The Lost Trail Incident part 1

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Walk Among The Boles 100620SBW” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Tonight begins my annual Halloween fiction series. I endeavor to keep all stories family friendly for your enjoyment. The series will run for as long as I am inspired but should end by Halloween night.

The sign read “Do Not Leave The Trail” as the day hiker strode cheerfully into the dense Appalachian forest. He did his best to avoid snapping twigs or scuffing his boots in the dirt. That would be a sure way to frighten wildlife he might encounter. In his day pack he carried the basics. An optimist first aid kit, water purification pills, a decent hatchet and Swiss Army Knife as well as string, wire and plenty of snacks. His plans were only to knock out a few miles and get some fresh air so he felt a little over prepared but he didn’t want to look out of place if bumped into another hiker on the trail. After a while he began to take some pictures with his cellphone. There was plenty of plants and strange insects to identify later when he had a network signal. The trail led past a cliff and even though it wasn’t particularly high it was on a steep embankment and offered a great view of the mist covered valley below. He decided to get a better look and dropped his pack at the base of a huge hemlock tree for better balance on the edge of the cliff. It was only a few feet off the trail and the bright colors of the pack would be a visual anchor to lead him back to trail. The edge of the cliff was on a slight downhill grade and it gave him butterflies in his stomach as he scooted on his butt towards the precipice. He quickly figured out that if he wanted the best shot he’d have to stand and when he did he felt an acorn rolling under the tread of his boot just prior to his ankle rolling slightly. The next thing he remembered was looking up as the edge of cliff moved away from him in slow motion along with the sensation of falling. When he came to the light was beginning to fade. He’d been unconscious all day. He first slowly moved his arms and there was no pain. He tried to move his left leg and it seemed to okay. But when he tried to move his right leg the was a sharp pain in his calf. He carefully angled his head to find a stick that was slightly larger than an arrow shaft had penetrated his leg. One of boughs that had broken his fall had a twig sharp enough to go through his leg. Instinctively he placed a hand on his forehead and found his face was covered in dried blood. As far as a survival situation goes this was about as bad as it gets. He noticed that his phone had landed within reach. He picked it up and other than the cracked screen it seemed to working. Unfortunately he was also outside of the signal range. He powered the phone down to conserve battery. The air was really cold and getting colder when he saw the white deer step out of bushes. He struggled to get a good look at it but he was really weak from the fall and began to pass out. His eyes fluttered and then there was a brilliant white light and the next thing he noticed was the old work boots step into view. When he came to he was bound to a frame and heard the steady sounds of footfalls in dry leaves. A young man’s voice told him to be still or he’d start bleeding again. The hiker had no choice but to be still because he was lashed to a primitive travois. He could do nothing but stare at the clear night sky as the youth drug him along. Still weak from the loss of blood the hiker soon lost consciousness again.

Wen he came to he was in a hand built one room cabin on a timber frame bed. The only light came from the fireplace on one side of the room. The light was enough to reveal the beautiful Appalachian pattern quilts that hung on each wall. They were as much for insulation as they were decor. He could smell a stew that was simmering in a cast iron pot in the low flames and from somewhere outside the cabin a fiddle softly drone out an old gospel tune. The music stopped suddenly and he could hear those work boots move towards the door. The door opened to reveal a boy. He couldn’t have been any older than twelve. He was ungroomed but otherwise clean. He held his fiddle and bow in one hand and closed the door. Without a word he placed the fiddle on a hand hewn dinner table next to an antique carbide head lamp. The boy stepped over to the pot and with a carved wooden ladle dipped out some broth into a blue ceramic mug. As he offered the broth to hiker he explained that it was bone broth with wild herbs that would help him heal. The hiker thought about the day pack up on the mountain trail somewhere with it’s payload of energy drinks and protein bars. Then he remembered the antibiotic ointments and what they would do for his injuries. He asked the boy if he would please go back to trail and retrieve the pack but the boy just smiled coyly and said “Thems herbs will fix ya up just fine. Pa swears by ’em”. With that the boy the boy stood up and opened the door. A bluetick hound trotted inside and crawled into the bed next to hiker. The boy spoke again, “Rex here will keep you cozy and watch over you all night. If you need anything just holler. I’ll be right outside. The boy closed and latched the door and once again the heavy sound of work boots walking on the wooden floor could be heard. The boy began to play his fiddle softly again and when the music started Rex thumped his tail on the bed about three times and he and hiker drifted off to sleep again.

Well Friends, that concudes part 1 of this year’s Halloween story. Until tomorrow night thank you for spending time with me and be blessed throughout your days.

Proceed to part 2

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An Angel Story

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wishes On Wings 81920” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

“When a butterfly lands on you it’s really an angel come to grant a wish”

-Spoken to me by an elderly man in South Carolina

The sweet aroma of hibiscus filled the late summer air as the angel approached the country home. The modest house was surrounded flower beds and little raised bed gardens here and there. A stone pathway led through a row of fruit trees and to a small pond on the edge of the forest. The angle felt drawn towards the path. Her steps were so light that she barely disturbed the lawn as she made her way onto the path. Being invisible to humans ment that to all but the most observant she appeared to be a stray breeze shaking the grass. As an immortal she was tall. So tall that she had to duck her head beneath the fruit trees. As she neared the pond her heart felt the sorrow of the child before her ears heard the soft sobbing. The small girl was knelt down in the tall grass holding an empty collar. The collar was purple with little bones printed on it and a small bell hung next the tag. The angle knew that this was why she was sent to this place. Then her ears heard the plea. “I wish Cuddles would come home.” The angel smiled as she took the only form that she was visible in. A beautiful butterfly flew in out from where the angle once stood. In her butterfly form the angel flew a few circles around the little girl and landed on her hand as it held the empty collar. The angel fluttered her wings and spoke peace to her heart. Then the breeze picked up a little and the butterfly opened her wings to catch the sky. Higher and higher she flew in widening circles. The little girl watched the butterfly climb until it was a dot way above the trees. She flew over the creek but saw that there were no puppies slashing in the water. She circled the fields but there were no puppies digging holes. The butterfly searched and prayed for guidance. When she opened her eyes she saw a sunbeam shinning down into the forest. Her heart raced as she glided down with her eyes fixed on the spot where the sunbeam landed. There was Cuddles curled up in a little ball asleep in the sunbeam. But now how would she get him back to the little girl? An inspiration hit her and she landed lightly right on the end of Cuddles’ nose and fluttered her butterfly wings which tickled the dog and brought him to full attention. Still in her butterfly form the angel began to flip and circle around enticing Cuddles to play chase. His little tail wagged as he furiously tried to catch the butterfly that teased him.

Meanwhile the little girl stayed near the pond where she had found the empty collar. Her eyes continued to search for the hint of a tail popping up through the tall grass. Suddenly the butterfly glided over her shoulder and disappeared into the cup of a hibiscus flower.

Image Titled “Spicebush Swallowtail Feeding 81920”

Behind her the little girl her heard the familiar yap of Cuddles and spun on her heels as he leapt into her arms and showered her face with kisses. She fixed the purple collar around his neck and scooped him up to carry him home. She hugged him so tight that he grunted a little. As the walked back up the path from the pond to the house Cuddles peeked over his little girl’s shoulder just in time to see the butterfly become an angel once more. Occasionally the little girl would catch Cuddles standing in a room by himself or barking at nothing in the yard. She would look to see what wad going on only to spot a butterfly nearby.

Story inspired by Frances Elaine’s comments on my blog. May your niece’s life be full of angels.

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

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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 #65 Toxic Moonseed

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Moonseed Vine 63020a” and was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All of the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Moonseed is a toxic plant known to have caused fatalities. I have included it in Forage Friday for the purpose identification and avoiding a fatal error.

Typically the way I choose a topic for Forage Friday is that I spot something as a random encounter and grab a snapshot of it for the post. I feel that this way I can give you a more organic experience and a more realistic expectation of what might be encountered during an outing.

What caught my eye in tonight’s feature image was the way the leaves are backlit by the sun filtering through the canopy. As a matter of protocol I run the photos trough Google Lens to double check the ID because anyone can make a mistake and guess wrong on the ID of a plant. Moonseed is a particularly bad one to do that with if it happens while looking for wild grapes. The shiny dark berries are attractive and could easily be mistaken for an edible.
As stated in the disclaimer there have been fatalities. The vine was once used as an ornamental that was planted on fences and such. The thick growth habit would help hide any defects in the fence and the berries are eaten by songbirds. Amazingly enough birds seem to be immune to a large number of toxic berries that would kill a human if eaten in a large enough quantity.

Two of the quickest ways to know if you have Moonseed or Grapes is that Grapes have forked tendrils that they cling to the structure with and Moonseed has no tendrils. Instead, Moonseed wraps itself around the structure. In the age of seedless grapes at the store some people may have never seen a grape seed. So the seed of a grape is ovoid. By contrast, the seed of a Moonseed berry is discoid and has a notch that gives it the appearance of a crescent moon and thus the name Moonseed. There are other factors like the lobes and the notches but these can be effected by soil conditions and sometimes be hard to distinguish.

The toxic substance in Moonseed is Dauricine which is being studied to see if it can be used in chemotherapy.

In spite of the known danger with Moonseed history says that the Cherokee did have some uses for it but my opinion is that there’s probably less risky options.

Moonseed is also a smaller berry than grapes however I still crush the grape to double check the shape of the seed when I find a new vine.

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.

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.

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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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Things Are Just Ducky #11 George’s New Home

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Napping In The Grass 52620a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

George the mallard awoke from his long nap in the grass and looked around his new home. He hadn’t expected to move from his rocky perch on the banks of the Kanawha River but things change and we don’t always get to stay in the places where we had planned. The new place wasn’t really noisy and George liked that. There was also more forests than anywhere in the valley. George rose from the grass and waddled down into the water.

Image Titled “Swimming Mallard 52620a”

The cool green water had a stillness that George wasn’t used to. George could tell that the water was deeper than he could ever image in certain parts of the lake. He could see the huge carp swim along the edges of the lake and occasionally make the water boil with the edges of their tails. The lake was great place for George to have a few new adventures.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

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/

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!

Incident On Panther Mountain part 4

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

If you haven’t read the beginning of this story please use the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

As I backed away from the tree and stared at the mouth shaped wound on the trunk I realized that what looks like drool was actually just resin seeping out of a wound that had never fully closed. The damage to bark was probably caused by another tree being blown over in storm. As the bark healed over it formed the lips of the mouth. That had to be it. No other explanations were logical. As I continued to ponder on the strange looking tree and it’s drooling mouth. My concentration was broken by another round of giggles that seemed to echo from all over and then there was a shushing sound that came from above my head. I spun around and looked up through the branches. But saw nothing. “Maybe I’ve accidentally inhaled hallucinogenic mushroom spores.” I mumbled to myself while searching for the source of noise. I glanced back to the truck and noticed that the fog was pooling in the road so thick that I could no longer see the truck.

Image Titled “Fog In The Forest 101919d”

The top of the hill was still fairly clear and I decided that if I used the fob I could just follow the beeping horn to find it again. I cautiously moved around the hillside looking for a sign of the invisible giggler. I noticed something laying in leaves. The light color of oiled wood standing out amid the rusty brown leaves. The smooth texture told me that the wood had been worked. I walked over and used my stick to rake back the leaves to find a doll. The head was made of a polished wood bead and had a simple face of faded paint. The body was fashioned from burlap sewn up with hemp twine and stuffed with scraps of rags. The doll’s dress was also made from scraps of cloth and sewn in a quilting pattern. The doll was made with simple materials but someone had put a lot of love and effort into it creation. I reached down to pick it up for a better look when a small voice screamed a blood curdling NO! The small voice struck me like a stone and I dropped the doll imeadiatly as frightened birds burst out of their branches. A small girl came rushing out of a hollow tree where she had been curled up in a little ball.

Image Titled “The Hiding Spot”.

She had to be no older than 5 years and small for her age. Her quilted dress matched the doll’s dress. She embraced the doll tightly and I heard her whisper “I almost lost you.” I was stunned by her sudden appearance. After a few moments of watching her hug the doll and whisper into its ear I asked for her name. She just tightened her grip on the doll and refused to speak. Knowing that there wasn’t any houses close by I asked her “Where’s your mommy?” “Don’t talk to strangers.” She said in low voice. I wondered what I could do. I wasn’t really keen on the idea of leaving her there by herself but she seemed to be stressed that I was there. Finally I asked “Are you lost?” I saw a tear drop roll down her cheek as she slowly shook her head yes and mumbled that she was playing hide and seek and they left without finding her. I knelt down to her level and said. ” I have an idea. Maybe it’s just their turn to hide and we need to go find them. I have a friend in the police department who can help us.” I stood up and took a few steps back towards my truck. The small footsteps in the leaves behind me let me know that she was following me. To my relief we made it back to the truck without any issues. I opened the door and sat her in the passenger side with the doll strapped in between us. As soon as I got enough bars I called the police department and told them that was bringing her to them. As we drove she didn’t speak. She only looked out of window and pointed to different things that we passed while whispering to the doll. Everything was as normal as stumbling upon a lost child in the forest could be if it were normal. Until we got to the police station. I walked in with the little girl in tow and sat her on a chair in the lobby while I looked for the officer that I’d spoken to on the phone. When we came back to the lobby the little girl was gone and only the doll was there sitting upright in the chair. Except, the quilted dress that matched the little girl’s dress was dirty and looked old. The paint on the wooden head was faded. My friend who was the officer gave me a confused look and we imeadiatly ran outside thinking that the little girl had wondered off again. We searched the rest of the day but found nothing and nobody else had seen her. We went back inside and decided that the best thing to do would be to look through the missing child reports and try to at least figure out her name. The doll was unique and should be something that would be in a report. The internet had nothing that fit the description of the child or the doll. So we began to search through a file cabinet. The officer pulled out an arm load of folders and one slipped out of his grip and scattered on the floor. As we gathered the lose papers he spotted something. The edge of a paper sticking out from under the file cabinet. He managed to slide it out to find a newspaper clipping. His face went as white as a sheet and he held it out for me to see a story about a missing child. The little girl in the black and white photo was holding the doll which was still sitting in the chair out in the lobby and the headline was from 1929. We agreed to pretend that it never happened and I decided to head back home. But as I passed by the opening of the road up through Panther Mountain I saw movement in the trees. I stopped the truck in the middle of the highway and watched as a young woman approached a tree and the little girl in the quilted dress ran into her waiting arms. Then they were covered by a thick fog and disappeared into the mists.

The Ghost Girl is a traditional Appalachian folk tale that has taken on several versions. Most of the time the girl is a teenager who hitches a ride and barrows coat. When the driver tries to retrieve the coat he learns that the girl had passed away long ago. The origin of the tale is not known to me but Incident On Panther Mountain has been my take on it. I have taken quite a bit of creative liberty with the plot to make it fit with the images that I had on file and if course, it needed to fit Halloween and have have a happy ending.

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!❤