Refreshed

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

My eyes slowly open to darkened room lit only by the alarm clock numbers next to my bed. My head is still a little foggy as read the numbers and learn that it’s only 4:00 A.M.. I’ve only been asleep for two hours so I pull the covers up and try to go back to sleep. Then I hear it. The rhythmic tapping sound of water dripping onto the window sill. I knew that the rain had finally found my mountain. I listened as the taps got faster and stronger. Soon the sound blended into white noise and it wasn’t long before the sandman lulled my back into a deep sleep.

The next morning came with that wonderful smell of the forest after a good steady rain. The birds were all out playing in the puddles and the landscape seemed less pale.

The rain continues to fall gently over the mountains refreshing the earth. As it collected on the windshield of my big blue truck I wanted to stop and just play in the rain.

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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The Richness Of An Appalachian Morning

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

Softly floating from place to place the butterfly explores each bloom searching for the one that has the sweetest rewards. The late summer brings the Moonflower and every little twig becomes a bloom. Off in the distance a Ruby Throated Hummingbird darts skillfully through the underbrush as he carries out the same quest. I turned around to focus but he eludes my lens with ease and disappears back into the forest. The crow in top branches of a snag finds this amusing and cackles in a mocking tone. Bumblebees fly in lazy S shaped patterns and crawl into the last of Pale Jewelweed that dangles from dew kissed leaves. They shake the plant as they dig their way into bloom and send a cascade of droplets to forest floor.

Image Title “Getting Into Her Work”

Life is a series of moments that are welded together in experience. The more experiences you have, the richer life is.

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.

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Poke Berries And History

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pokeweed Berries 81419”. The image was taken specifically for this article. Unless stated otherwise all photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My Appalachian ancestors were resourceful people as was the case with most early settlers. They had to fabricate almost everything they had. Iincluding ink.

For those who are unfamiliar with the plant in tonight’s feature image it’s Pokeweed. Sometimes called Poke salet or just plain old Poke. It’s a wild edible plant that requires a little processing in order to safely consume and never when the stems are red. One day we’ll do a Forage Friday post about Poke and the hows as well as the whens of eating Poke greens but for now treat it like poison. Tonight I want to focus on the berries. As far as I know the berries are always poison. What they are good for is making ink.

I have grown up with the knowledge that the U.S. Constitution was written in poke berry ink. However, that’s just an urban legend. ( It’s not written on hemp either. It’s Parchment which is an animal product. ) While I’m a little disappointed to find out that such an important document wasn’t created with the aid of a native plant Poke berry ink was a more common medium back at the time. It was used for less important writing. During the civil war soldiers used it to write letters to home and I’m sure that it was used for anything that didn’t require a permanent record. That’s because the ink just doesn’t last well. It reacts to U.V. light and soon turns brown. Eventually it fades away so much that it can’t be read.

Before I started writing I did a quick Google and found a few facts about poke berry ink. Using the raw unprocessed juice doesn’t work. Apparently the juice alone rots quickly and the message is lost. The prefered method is by fermenting the ink. The alcohol from the fermentation process acts as a preservative. One person said that you can use vinegar to mix up poke berry ink and there seems to be plenty of recipes online.

My personal experience with poke berries as ink just may have been the original paintball game. I remember that we used to make slingshots with rubber bands and use the berries as ammo. The purplish red stain left little doubt as to who was hit.

I hope to do an actual post on poke greens in the Spring but for now the berries are what’s in season. Those who homeschool might step out and collect a jar full of them and look up some of the ink recipes for a historical expiriment.

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/

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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

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Pausing to appreciate the view from Panther Mountain.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “A Panther’s View Of The Gauley River” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The road across Panther Mountain in Nicholas County West Virginia is rough and gnarly. My big blue truck is built for off road travel but the road up the mountain is quite narrow. In some places the tires on one side are only a couple of feet from dropping off into the valley below. But, those spots offer spectacular views of the mountains that I call home. Most people only travel this road on ATVs but I have yet to acquire one. Meeting up with another 4 wheel drive on this road means that someone has carefully back up to a spot that’s wide enough to let the other guy by.

I have often wondered why my ancestors would choose to settle in a place where the mountain’s shadow means short days and dark winters. Where the rocky terrain means poor agriculture and travel beyond the property line was a challenge. But then I look out of window to see something like this and it all makes sense.

We call them our mountains but truth be told the mountains don’t belong to us. We belong to the mountains. Or with them if you prefer.

I have high hopes the rains will come in time to save us from a brown fall. If it does then I think that I’ll travel back to this spot and try to capture the fall colors.

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

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Letting The Light In

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail In The Late Summer Sun” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

A golden ray of sunshine sweeps across the edge of the Appalachian forest. An older Pipevine Swallowtail angles herself to catch as much of this warmth as it can. Her beautiful wings wings are worn and tattered from predator encounters. She seems to be sstruggling pull her body to just the right spot as the last shadow fades away. Oh, but once the light hits her wings things change drastically. Her movement becomes fluid and with shivering wings she suddenly becomes airborne. She flutters and soars with every bit of the grace and agility that she’s always had. All it took to renew her strength was to let the light in.

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!❤

Fluttering Beauty Surrounds Me

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail Feeding On Jewelweed” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The morning sun slowly peeks over Little Elk Mountain. The cool of the night still lingers in the shadowy side of the hills. I have been catching up on a few light chores and happened to notice the rapid movements in the off lawn area of my property. I allow nature to take its course there and have been blessed with an abundance of Jewelweed there. Aside from foraging opportunities the Jewelweed provides humans it’s excellent forage for butterflies and bees as well as hummingbirds. So I’m also blessed to have an abundance of life that seems happy to share my space. Today it’s been Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies. At first you only notice one or two. Then, a third and fourth. As you begin to look deeper into the bushes it hard to believe that you didn’t notice all the wings shivering as they feed.

So, into the house I went to abandon my lawnmower in favor of my big camera. I opted for the 300 mm lens so that I didn’t have to try to get real close. This allows the butterflies to behave naturally and keeps my shadow out of the frame.

As the butterfly in tonight’s feature image fed I noticed that only the forewings shiver. This is done to keep it warm enough for flight but while researching I saw one source that points out butterflies pump their wings while feeding because their proboscis works like a siphon and the wing movement helps them feed. I also learned that when they emerge from the cocoon they have to assemble the proboscis from the two mouth parts they’re born with and that if they don’t get it right they will starve.

Irregardless of the scientific trivia surrounding the butterfly they do fill my life with beauty.

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!❤

Forage Friday #23 Willow

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Builder” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article. I have chosen the image of a red-winged blackbird as the feature image because he’s using the twigs as nesting material and willow is a builder’s tree.

I have returned to the marsh on Muddelty Creek off and on throughout the season to look for interesting photos and to check up on the red-winged blackbirds that seem to thrive there. When I noticed the amount of willow trees in the area I knew that I would be doing a Forage Friday post featuring willow. But I also wanted to expand the concept of foraging for my readers a bit.

Typically when we speak about willow trees in the foraging realm we are referring to the traditional uses for aspirin. Aspirin was originally madr from the inner bark of black willow. Small twigs were gathered and stripped out. Once the inner bark was free from wood and cork it is steeped in hot water and sipped slowly. (Please remember that I make no claims of being an expert on herbalism or medicine. Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter. ) Back in the old days you couldn’t just run down to the corner store and grab a bottle of pills. In fact most people who lived in Appalachia just getting out of the “holler” was a major feat. Families needed to be able to fabricate the necessities of life.

Aside from pain killer and fever medicines willow was one of those trees that came with a variety of uses.

The small twigs can be baked in a low oxygen environment and converted into charcoal. Those charcoal sticks are still highly prized by artists today. At the time of this writing the top result on Google was selling a canister of 144 willow sticks for over $50.00. However the next supplier was less than $10.00.

Willow was also popular for construction. The long flexible branches were used in a technique called “Wattle and Daub. In the wattle and daub the willow branches are woven through the framework of the sstructure and a mixture of “cob” is uesed as plaster coating for the wall.

Willow is found worldwide and at one time it was actually farmed by a practice known as coppicing. The branches would be cut back every year or so leaving a bare stump. The new shoots that grew from the stumps were straiter and more flexible. The harvested shoots were used for baskets and fish traps. The Welsh used them to make a shield shaped boat called a Coracle. While a Coracle was a flatwater boat it was capable of supporting a tremendous load. Native Americans in Alaska used willow to make kayaks and bows.

In the Spring willow produces a downy seed that is carried on the wind.

Willow is also both a pioneer species and a stabilizing force on streams. The tree grows on the edge of the water and acts as a buffer to slow down flood waters and it’s roots help hold the soil in place. In 2016 my area was hit by what was said to be the worst flooding in 1000 years. I credit the willows and other trees that grow on my property with preventing my yard from being washed out during the flood.

I’m certain that I’ve left a few tidbits out but if you happen to have access to willow trees then you might want to try making a basket or charcoal stick as a small project.

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!❤