litter like a small child opening one eye and then playing possum. They’ll pop up for a little while and then go back to sleep in the deep cold of February. One of them looks like Solomon’s Seal but I haven’t really checked it close yet. Last year’s fern fronds are still green and sprawled across their domain. Some of them are perched on top of rotten stumps and others cling to the top of large stones along with the moss. The rain begins to drizzle again but the mountain offers plenty of cover in the form of rocky ledges with shallow caves at the base. You can sit under them and just listen to rain. The tranquility of the solitude brings peace and the peace is fulfilling.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

A Trip To The Lake At Winter Pool

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summersville Lake 12819” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The empty lake waits longingly for days of warm sun and noisy laughter echoing from its canyon walls. Today, only a few dedicated kayaks tread it’s waters. Some are taking advantage of the the better fishing opportunity that comes with winter pool and others just seek the peaceful solitude of the open water and rocky shores.

Somewhere beyond the bridge a whitetail deer leaves hoofprints in a place where a catfish once laid on the bottom waiting for nightfall.

Image Titled “Lake Sirens 1”

Tree stumps gather on the rocks and fire the imagination with thoughts of sirens calling out for Odysseus to come just a little closer.

Image Titled “Lake Dragon With Long Tail “

Just below the sirens a dragon with a long tail sleeps on a rock shelf guarding a treasure that washed away in ages past.

I sat there in my big blue truck for several minutes wondering how many more stories could be found on the empty lake bottom but the road calls for me to move beyond the murky world of the lake bottom and finish my errands. Perhaps on the next trip I’ll find the answer.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Old Man Winter Arrives

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summersville Dam 1420” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Old Man Winter finally arrives in Appalachian Mountains. The low gray sky blankets my mountains drenching us with a cold rain. Soon the tops of every hill will be capped with ice and snow. I have kept track myself over the years and we normally don’t have a significant snowfall until mid January through the end of February and occasionally early March. I’ve seen more white Easters than I have white Christmases. But today is simply wet and moody.

Even at that it’s the winter rain and snowmelt the fuels the spring. Even in mid December the Solomon’s Seal has begun to send shoots. ( which is normal)

I stood on top of the dam with the cold wind and rain challenging my jacket. The constant moan of the wind buffets my ears as I begin to mentally compose the shot in my mind’s eye. In spite of the harsh conditions I’m drawn into the gently swept curve of road and texture of the swirling clouds above. I knelt down as far as could without getting into the chilled mud and snapped the shutter a few times. The heater I the big blue truck soon calls my name and as I open the door I remove the wet jacket to allow the heat to reach me. As I pull back onto the pavement that gentle curve beckons me to follow the yellow lines towards home.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The Morning Hunt

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

The cold North wind shakes the tall dry seedheads scattering downy seeds throughout the field. The hunter sits motionless atop his perch. His sharp eyes are fixed on the trees scanning the branches for any sign of movement. Across the field the squirrels flatten themselves out on the opposite side of the trees. In spite of hawk’s excellent vision they remain unseen. The squirrels are masters of camouflage and blend into the bark. The hawk’s focus remains unbroken as a lull in the wind falls onto the land and everything stops moving for a moment. Everything that is except for bushy tail sticking out from behind a small hickory tree. The slow nervous twitch keeps the tail moving when everything else had stopped. The hawk spreads his wings as the wind picks up again and he becomes airborne. The powerful wings carry him towards the trees with his razor sharp talons ready to strike. The mid morning sun casts the hawk’s shadow into the thin forest alerting the squirrels that their cover is blown and they scramble for new hiding places. In spite of the hawk’s speed the trees are empty by the time he reaches them. The bushy tail has disappeared deep inside the hollow of the tree it was sticking out from behind. The others have either taken higher positions or left the trees for the cover of the leaf litter on the forest floor. A few found shelter beneath the fallen logs that are scattered around the edges of the field. The hawk looks around bewildered by the sudden loss of his prey and in frustration moves on to the next hunt.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #40 Greenbriers

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Greenbrier Berries 122719” and was taken specifically for this article. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Although I chosen to use the cluster of greenbrier berries as tonight’s feature image I wasn’t really able to find a wide variety of references to the food value of the berries themselves. Greenbriers produce edible roots, shoots and leaves and while the berries may not be poison they do contain a large seed and I’m not sure what th e flavor of the berry might be like.

I have never taken the time to sit down and watch the old movie “Calamity Jane” but I understand that’s where the quote “Make mine a sarsaparilla” came from. In the 1800s Charles Elmer Hires made his mark on American culture with Root Beer which was often referred to as “sarsaparilla” but actually didn’t contain any of the plant that gives real sarsaparilla it’s flavor. Instead he used a mixture of birch oil and Sassafras to create his brew. It was a huge success until 1960 when the US Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of Safrole. (The substance that gives Sassafras it’s flavor and is also found in black pepper as well as nutmeg.) However, in other countries the true Sarsaparilla plant which has been used since the 16th century continued to be the soft drink of choice. That plant is one of about 300 species of greenbrier. And that brings me to tonight’s post.

As I researched the article I learned that greenbrier based soft drinks widely available and very popular in other countries. So much so that I’m a little surprised that Americans haven’t been growing smilax ( The greenbrier genus) commercially ourselves.

In the Spring, the soft new growth of the vine is free of thorns. To harvest the new shoots simply locate the uppermost thorn and begin flexing the stem while slowly working your way to the top. When you reach the point where the woody fibers end the tip will naturally break off in your hand. The shoot is tender enough to eat raw right there on the spot. It’s flavorful too. I have enjoyed this myself and it tastes a little like asparagus. It’s also fun to joke with those who don’t forage about being tough enough to chew on briers. I’ve not tried them steamed or boiled but they’re said to be excellent when cooked and buttered.

Next is the leaves. Young leaves like the stem are tender enough to eat raw and go great in a “wild child” salad. They can also be cooked like spinach and served as a pot herb.

But the real harvest is the root crop. Smilax roots are fibrous and those fibers need to come out. It’s a little bit of a process but once you dig up the root it should be peeled like a potato and crushed under water. Allow the starch to settle out in the bottom of the container and gently pour off the water with the floating fibers. The starch on the bottom can be used like flour and can be used immediately or dried and saved for later. This powder is kinda special among starches. By adding a tablespoon of the dry red powder to each cup boiling water you can make a nice jelly. Or by diluting it and chilling it you get the aforementioned soft drinks ( minus the carbonation). I’m guessing that either product will require sweetening. The starch can also be added to soups and stews as a thickening agent.

I have not been able to confirm that greenbrier root contains the Safrole like nutmeg, back pepper and the banned sassafras but if not then it just a wild forage plant but a potential commercial crop for niche markets.

The most popular type of Sarsaparilla is the Jamaican variety but the best variety in North America is the Bull Brier. From my experience it has the fewest thorns and the best flavor.

The late Fall leaves of a Bull Brier showing the different shapes of the 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/

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!

Life-Time

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Misty Forest 121619” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Water gently falls from the the bare twigs striking the sparse leaves. Deep within the mists the sound of hooves cautiously moving through the bush echoes up from the hollow below. The air is full of random chirps from the various little birds. I can also hear the dull thud of the local Pileated Woodpecker as he probes the old snag that’s just out of sight. The mists have stirred up the smell of the moss and it occasionally wafts my direction in the light breeze.

In my youth I would sit for hours on a rock ledge and immerse myself in the surrounding forest. In an age when the only wireless communication was a two way radio and reality wasn’t virtual time belonged to the experiencer.

It makes me question the definition of a lifetime. Is it a measure of quantity or quality? Is ten centuries of existence in a box a lifetime or is life-time the time spent experiencing creation?

The laughter of the woodpecker rings out as I contemplated my place in creation and I realized that his jovial outlook on life is tied to the fact that woodpeckers never invented a clock to divide their lives between existence and living.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

New Life Is On The Way

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Awakening 122719B” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The New Light washes over the land pushing away the gloom. With my big blue truck parked on the narrow berm I explore the ditch for little blessings that the rest of the world overlooked as they sped along.

I tread carefully trying to balance between avoiding the mud and avoiding the thorns. But, in spite of my best efforts the thorns latch onto my jacket. I cautiously moved my camera to the other hand and tugged my way the freedom. That’s when I noticed the New leaves. Beautiful green leaves. Perhaps the last green leaves of 2019. The Multiflora Rose wasn’t attacking me. It was trying to get my attention. Perhaps it was so proud of the new leaves it got for Christmas that it was showing everyone that close.

Now, a lot of people might think that the recent warm weather woke up the buds and encouraged them to open. But that’s not quite how this kind of thing works. It’s not so much the temperature of the ground and air as it is the wavelength of light. It’s actually common for some plants to be a little more sensitive to the subtle changes in the longer days after the winter solstice. Multiflora Rose is one of those plants and I’ve seen that some even occasionally hold their leaves all winter in my area. It’s also common for the cold snaps of late January through about the third week of February to put the plant back to sleep until March. But for now I have the promise of new growth in 2020. And I’ll take it as a good sign that new life is on the way.

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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤