A Few Thoughts About Now

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Peaceful Reflection On The Kanawha River 110420a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page

I haven’t stood in this spot since last May 2020. Or at least I think that’s when it was. I’ve not really had a reason to leave my mountain in quite a while. My hiatus from the outside world has deepened my appreciation for the natural calendar which is the observation of the changes in nature over the schedule set by Pope Gregory XII. If not for the needs of the industrial world I could easily toss out all the little boxes marked on paper with their neatly defined expectations revert back to the basics. What day is it? Today. What time is it? Now. That’s not to say that I’ve lost the appreciation for yesterday or that I shouldn’t make plans for tomorrow but that my appreciation for now is prevalent in my existence. Now time is a thing. It’s in the now where I control my eventual destiny. No human being can truly grasp tomorrow or hold onto yesterday. If I wait until tomorrow to do what needs to be done I find that it’s always just outside my grasp as yesterday slips through my fingers like the current of the river.

My final thought for tonight is that we need to reaffirm our cognizance for the moment because that’s where we live.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

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Morning With The Wading Willows

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Wading Willows 21720” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The new morning light creeps softly across the three rivers as morning mists cascade over the sleeping mountains. The roar of the Kanawha River leaping over the stones makes it easy to push the sound of passing traffic out of my consciousness while my eyes peirce ever deeper into the natural world laid before me. This is the hunting grounds of an eagle and an osprey. I’ve seen both here scooping various fish from the surface of the water. But to date they remain outside the range of my lens. I turned my attention to the willows. Ever since the day I spotted them in the water I’ve referred to them as “The Wading Willows”. Their important job is to hold back the mighty river and protect the fragile shore of the little park. Some days they seem to be playing and giggling as small fish tickle their roots. But other days they look as if they are swaying and dancing to the rhythm of the river as it peacefully makes its way to the Ohio. Or perhaps they’re engaged in an act of worship with their outstretched branches reaching towards heaven. Regardless of the circumstance they are a source of peace and tranquility on the river.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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.

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/

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!

A Quiet Moment In The Wetlands

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Rose Hips 110420a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The still waters of Muddlety Creek ebb slowly towards the river as the big blue truck creeps to a halt. The beautiful blue berries of the silky dogwoods are long gone and most of purple leaves have fallen among the reeds and rushes. Ever present is the Redwing Blackbird but his notes have no melody in the cool November air. He and his mate exchange simple chirps to keep tabs on each other when searching for the forage of late fall. They’re fortunate to have this place because all throughout the marshlands the swamp rose has offered her crimson yield. If not for the clear blue sky mirrored on the water the wetlands would have no colors to speak of until the new life wakes in Spring. The clusters of red berries dot the pale tan landscape anywhere they can have one foot in the water and the other on land. In brilliant pride the fresh fruits show themselves to birds in hopes of being deposited into unclaimed territory. Their efforts are not wasted. The birds return time and time again to carry off their tasty prize. With their bellies well fed the birds began to collect the soft down of the cattails and thicken their nest ahead of the deep cold that makes it’s way towards the highland marsh. As they settle in together I find that I am ready to move along myself. When I turn my back to return to my truck the male finds that he has one last song in his heart to bid me farewell. I pause to savor the moment and lock it away in my spirit to enjoy during the days of shadow that are coming. Moments of joy are easy enough to find if you look for them. It’s holding them that takes a little practice.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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.

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/

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!

A Few Moments Of Morning Tranquility

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Tranquil Morning 110420” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Here in this place where Earth, Air and Sky meld the outside world fades into the echoes of the changing breeze. The once vibrant wildflowers are now loaded with seeds that bring the small songbirds to the water’s edge. The tiny chickadee calls out with his big voice as does the Carolina wren. Though unseen their joyful songs spread out across the pond and fill the hills with beautiful music. The occasional flash of red among dense brushes let’s me know that the Cardinal is also having breakfast in the thicket. Eventually the geese pass through silently holding their necks in graceful archs. The breeze kicks up once more collecting small bits of down from the cattails on the unseen banks. The flurry of airborn seed is reminiscent of a small snowstorm as dormant life is carried to unknown destinations to begin anew in spring. Taking one last breath of the crisp air and filling myself with the surrounding peace I know it’s time to move on and leave the serene pond for a new destination of my own.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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.

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/

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 #83 Wild Lettuce.

Hello Friends! The photos in tonight’s article were taken specifically for Forage Friday. All photos found on my website are my original work unless otherwise specified and are available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

Before we begin I should probably disclose the fact that wild lettuce is one of the plants that I’ve been reluctant to try. One reason why is that I’ve heard conflicting reports about the flavor. Some sing it’s praises while others say it’s horribly bitter. And, because there’s so many other options in the Appalachian Mountains I’ve tucked it away under the “Emergency Use Only” file in my mind. But, I do have a theory that those who say it’s disgusting have harvested it in the wrong stage of life.

It’s stated that domestic lettuce has pretty much been bred to the point where in order to get a more palatable flavor the nutritional value is lost. Wild Lettuce by contrast tends to produce copious amounts of white latex sap and that’s where the awful taste comes from. The sap is more prevalent as the plant matures and thus older plants are more bitter. So to begin with we should only consider the young rosette with new leaves in spring. These should have the least amount of latex and therefore more likely to be acceptable as an edible. Green Dean is one of my go tos on plants that I’m not intimately familiar with. His suggestion is to use wild lettuce as a cooked herb instead of a salad plant as we would domestic lettuce. The recommended method is to boil the tender new leaves for 10 minutes and serve with a vinegar based dressing. I suspect there’s some chemistry at play here. The bitter latex sap would be alkaloid so adding vinegar to bring down the Ph levels should improve the flavor. Again, I’m going on someone else’s word here.

We should also consider that there’s different kinds of wild lettuce just like there’s different kinds of domestic lettuce. This could also affect it’s quality as a wild edible.

The toothy margin and deep cuts into the leaf are identifying characteristics of wild lettuce.

The plants whose leaves are the subject of tonight’s photos were mature plants about to bloom. One of which I estimated was close to 10 feet tall. I was actually concerned that it might get into the power lines and cut it just in case it might be capable of shorting out the line and starting a fire. When I did it didn’t take long for the stem to produce that sticky latex sap.

When I was taking my early botany classes in the 90s the topic of herbalism came up any time we discussed something that was found locally. While discussing wild lettuce one of my classmates brought up the topic of “lettuce opium”. The gist is that during the Great Depression and prohibition the ingredients for homemade liquor were far too valuable as actual food than as a cocktail. For those who wanted to be intoxicated lettuce opium was a popular choice. The technique involved collecting the sap and reducing it down to a small marble sized ball and smoking it. The deleterious effects may have been nothing more than placebo according to James A Duke of Petersen’s Field Guide and The Green Pharmacy. He stated that “It was a better substitute for latex rubber than opium.” However, there is a tradition of using the substance as a sedative. Like most herbal remedies lettuce opium is credited with helping a broad range of issues. It’s isolates have been used as antimicrobial agents, cough syrup ( probably due to the precieved sedative quality ), various aches and pains and even malaria.

I always try to bring you wild plants that have at least some backing in modern science but to date I’ve not been able to locate a solid conformation of any of these claims. Which is kinda disappointing because it is a plentiful plant. Fortunately for me there are other confirmed plants that provide similar benefits on my mountain and so I’ll be keeping my opinion on wild lettuce as a option only if there’s nothing else available.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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.

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/

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!