A Conversation For The Birds

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Robin Eating Honeysuckle Berries” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

One of my favorite movies was Jeremiah Johnson. The movie staring Robert Redford is a fictionalized version of a true story. There’s a couple of scenes where Redford just freezes in mid sentence and scans the mountains visually because he knew something was wrong. The mountains were silent in those scenes. What tips the mountain man off to danger in the scenes is very subtle. It’s the alert call of a robin.

I have never actually read the book “What The Robin Knows” but it’s often been referred to in other wilderness guides and videos. The book encourages you to pay attention to the sounds of nature. Birds especially. They’re the tattletales of the forests.

The individual calls and their meaning is literally a complete language in and of itself. A person could devote an entire blog to that subject alone. During the course of writing this article I did a quick Google search and found enough material for anyone to learn the basics.

The types of calls are:

Location calls, which helps them to keep track of babies and mates.

Flock calls, which is keeping track of the flock.

Food calls, which communicates that food has been located.

Mating calls, when romance is in the air.

Alert calls, to warn of danger.

I have probably left something out but this is enough to get started.

Something that I like to pay attention to is the “holes” in the bird chatter. This works like sonar for locating predators in the woods. Or even lost people for that matter. During hunting season I let the birds tell me where the other hunters are by paying attention to the holes in the bird chatter.

The little robin in tonight’s feature image is feasting on fly honeysuckle berries. These berries are poison to people but are a staple crop for birds. The little guy was having the time of his life with a whole bush full of berries all to himself! I watched him gobble down a few of the bright red globes before heading out to have my own dinner.

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Tattered Wings

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

The butterfly bush got it’s name for a reason. This bush near the state road garage in Glen Ferris was so full of butterflies that it looked like the scene of a movie. Multiple species of Swallowtail were swarming the blooms. One particular Pipevine Swallowtail caught my eye. The wings were pretty torn up. Presumably from multiple bird attacks. The butterfly obviously had plenty of opportunities to just give up and let a bird take her but here she was. Going about her daily life as if nothing ever happened.

We often see the moment a butterfly emerges from the crysalis with it’s beautiful wings in full glory but we don’t often see the wings after the daily challenges of a lifetime in the wild. At first this might seem like a downer. But let me tell you now that it’s not. Why? Because this butterfly personifies a winner. This is what a winner looks like. This butterfly has obviously overcome adversity.

As often as have been advised on how to be successful in anything the one piece of advice that comes up consistently is “Don’t give up.” Sure there’s a lot more to it but in order to perform the other tasks you have to not give up before reaching that point.

Pop culture has given us the picture of a winner as a person who has always done it right, never making a mistake and just casually strolling into victory. That’s a lie. Even a person who we would consider to be a savant in a particular field has had to overcome struggles of one kind or another. We don’t really notice the that person’s “tattered wings” because we’re focused on the accomplishment and not the struggle that got them there.

As I drew closer to the butterfly trying to get a better frame showing just how shredded the wings were she proved just how mastery of the air she still has as she lifted effortlessly from the bloom and moved out of my reach between frames.

Since there was more butterflies there than I could count I chose not to pressure her any farther. I was still looking for a Spicebush Swallowtail in the first place and part of not giving up includes being focused on the goal.

I didn’t find the particular species that I was looking for that day in spite of getting several nice photos that I will be releasing in upcoming posts. But I did get encouragement to keep on keeping on.

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.

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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 #16 Jewelweed or Touch-Me-Not

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for this article and is untitled. All of the photos on my blog are my original work. Unless otherwise stated. Prints are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I’m often in awe at the providence of God. There’s so many “everyday blessings” that constantly surround us that it’s easy to take them for granted. Such is the case with Jewelweed. The name was given to plant because of “jewels” that adorn the leaf when it’s wet. The leaf also takes on a gemstone like look when fully submerged.

The bright orange or pale yellow flowers are hard to mistake once you know what they look like.

The unmistakable flowers always reminds me of a fairy hat of some sort. I can almost see a tiny elf plucking a fresh dew covered “hat” every morning so it can go about its business in style. In reality the flowers are favored by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Tonight’s photos are from my back yard near the forest edge. The large patch grows on the shady side of the mountain beneath the hickory and magnolia.

The name Touch-Me-Not is more commonly used in my region. In the Fall when the pods are fully mature they explode at the slightest touch. The pressure is provided by natural springs that grow in tight coils within the pods.

Here in picture 3 you can see the bean-like pod just behind the orange flower. This one is not ripe yet but in a few days the pressure from the coils growing inside make the pods bulge.

The seeds can be ejected as far as thirty feet from the plant. Those seeds are edible and said to taste similar to walnuts. The collection technique is to place a bag over the pod and gently shake it until you hear the seeds impact on the bag. They are covered by a shell that’s rough to open. The suggestion of how to get to the tasty little nut ( it’s really small ) is to crush them and dump the mix in a dish of water. The nuts sink but the shells float. Simply skim the shells off of the surface.

Jewelweed comes into it’s own as preventive and remedy for poison ivy rash.

The thing I use Jewelweed for the most is as a remedy for poison ivy rash. Now, it’s possible for anyone to have an allergy to anything. And there’s probably a certain amount of people who it will not work for but I’ve not met them yet. I have successfully prevented poison ivy rash by crushing the plant stems and all directly on my skin. Admittedly, I am not very sensitive to poison ivy in the first place but I do get a mild rash when I am unprotected. I rubbed the juice of the Jewelweed into my skin and then brushed the poison ivy across the underside of my arm. No reaction. Next, I juiced up my skin and pulled the poison ivy out of Bush. Still, there’s no rash. It wasn’t until I crushed the poison ivy out my skin that the protection of the Jewelweed was insufficient. Even then the rash went away when I applied more Jewelweed the next day. The most extreme example that I ever seen was an eight year old boy who had blisters from head to toe. I helped his parents collect several Walmart bags full of Jewelweed and we crushed them with a rolling pin. The crushed plants were dumped into a tub full of hot bathwater and the boy soaked for several hours. By the next morning his blisters were gone. ( I’m not a medical professional. I’m just telling you about my personal experience .)

Jewlweed/Touch-Me-Not is really a good plant to have around.

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!❤

Quest For A Golden Dragon

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

The morning sun is already started to burn hot as I enter the marsh. I have heard a tale that somewhere in the maze of cattails lives a golden dragon who guards a jewel of great value. The crisp aromas of water mint fills the humid air. Rustling noises on the other side of the thick mat of leaves tells me that the birds are on the hunt. Silvery flashes dart through the water as I make my way towards the goal. Something moves just outside of my field of vision. I turned around but saw nothing. There’s a buzzing sound with a rattling that sounds a little like paper caught in a fan. I moved slowly in the direction of the noise and it moved away. I paused to give the sound a chance to settle. When the sound of papery wings ceased I gently moved the foliage aside and searched the lush green leaves underneath. And there I saw the legend was true. A golden dragon rested on a leaf guarding diamond sphere. I marveled at the shiny body and gossamer wings. Unlike the questing knights of tales told long ago I came not a sword and lance but a lens to capture my quarry. This tiny dragon breathes no fire. No smoke encircled it’s lair. The sun will soon reclaim it’s guarded treasure but it’s legend is forever preserved in my lens.

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!❤

Evening Drive In Summertime

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Evening Drive In Summertime” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The humid summer air blows through the can of the big blue truck as I cross the top of the dam. Summer is a time for leaving the windows down and the radio up.

As a young man it was important to visit all the parking lots on summer evenings so that you could catch up with your friends. Today the restaurant at the top of the dam is Fat Eddie’s but in those days it was a Dairy Queen. I remember once when the girls convened everyone to tune in the same radio station so that the same music was playing all through the group. I can’t really remember who’s idea it was in the first place but I remember someone saying “Music brings us together.” The lake in summer will be associated with the music of the 80s. Something that seems to be missing from music entertainment is the voice of the DJ. I know that today music artists call themselves “DJ” but I’m talking about the announcers that delivered a monologue between sets. Today we have a playlist on our phone or other device that delivers a continuous stream of song but the friend who rode with you everywhere is missing. On one of my devices I have a few clips from DJs worked into the mix for “old times sake”.

When I approached the dam and the evening sky all the memories seemed come back at once. A lot of things have changed since the responsibly free summer evenings of my youth. But crossing the dam with the windows down and music up isn’t one of them.

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!❤

Things Are Just Ducky #7

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

George the mallard crossed the wake of the passing boat and came to rest on his favorite submerged log. “The ripples connect everything.” He observed as he soaked in the sun’s warmth. He watched as the wake spread out from shore to shore. Even the mighty Kanawha River wasn’t too wide for the wake to travel. George began to consider how small the world truly was. He noticed that even the rings made by the water lapping against his brest traveled farther than he’d ever noticed. He considered how his every action in the river touched his whole world. “It’s very important to mind myself. One bad splash could soak my friends!” He thought to himself as watch the wake reflecting off of every object in the river and travel back to his spot on the log. As an expiriment George flapped his wings and made a splash that traveled to the near shore and back again. “What I send out comes back to me. If I send out good things then goodness should be my reward.” He observed. George noticed a potato chip that had been dropped by a boat floating near the shore. George began to flap his wings in time with the ripples. With each returning wave the potato chip bounced closer until it was within reach. As George snapped up the chip he began to appreciate the virtue of working smarter and not harder. “Yes, good things indeed.” He said as he rubbed his belly in satisfaction.

George settled back into his spot on the submerged log and once again soaked in the sunshine with a new perspective on life in the river.

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!❤

A Fish Tale

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Something Fishy” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article. The reflections are 100% natural.

Every lake has it’s legends. Scotland has Nessie, Lake Champlain boasts of Champ and the ancient Greeks told of the Kraken. But deep down beneath the surface of Summersville Lake something glides through the sunken town of Gad. The light doesn’t penetrate down there so the creature must prefer the darkness. I’ll never forget trolling up to one of the larger houseboats on the lake one summer morning and being shown the large ocean rig snapped off at base and a large hook that was pulled out straight. I may have even caught a glimpse of the scaly beast a few days later when a sudden swirl of water swallowed up an eighteen inch long copperhead. We motored over for a better look but only found the serpent’s head as it slowly disappeared into the murky depths. A local diver is said to be the only person who came face to face with the monster fish and lived to tell the tale of the giant catfish in Summerville Lake.

Just like in any good tale of a legendary beast there’s a bit of controversy. Some people say that it’s all wild imagination. The ocean rod and hook could have snagged a log or large rock under the water. The diver could have been closer to a large but normal sized fish than he thought. The pictures in the local dive shop could be a forced perspective. ( objects closer than they appear. ) But then again. The lake is 300 feet deep in the summer. The lake covers over 2,700 acres and has over 60 miles of shoreline. If that’s not enough space to hide a monster then there’s also submerged caves.

This is one of caves in Summerville Lake that is said to shelter a giant catfish. During the summer it’s well below the water line.

The cave pictured here has an opening about the size of a small garage door. The picture was taken during winter when the lake had been drained. There’s plenty of room in there for an abnormal sized fish to hide.

I know what some of you are thinking. “If they drain the lake every year then why isn’t there a giant catfish laying in the mud?” The answer is that they don’t fully drain the lake. I don’t exactly know what the depth is at winter pool but it’s still pretty deep.

Summerville Lake at winter pool is still a large body of water.

In the next photo we see Summersville Lake at winter pool. In the frame you can see the old road that once lead to the town of Gad.

I have written before that the Corps Of Engineers nearly named the lake after the town of Gad. Which would have made it Gad Dam Lake and any giant catfish living in the lake a Gad Dam monster. ( since I only post pictures that I’ve taken myself here is a link to story of Gad including photos from the past. Underwater Ghost Town )

Until someone actually manages to haul a 300 pound catfish up from the sunken town of Gad it will remain in realm of legend. In the meantime, I have the natural illusion of a giant fish made by a cluster of fallen trees in the Salmon Run area of Summersville Lake.

So now I have to ask. Do you have a legend of giant fish where you live?

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!❤