Family Outing

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

The dawn sun rises over the frost kissed hills as I pull the big blue truck onto the parking lot of my day job. In the past I would have been in the field on a morning like this listening to the dawn chorus of the birds but the effort of getting out to a good hunting stand and dragging a kill over the mountains is a little more than I’m willing to put out theses days. Still, when they came into range of my lens from the heated comfort of my truck I still have the same thrill. I’ve watched this group of deer off and on for several years. This is actually a deer family. Mother on the far left, dad in the center and on the far right is their son with his first set of “buttons”. They come to the lot here to browse through the landscape in the lean times. These are city deer and they’re fairly used to human contact but they’ll only come so close. They don’t perceive the big blue truck as anything out of the ordinary and because deer are nearsighted they don’t notice the person inside slowly angling the lens their way. They only react when the autofocus beeps. Hunters would shame me for making a noise but I’ve discovered that the beep only makes them look up and present their faces. The sensitive ears don’t miss much and even the snap of the shutter gets their attention. After several frames they decided to the beeping and snapping was a little too concerning and with a few deft bounds they vanished into the thick brush.

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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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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Talking Turkey

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

Growing up in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains and spending so much time in nature gives one special skills. I never was a turkey hunter per se but I havr encountered them often. One day while sitting on my deer deer stand I heard the sound of sharp claws scratching through the dry leaves. Each animal in the forest has it’s own footsteps. In the deep thick underbrush you use your ears as much as your eyes to know what’s out there and where it is. Deer and humans have a similar gait and sound alike in the leaves. A squirrel makes a noise like a child stomping and kicking while big old bears make almost no noise at all. But scratching is a bird noise. I carefully got as much of my body behind a tree as I could and waited to see what was coming. As the scratching got closer it suddenly turned into the thumping of strong wings taking to the air. The whole flock of turkeys sailed past me only missing me by a few inches. I sat as still as possible trying to look like part of the tree in spite of blaze orange I was wearing. It was a spectacular sight to see the large bodied birds fly past my head and disappear into the bushes below. All of them except for one. The dominant tom who was a bruiser of a bird. He circled through the trees and came right back and was headed straight for me. We think if turkeys as awkward birds on the ground with a funny walk but on the wing they’re as graceful as eagles. For a moment I thought he was going to kamikaze right into me but at the last second he pulled up and gently landed at my outstretched feet. His beard drug the ground as he cocked his head to one side and examined the rifle that was still in my lap. I wasn’t quite sure what to do and what happened next totally blew my mind. He looked up at me through his right eye and said “Deer hunter?” “Well yeah.” I stammered in reply. “Okay” the tom said. “I’m familiar with the regulations and I know that I’m not in season so let’s have a conversation.” I could only nod an affirmative while blinking. I’ve never really encountered a talking turkey before. Especially not one that was so forward with his introduction. “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As the official spokesbird of the holiday I want to give you a few tips on thankfulness.” He continued. “First, you should realize how blessed you are and humbly accept those blessings. The generations before you struggled and sacrificed to give you the life you have. When you complain it’s like saying that they didn’t suffer enough. Next, the most important of your blessings are the people who are in your life. Guard those relationships and you’ll always be rich. Lastly, generosity is the ultimate expression of gratitude. It recognizes that your needs have been satisfied to the point where you can bless others.” After he spoke he cocked his head one more time and with a few flaps his powerful wings he rejoined the flock. I was still in shock but I who am I to question the wisdom of the official spokesbird of Thanksgiving?

I want to extend a special thanks for all of you who read and follow Lloyd’s Lens Photography through email and social media platforms. Your words of encouragement have been a particular blessing in my 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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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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!❤

November Bouquet

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

The cold northern winds have swept away the glory of the maple and oak. But don’t think that all beauty has been lost. Though the pedals have faded and fallen away long ago the rose has its second glory in late fall and holds it throughout the winter. The delta marsh on Muddelty Creek is full of the bright red berries that give the appearance of candy sprinkles to the brown and beige landscape. The blue sky is mirrored in the lazy flow of the water as twists it’s way through the land. The reeds whistle a lulaby in tune with wind as nature closes her heavy eyes. Standing on the edge of the road I look into the pool and watch as the fish come near the surface to admire the crimson joy of the fruit of the rose and lazily return to the depths of their realm. Soon the ice will come and seal their door of the outside world and I will wait for the new light.

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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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!❤

Morning Whispers

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

The smell of the coffee in my tumbler fills the cab of my big blue truck as I drift along the tiny one lane road on Peter’s Creek. Most of the colorful leaves have fallen to the ground leaving behind the pale branches and boles of the sleeping forest. The vibrant songs of the mockingbirds and warblers have given way to the cries of jays and crows. The seasonal progression brings with it an icy chill making the hot coffee all the more appreciable. As I scan the edges of the road hoping for a jay or a Cardnial to pause long enough for a portrait the gently swaying keys of a box elder catches my eye. The winged seeds persist well past the dropping of the final leaf and some of them stay on the tree well into the winter. I know that the calendar says that winter doesn’t really start until the solstice but that’s mankind’s artificial time. For me winter starts with dropping of the last leaf or when those that remain have turned to dull rusty brown. The forest slumbers until the songbirds sing and wake the first blossom of spring.

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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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!❤

Red Oak And Blue Sky

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red Oak And Blue Sky” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Salmon Run Road is all but abandoned this time of year. There was one person out walking for his health and a few boaters were much farther down the road but that’s far less than summer. I went to see the empty lake bottom and some of the abandoned foundations of the flooded civilization that used to be there. The barren landscape would be a great analog to Mars in some places. ( Photos to be posted at a later time)

On the way back out I spotted the Red Oak clinging tightly to its last few clumps of leaves. The red in contrast with the blue sky was a very soothing sight after the dry lake bed. I rolled down the window and soaked in the cool breeze and fresh air. Small buntings hop about through the denser twigs. Only the rattle of dry leaves gives away their presence as they hunt. A sudden gust of wind sweeps through the leaves on the ground get up and dance before coming to rest in the duff of the forest floor. For a few minutes I forgot that I was stopped in the middle of a public road until another truck was coming in sight from the other direction and it was time to move 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

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/

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!❤

Forage Friday #34 Birch

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically 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.

One of the treats for a young person growing up in the Appalachian Mountains is reaching out to pluck a birch twig during a hike. Not just any birch but one of the sweet birches. The property I grew up on had plenty of black birch and it is the strongest flavored in my recollection but the property I have now has yellow birch on it. Both are wintergreen flavored and the inner bark can be made into a tea. The wintergreen flavor comes from methyl salicylate which functions like aspirin and therefore can be used for pain relief.

One of the surprises that I learned several years ago was the existence of birch beer. It’s called beer but it’s technically a wine. The birch tree is tapped like a maple and the sap is then boiled down into syrup just like maple and to make the birch beer it’s allowed to ferment into wine. I can’t really speak to the flavor of birch syrup or beer/wine but it’s mentioned in several of my guide books.

The curly bark of a yellow birch in my property.

The bark of a yellow birch has a distinctive look. The long curls of lose bark are kinda hard to miss. Birch bark here in the USA is thought of as the construction material for Native American canoes but I think that they used the tighter bark of the white birch with is more of a northern species. The bark was used for making cooking vessels as well. A square tray made from birch bark can be coated with the birch resin and made waterproof enough to cook soup by placing it directly in the fire. Even though birch bark is extremely flammable the water inside keeps it from burning and thus you can cook in it.

Speaking of birch resin, a very useful substance that’s commonly called “Birch oil” is a resin extracted from the bark. The method used is to coil the Bark in a can with a hole in the bottom. This can us placed over a second can or glass jar that’s in a hole in the ground and the whole thing is covered with hot coals from a fire and baked slowly. The oil collects in the bottom jar. In the 17th and 18th centuries people living in Russia used it to waterproof leather and I’ve heard it referenced that during World War 2 Jews who escaped into Russia was able to extend the life of their footwear with the aid of birch oil. A 5000 year old artifact found in Finland turned out to be chewing gum made from birch tar. Which shouldn’t be surprising because the Neanderthals used it to fletch their arrows.

What gardener doesn’t hate snails and slugs? They’re nothing more that living stomachs that destroy our gardens but the birch resin can come to the rescue here too. Mix up a little birch resin with petroleum jelly and paint a barrier around your food plot to keep the slimy critters out. (It’s said to last for months but it’s not a trick that I’ve tried yet. )

Birch resin is also used in making some perfumes but I haven’t researched into that yet.

Lastly, in the more northern climates birch is host to the true tinder fungus. Also known as Chaga. When we get into medical uses for anything I mot only feel the need to urge you to do your own research nut to be extra cautious about the advice you get. Chaga is one of those useful plants that has been hailed as a cure-all. There’s a lot of treatments cited and while I’m sure that there’s a lot of things that it helps I find a claims to be a little overblown and just way too enthusiastic about results. However, this parasite of birch trees was found in the kit of Otzi the ice man. Not only could it be used as incense to keep insects away but it actually helps build fires as tinder ( hence the name true tinder fungus) and he was apparently using it as food and medicine himself. I have included it in this post because of its close association with the birches. Those who study it say that it’s medicinal qualities come from it’s ability to concentrate Betulinic acid that’s produced by the birch tree. Studies are being done that say Betulinic acid may help some cancers but again, this is outside of my understanding enough that I have to ask the reader to seek out a professional for any advice about the validity of that claim.

One last image that I have to share is one of the more interesting trees on my mountain. It’s what’s called a false graft. Normally a graft can only occur within the same species but on the edge of my yard I have a yellow birch and a magnolia that are mechanically joined. Just how this happened I don’t really know for sure. It’s common for trees that are close to each other to grow around one another but here the magnolia is actually growing a horizontal trunk into the birch.

The odd mechanical graft on my property.

I hope that you have enjoyed tonight’s Forage Friday post. When I started Forage Friday I stated that I would continue to post them as long as I could find wild edible plants to feature and I do plan to continue #ForageFriday indefinitely. However, as the winter months are upon us I might have to post an alternative here and there to keep from having to post duplicate photos. I have held back some photos so I can try to stretch the content for as long as possible but we’ll have to see if it was enough. Good night and be blessed!

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

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/

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!❤

Reach For The Light

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red Maple 110919” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The darkness surrounds my little slice of Appalachia this time of year. The same mountains that shelter me from the storms also block the sun when it’s low in the sky leaving only a tiny slice of open sky through which the constellations can look down through. Over The next 30 days the shadows will rule the forests. It will be dark as I leave in the morning and dark when I drive home. But I do have a few days when I’m free to walk in the sunlight. During the last 30 days of the darkness my mind is taken back to a scene from the the 80s Swamp Thing Movie. There’s a scene where Alec (The Swamp Thing’s real name) is held prisoner in a dungeon and is injured. Only a tiny sliver of light shines through the barred window. Being part plant, he stretches out as much as he can to catch the sunshine. Sure it’s just a movie that’s based on a comic book but that one scene had a profound effect on me. The symbolism of reaching for whatever light there is available in order to be made whole should be a universal concept but let me spell it out for you. St. John Chapter 1 teaches us in the first five verses that we are creatures of light. We need that spiritual light to survive. We need the light to be made whole and sometimes we have to reach out a little harder to receive it. Now before you jump on the internet and download the movie let me clear that it’s got some scenes and themes that are not for more sensitive viewers. The nudity and violence including a bare chested Adrienne Barbeau. But when I caught the little red maple in my lens reaching for the sunlight it reminded me of the movie and of course the need to reach out and catch as much of the light as I can.

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

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/

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!❤