September Gatherings On Muddelty Creek

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Shared Sweetness 90820” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The gentle September sun washes over the marsh as I step out from the big blue truck. The melodic calls of the Red-winged Blackbird are notably absent from the soft breezes. Instead I hear the drone of grasshoppers on the edge of water where they can enjoy the tall grass. The swamp roses have shed their pedals and brilliant red orbs have begun to appear in the thorny branches. The Silky Dogwood now sports blue fruit among the reddish leaves all throughout the water’s edge. But God is not finished with the season of growth yet. Amid the fresh spires of cattails the Joe Pye weed is in full glory. The sweet smell of the bloom brings in the butterflies from all directions. They float in on sunbeams resembling shards of stained glass. The bountiful harvest of sweet nectar is gathered by all without jealousy. The bright yellow Swallowtail and spectacular monarch butterflies seem to enjoy fellowship with Pipevine and Spicebush alike. And deeper into the untamed wilderness I see blues and sulphur butterflies along with painted ladies and skippers. All have come to the delta to partake in celebration of last days of summer.

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An Observation Of Honeybees And Wingstem

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Honeybee On Wingstem 90820a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Nothing in this world is insignificant. Throughout my life I’ve endeavored to learn how to live. I’m not talking about the pursuit of a paycheck or optimal health or any of the hardline assets that we collect. I desire the experience of something more than mere existence as a cog in the machine. I find it odd that we as a society are so focused on the “What’s In It For Me” factor to the point that if we don’t see instant gratification we think of something as worthless. Tonight’s feature image shows such a thing. Not so much the honeybee but the flowers they are so engaged with right now. It’s called Wingstem. It has no known medical value. It’s not collected as food and in spite of pleasing color it’s not a garden flower. In fact if I were to have pulled back from the plant and shot it at a wide angle you would see that it’s spindly and twisted. And yet at the very moment the shutter snapped it’s showing us it’s value as a food for the honeybee. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ll know that the honeybee population is of great concern. Whole colonies are dying out and I’ve heard a few theories about what might be happening. Personally I think there’s multiple factors but one thing for sure is that bees have to eat. I noticed that even though there’s still a lot of pollen for them right now they don’t seem to be collecting it. They’re also ignoring the ironweed and Joe Pye weed that all the other pollenators are going nuts for right now. The only flower that this colony is focused on is the Wingstem. I’m not a bee expert so I’m not sure what it is about this particular wildflower that only the honeybees are interested in but my pattern recognition says that the nectar from Wingstem is very important to them right now. Wingstem is one of those plants that humans consider a weed because it’s of no direct use to us and most people cut it back when it turns up. But we definitely need the honeybees and they seem to it. Perhaps God made the Wingstem so unappealing to us because it’s for the bees to have all to themselves.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Forage Friday #74 Thistle

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Thistle In Full Bloom 90120″ 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 all of the information is presented as trivia.

The first time I read about Thistle as a wild edible was in one of Tom Brown Jr.’s books about wilderness survival. He describes how it was hot and thirsty and his mentor peeled the stem of a Thistle and bit into it. When he did it was so full of water that it sprayed out from the bite. The story goes on to describe how juicy and refreshing raw Thistle can be. My own experience was a little less satisfactory. First of all the Thistle that I tried was bitter and stringy. In those days there was no smartphones and the fledgling internet had little information. Blogging hadn’t really caught on and most websites were nothing more than an online business card with an address and a phone number. Fortunately for me the public library was the best place to access the internet and so it was just as convenient and quick to go to the card catalog and look up a book on the subject. That’s how I learned that not all Thistles are equal. All Thistles are technically edible but they differ in quality. What I had was what is seen in tonight’s feature image. Bull Thistle. Also, part of the problem was that I had waited until they were fully mature and that certainly changes the experience. What was needed was a young plant and not bull Thistle but Milk Thistle. From what I understand Bull Thistle has every benefit of Milk Thistle it’s just not as pleasant flavored.

If you do your foraging in a local supermarket you’ll find Thistle in the form of a commercial standardized extract. In 2018 890 tons Milk Thistle extract was sold into the supplement market and that’s not counting the seeds that are sold as fodder for songbirds. Most people who use any type of Thistle are doing so as an aide to liver function and even the Native Americans used it to support healthy digestion as well as a treatment for arthritis due to it’s anti-inflammatory affect.

Image Titled “Among The Prickles 90820BW” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Of course if we foraging anywhere other than than the local supermarket we’re going to need to deal with the thorns. If you’re very careful all you really need is a good pocket knife. However, I recommend you also have a good set of gloves and maybe even welding gloves that cover the arm as well as the hand. The thorns are fierce enough to cause permanent eye damage so a decent set of safety glasses might be in order as well.

Those mean thorns are really the only part of the Thistle that is not edible. Then entire plant from the roots to the seeds may be consumed. The roots are said to taste like Jerusalem artichoke or Burdock roots. The stem and midrib of the leaves can be eaten raw but are better as a sautee as is the the flowerhead. Be certain to remove all the thorns!

The seeds are collected when the down appears. To remove the down simply rub the seeds between your hands and winnow them in same manner as separating wheat from chaff. It’s suggested by multiple sources to use an electric coffee grinder to coarsely grind the seeds and sprinkle them on other foods.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Thistle sprouts might be another option if you have enough bulk seed to make it worth the effort. I would recommend sprouting them like any other herb. It can be as simple as placing the seeds between damp paper towels and leaving them in a warm spot where they can germinate.

Why go to all that trouble? Well, wild plants can be richer in nutrition than even garden veggies. Thistle is high in fiber, protein, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. All of this depends on what’s available in the soil of course but presuming the ground is suitable for gardening the Thistle is better able to accumulate these minerals.

We’ve recently seen how fragile the normal supply chain can be. If you’re a person who has been buying supplements in the store then it makes sense to identify alternative resources just in case. All the better if you have a small space to allow some wild plants to flourish. And if nothing else Thistles will attract butterflies and others pollenators with its flowers and songbirds with its seed.

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.

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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=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

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Disturbance Proceeds Renewal

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Dreams In The Meadow 90720” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Late summer mists rise skyward after the rain clears and the big blue truck delivers me to the quiet country road. An old lot once cleared to accommodate parking for heavy equipment is no longer abandoned. Nature in her progression shows the world the folly of the bulldozer for mankind only occupies a season in the age of a mountain. She first sends the herbs to break up the spoil. Hardy and determined they use their roots to till the land and crumble hard earth. She erects a barrier of thorns and pickles to hedge against trespass. Then in that place once dominated by steel the wild things come to play. They frolic among the colorful blooms and draw sweetness where once there was only stone and bare ground. The trees soon return to cover the landscape and their branches shelter even more wildlife as the songs of the finches and cardnials fill the air. The dream of the master architect is soon realized. Not all gardens are arranged in rows and columns. But don’t be fooled. It was part of the plan for man to disturb the old forest with his machines that sweep away bits and pieces of what once was so that room can be made for new. Disturbance proceeds renewal and without it the world would stagnate and die. Yes there are better ways to do it and we have a lot to relearn. But we are part of the cycle and always were.

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.

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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.

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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! 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!

Race The Wind And Win

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Run 90520” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Let the light fill your heart.

Let joy flow through your veins.

Breath in the fresh air and feel your connection to creation.

There is thunder in your soul and fire in your eyes.

Accept that wild part of yourself and be free.

Race the wind and win!

Just a few thoughts I had while watching a friend’s horse play.

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/

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!