Alone On The River

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

A few leaves cling to the branches and the river has taken on the cool green hue it often shows in winter. Most of the songbirds have either moved South or settled in for the winter. The cold North wind whispers a lulaby as it moves through the empty forest. My big blue truck eases off of the pavement and into gravel lot on the edge of the Kanawha River.

At the far range of my lens the single sycamore stands tall among the maples and oaks. The pure white barks also stands out giving the tree the appearance of priesthood. The sycamore reaches skyward with its limbs asking God for protection from the winter storms on behalf of its sleeping wooden flock.

It’s not hard to imagine that the sycamore is a priestly tree. In the Book of Exodus chapter 15:25 God instructs Moses to cast a tree into bitter waters to make them sweet. I’ve always imagined that it was a sycamore tree. Partly because the sycamore has the ability to filter contaminated water.

Wilderness survivalists are taught to tap into a sycamore tree to get a drink in areas where the water isn’t thought to potable. Special cells in the vessels of sycamore function like a filter to clean the water. It’s not a magic bullet but it’s said to be effective in removing waterborne diseases. Chemical contamination might be a different story though.

Yes. The sycamore has to be a special tree indeed I tell myself as the wintery scene echoes in my lens.

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Forage Friday #36 Basswood

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken just for Forage Friday.  All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article. 

It’s said that only God can count the number of trees there are in a seed. And one of most unique seeds on my mountain is the Basswood. (Known as lime it linden by my European readers. ) Basswood gets it’s name from the fibrous inner bark that comes in interwoven strands that was called bass in the old days. The bass is best collected from wood that’s been dead for the few days but once you have it it’s made into cordage by twisting and coiling. The resulting cords can me made into fairly strong rope or baskets.

The wood from Basswood is best known for carving. It’s fairly soft and easy to shape by beginners. But it’s also the secret behind Viking shields. The wood is relatively easy to peel into sheets. These sheets were then layered in a way that is similar to the way plywood is made today. The trick is to make the grain of the wood criss cross on a 90 degree angle so that the layers support each other. The Vikings held the layers together with a glue made from milk. Think of how tough it is to scrape melted and dried cheese out of a dish and you’ll get idea of how strong the milk glue is. A final layer of linen was glued on and painted. The whole shield would be reinforced with either an iron ring or laminated linen. This technique lasted well into the Renaissance .

Defense from roving bands of Viking raiders isn’t really a priority today but the Basswood is still a tree with a lot to offer.  The mildly sweet flowers are a favorite food for honey bees and are collected by herbalists. The tea made from linden flowers is used for a wide variety of issues. The properties of the tea are said to be especially useful for colds and flu.  The tree is rich in mucilage ( a slimy type of plant fiber that also found in okra ) which is soothing to sore throats and believed to help congestion of the airways.  The linden flowers are also said to be a mild sedative as well as help fight inflammation. ( as always please remember that I have no medical training and I’m only pointing out interesting tid-bits with the intention of providing a conversation starter. ) 

The food value of Basswood is if particular interest to me. Not only does it provide honey (with help from the bees ) but it can also feed us directly. Several of my primitive serval books talk about the spring buds being used to thicken stews. Or that can be steamed and eaten by themselves. The young leaves if Basswood have been useful in salad. Older leaves are edible but not as tasty. They can also be a little tough if they’re too mature. There’s about thirty species of tilia ( The scientific name of Basswood) and this quality might vary depending on the species and growing conditions. The food potential for Basswood makes it a desirable tree for those who might live in areas with limitations on gardening since it’s mainly grown as landscaping. A single tree planted as landscaping probably won’t feed you all year round but the option of collecting the flowers for a high quality tea could provide a source of enjoyment and give you that sense of accomplishment that all gardeners have.

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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A Quick Stop At Gauley Bridge And Morning Memories

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

The fog gently floats on the surface of the river as the Sun breaks through the gap between two mountains. The small birds below the bridge quickly scatter into what’s left of the high weeds along the banks of the river.  They get quiet but the still flit around a bit rustling the dead leaves.  Sometimes there’s a heron in the shallow edges but today it’s decided to stay on the roost until it warms up a bit. I rolled down the window for a better view of the outside world and when I do the cold air spills in and causes the steam from my coffee to show.  I listened for the geese calls but they’re on the ground today and not giving away their position. I can smell the wood smoke from a nearby chimney and it always takes me back to random memories of stoking the fire in that old Fisher stove on cold mornings.  In my mind I can hear the squeaky iron hinges on the stove and feel the heat of the hot coals as I rake back the ashes and lay a fresh piece of cured oak on the grate and breath new life into the fire. As the flames spring to life and catch on the fresh wood I’d close the door of the stove and open the draught. Soon the crackling sound of a strong fire would prompt me to close the draught again. 

A gust of wind invades the cab of my big blue truck and I’m pulled into the present by the sudden chill. The sooner my morning errands are finished the sooner I can go home. I carefully back up the truck and head back on the road.

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.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

December Sunrise

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

The morning mists pour out of my Appalachian Mountains as the big blue truck comes to a rest on the Kanawha River. I step out and drop the tailgate and have a seat. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee rises up from my travel mug as I take a sip. From somewhere out of my sight I hear the geese calls as they gather for a morning swim in the chilly water. The golden light is carried into the valley on the fog as it traces the flow of the rivers and flock of small birds cross the sky in unison. The breeze isn’t strong but it does have a bite as passes. As take in the ever growing glow of morning sun I hear the train approach on the other side of the water and I know that it’s time to return to the road and be about my daily tasks. But perhaps I don’t need to leave my peaceful moment behind. With the snap of the shutter my morning sunshine is safely tucked away into my little black box where I can rake it back out anytime I want a peaceful moment to be lost in.

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! 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!❤

On The Edge Of Winter

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “On The Edge Of Winter 1” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The overcast skies cast a soft light throughout the Kanawha valley as the rain falls. The Kanawha River is a translucent green that makes me think of antique glass as my big blue truck pulls into the small lot next to the hydroelectric plant at Kanawha Falls. Peak color has ended and the remaining leaves turn from brown to burnt orange and amber in the rain. The stark white boles of the Sycamore trees are a bold contrast to the landscape. I have been referring to the time between the end of peak color and the first blossom of spring as the “Gray World”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As the rain pauses I have a chance to drop the driver’s side window and feel the chill in the air that fortells an oncoming change in the season. The mirror-like quality of the water at the top of the dam rolling mists open up the doors to another world. If I could walk on water I’d stroll out beneath those trees and build a small fire on the rocks. Perhaps I would spend all day under the trees sipping fresh Sassafras tea and waiting for the cardinals and jays to come and play in the branches. As the rain begins to fall again I allow my lens to extend just beyond the glass and capture as much as I can of the colorful late Fall and early Winter colors. It’s only 21 days until the new light rises in the east and the long nights begin to wane.

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

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!❤

Thoughts On Late November

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summersville Dam 112619” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Late November brings the end of the vibrant colors of fall and marks the beginning of winter in my natural calendar. The opening lyrics of “California Dreaming” fill my mind as I cross the top of Summersville Dam and take in the brown leaves that still cling to the trees. The fact that I still have a blue sky is enough to break the somber moment. I continued across the dam and began to notice that cottages and camps along the road were dressed up with the bright colors of the holiday season and after the sun goes down you can stand on a nearby mountain and all the little lights seem to form temporary constellations. The winter sky is clear most of the time and it’s easy to imagine that you’refloating in space looking out across eternity. As I pulled into the driveway of the farm where I grew up I noticed how green the holly and cedar are. The cedar even sports the dark blue berries right up into Spring. Soon a soft blanket of snow will come and make the bright red of the cardinals stand out from the gray world of winter. The colors are still there if I just look for them. The amber glow from the fireplace warms the soul as well as the body and before you know it the crocus will be popping up with a promise of new life.

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

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!❤

Forage Friday #35 Fish

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken just for Forage Friday. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

It occurs to me that in 35 #ForageFriday posts that I have yet to put any meat on the table. Also, with the onset of winter finding edible plants is definitely a bit of a challenge. So when I found the fishing photos in my archive I knew that I had to include them in my Forage Friday posts.

Thanks to Jack Spyrco of The Survival Podcast my definition of survival skills has expanded to include things that benefit every day life and not just the worst case scenario. I’ve tried to reflect this take on things in my Forage Friday posts and provide you with things that have a potential to wild foods that can be given space to grow and flourish in off lawn areas or even in a garden setting. With fish it’s a little more of a challenge. Most of us don’t have ponds on our land and for those in an urban environment installing a pound a pond large enough to accommodate a reliable stock if food fish may not be possible. For those folks I’d recommend that you look into something like aquaponics. Otherwise you’ll need to find a body of water where you can drop a line. Pollution is a huge concern with fish. The mercury found in tuna is of particular importance because it accumulates in the fish. While humans have a way of clearing mercy from the body over consumption of contaminated fish can lead to health problems. Freshwater fish can also be contaminated and mercury is just one of the potential substances that you need to avoid. Fortunately, your local fish and wildlife conservation service will have a list of areas where the fish should not be eaten.

A large bass and a carp in the tank of my local Cabelas sporting goods store.

As far as aquaponics and aquaculture goes I really don’t have experience beyond a tank of tropical fish from the pet store. The main concerns of caring for them were keeping the tank clean and the fish healthy. I can only presume that those concerns get larger when you talk about tanks that are in the thousands of gallons. Regular maintenance seems to be key there. Fortunately for me, I practically live in water-world. There’s at least 5 fishable rivers and a multitude of smaller streams as well as a lake with 50 miles of shoreline all within a short drive of my home. Artificial resources like stock tanks would guarantee that I would have something for the grill but I just haven’t made the investment. The economic potential of supplying fresh fish to farmers markets and restaurants might just be worthy of the effort one day and could even be a good cottage industry for someone who’s willing to learn the techniques.

For the rest of us fishing is a form of foraging. It’s a way to connect with nature and enjoy the simple blessing of partaking in God’s creation. We crave the ambiance of the life in wild places and the challenges of the sport side of fishing.

Image Titled “Hang Ups On Muddelty Creek”

It’s easy to lose your situational awareness when you so focused on that perfect casting technique. This power line above one of the more popular fishing holes in my area has a collection of tackle from those who became so lost in the activity that they forgot to look up.

Speaking of those iconic red and white bobers hanging from the cable, I’ve come to believe that in some areas that the fish have learned to avoid them. I’ve tossed them out of my kit in favor of natural cork. Cork is made from tree bark and tree bark is naturally found in the water. The fish are actually attracted to it and don’t associate it with the hook.

In most of the USA game fish like bass, catfish and pearch are regulated and techniques like weirs and spears are strictly prohibited. However, not all fish are considered game fish ( check your local regulations) and can be taken with a bow and arrow.

The tricky part of bow fishing is learning how to aim. Because the water bends the light the fish appear a little higher in the water than they actually are.

Image Titled “Life In Perspective”.

The image here shows the refraction of the light making the fish appear in a place where they are not. Bass and Bluegills are not legal to take with a bow but if it was you’d need to be able to estimate how low to aim.

Once you’ve got the fish out of the water and cleaned there’s as many ways to cook the fish as there are fish in the sea. My favorite way is to simply open the robs and prop it up over a pile of hot coals. A Native American way of cooking fish is to wrap it aromatic leaves and seal it in wild clay from the river bank. The whole package is buried directly in the hot coals and slow roasted. Once it’s done you just crack the clay open and dig in.

I have more to say about fish and fishing but I think I’ll save it for a later date. For now I hope that you have a blessed 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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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!❤