Building Civilization… A few random thoughts.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Muddelty Creek Barn 111619BW” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The echoes of many storms are embedded in the wooden beams. A tin roof shows the crimson marks of a river’s worth of rainfall. It’s said that time erodes the works of man and everything returns to the dust. Civilizations rise and fall and the people rebuild on the dust of the previous age. I’ve never really been the kind of person who had all of dates and names that history upholds as great but in truth the story doesn’t really change much. Those who work the land give birth to nations and those who don’t lose them. As mighty as the Roman Legions were their largest military asset wasn’t really the sword or the shield. It was the farm. In later years the Norse mastered the sea but but as soon as they reached the shore they began to work the land. In the New World Cahokia rose up and fed it’s 20k people with crops that were brought in from the surrounding land. We don’t really know for sure why Cahokia vanished but it was completely gone just prior to the the maunder minimum ( little ace age ).

I consider these things as I look at the old barn in its state of decay. I have to wonder what will rise in its place some day. Perhaps it will another barn but one that stores a wealth that we can’t imagine. Only time will tell.

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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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.

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The Beautiful Little Box

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

I can hear the small birds chirping just out of sight as creep along the ditch on the little side road below the interstate highway.  Winter has definitely given us a mild start and the warm weather has given me an opportunity to grab a few extra photos between errands.  I stopped in this spot because I caught a glimpse of some dark blue berries as I drove by. As I approach the vine to investigate I realized that I was surrounded by hundreds of tiny cube shaped seedheads. The top of each little box seems to be decorated with a finely carved relief carving. The ornamentation gives the little box the look of something one might find in a Victorian home. One pore in the center of the ornamentation allows seeds to escape.  The seeds themselves are so small that hundreds of them will fit on the surface of a U.S. dime.  The plant itself is nearly five feet tall.

I remembered seeing an example of the seedhead in one of my guide books but it’s not listed as food or medicine so I never really paid much attention to it. In fact it took me a couple of hours on Google just to confirm the name. Locally it’s been called rattlebox because the dry box shaped pods do make a slight rattling noise but there’s also a poison plant called rattlebox and several that go by rattleweed. So the most widely used common name is “Seedbox”. The scientific name is Ludwigia alternifolia. The genus Ludwigia tells me that it’s the same family as the primrose that adorns the edges of my yard with large yellow flowers in summer and us actually capable of listening for bees to come close. (Primrose actually sweetens it’s nectar in response to the buzzing of bees). The species name alternifolia tells me that the leaves alternate up the stem instead of growing in parallel.  In this time of year the plant takes on a beautiful orange color. The orange color of Seedbox in late December.

As a part of the ecology of Appalachia and beyond Seedbox seems to be a food source for several insects but small butterflies were named on several links.A very small butterfly takes a break in the gravel.  One of many that feeds on Seedbox.


The flower of the Seedbox closely resembles a primrose only smaller and it has that happy yellow color that makes is suitable for certain spots on my property as part of my native landscape and the fact that it attracts butterflies makes it more desirable.  As a bonus we also get the beautifully designed box in winter.  Image Titled “Seedbox 122719C”

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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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! 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.

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December In Gad

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

The Gauley River winds it’s way through the hills past the painted sandstone cliffs of Gad, West Virginia. But the river is under the lake even at winter pool.  I stand on the end of the cement block which serves as a dock on the last portion of the road that once Followed McKee”s Creek.  Prior to the lake this was the main road through farmland below the high cliffs. I would have loved to see it in its heyday but it was flooded two years before I was born. I’ve been told that it was like a storybook with rolling hills and green pastures. There’s pictures online of the quaint general store which also functioned as a post office. Everyone is on horseback in that picture. I do remember when the bridge in tonight’s feature image was only two lanes. That was before they rerouted the highway and in the place where cars and trucks now travel at eighty miles per hour I rode a horse myself. That was the big draw for the local in. You could ride horses all the way to the lake. There was time to actually experience life when we moved slower. I often wonder if there’s an inverse relationship between the speed of travel and the quality of life. A kayak came gliding in while I was reviewing the pictures of the lake and bridge and lady who was in it seemed so much happier than the guys in the speedboat that had left a few minutes prior. In fact she didn’t stop smiling until she loaded her craft into a truck and drove away.

When I was a kid camping on the edge of the lake we used to tell ghost stories about the people who are still buried in sunken graves under the water. Today I believe that the spirit of Gad is real but it’s a feeling of peace that comes with a slower pace. The real unsettled spirits are the ones who race about on the concrete above the water.

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/

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.

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Stepping Stones

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

With the lake at winter pool the lake bed is exposed tempting the curious soul to walk in places that are normally the domain of turtles. The surface of the mud is deceptive. It looks dry and cracked but one step in the wrong place and you’ll sink into mire up to your knees.

However,  if a person is determined they gather large slabs of the local stone and create a solid path out to center.  Which seems to be exactly what someone has done.  I can tell by the displacement of mud that each stone was dropped from about waist high and a few of them sank fairly deep but the pathway seems to have been serviceable. I imagine that the person who built it stood on the previous stone when they laid the next one.

My take away from seeing the line of stones leading out to McKee’s Creek on the bottom of the lake was that sometimes if it seems that there is no way that with a little effort and creative problem solving we can get to where we need to be.

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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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! 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.

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The Watcher

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

The wind howls across the ridge top causing the old snag to creak and sway. A family of crows call this ridge home. At any given time they’re seen exploring the parking lots of the industrial park looking for bits and pieces of food accidentally dropped by the workers as they rush to clock in. The one on the highest perch is the lookout. It’s his job to watch for dangers or opportunities. With nerves of steel he lights on the uppermost part of the dead tree with ease. I think that he was having fun as he rode the moving snag like a swing. Shortly afterwards the wind subsided and the old snag creaked to a halt. The crow scanned the landscape below and gave a sharp call that echoed from the hillside across from his roost. I looked on with thoughts of Poe’s raven in my head. I was waiting for the call to be followed by “Never more” when those thoughts Poe turned to thoughts of Hitchcock as the rest of the flock emerged from the lower branches in the woods. Together they brought forth a tremendous clamor of calls as they took positions beneath the old snag. Then one of crows flew out over the hill and out of sight. Then another which was followed by pair and a small group. Soon the whole murder of crows became airborne and followed the same course as the first. The last to leave was the one in tonight’s feature image. He was the first to arrive and the rear guard when the time came to move on to the next leg of whatever journey they were on.

The members of the Corvidae family are no bird-brains. In fact they are quite intelligent and have even shown the ability to make tools and recognize their own reflection in a mirror. Young members of this group of birds even play games. And when a member of their social group dies Corvids even show elaborate grieving rituals that includes making wreaths of grass.

Corvids are known to live in multi-generational families. I remember learning about how some crows and ravens will stay with their parents for two years and help raise the next brood.

Ravens do seem to be able to not only comprehend human speech but also speak it back to us. I’ve told the story before about one that learned not only to mimic my grandmother’s voice but also picked up on what time my uncle was supposed to be out of bed. It would sit outside of his bedroom window and call out his name in her voice until he woke up. The story goes that the bird was quite persistent as well.

When it comes to folklore a person could probably break it down and do a whole series on the folklore alone. I won’t go into a lot of detail about that tonight but the Corvidea family has represented everything from rain makers and messengers to omens of death. Each culture has it’s own tales of a corvid doing odd things. But, we’ll save that for another day.

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

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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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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.

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The Slow Fade

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Old Barn 111819” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Crows cry out overhead as they ride the cold northern winds over the old barn on Muddelty Creek. The rusted tin roof rattles slightly more than it did last year. A few more warped beams show through the bare spots in the siding. The earth grows more fallow as vines claim more of the remaining structure. Documenting the fall of the old barn gives me an appreciation for the passage of time. Changes are very subtle at first but one day you look back and see just how much has changed. The old barn has taught me to observant of the value of the now. Now is the time to appreciate what we have. Our friends, our family and our freedoms are temporary. Subtle changes in life accumulate and before you know it opportunities slip into the past. I’ve said this because as the holidays arrive and everyone gathers for celebrations we should remember that moments are fleeting and those subtle changes will eventually catch up with us and opportunities are lost.

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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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!❤

Time To Rest

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

Steam rises from my morning coffee and curls in thin wisps as I walk along the creek. Several weeks ago I sat out some bird feeders for the first time. I’m hoping to draw in more wildlife to my yard but so far they’ve ignored the feeders. I looked up to see the single yellow poplar leaf drooping into my path. The leaf looks sleepy. Tiny beads of water cling to the leaf and as the Sun is reflected in them and they sparkle like diamond dust. Soon the frost will replace the dew and the tree will sleep until Spring.

“Time To Rest” us also available in black and white.

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!❤