Forage Friday #85 Nostoc (Cyanobacteria)

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Eastbound 112420a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Warning: Some types of Cyanobacteria are considered toxic by some sources.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

The rails stretch out eastward drawing my lens towards the quiet tipple in the distance. It’s one of my favorite scenes and I occasionally stop by to enjoy it. However, on this trip something caught my eye that wasn’t quite so picturesque. The lumps of green goo look like something that escaped from a B grade science fiction movie.

Image Titled “Nostoc 1”

But what we’re looking at isn’t something from the nightmares of Irvine Millgate. Instead it’s right out of nightmares of an 8th grade student in a biology class. In my day it was called Blue-green alga but it’s not an alga. It’s Cyanobacteria but not bacteria. You’ll find it listed as “Nostoc” or a variation there of.

Image Titled Nostoc 2

But why did I include this green goo in Forage Friday? Well for one thing it’s listed as being edible. Nostoc commune is pretty much found worldwide and is eaten as a salad, stir fry and stew in Asia. Personally I can’t get past the looks of it. I suppose that if I was desperate for nutrition that I could but I’ve never been that hungry. There’s also the fact that I’m not 100% positive about the ID of this colony. It appears to be Nostoc commune but I’m not sure yet. There is also a question about purity. While it’s obvious that anything growing in an industrial area could be contaminated with industrial chemicals Nostoc is known to assimilate lichens. And while the Nostoc itself is non-toxic some of the lichens are. Now if I really wanted to give it a try I could try to find an Asian market and ask for “Fat-Choy”.

Believe it or not I used to see it powder and capsule form as Walmart as a vitamin.

Medically it was used as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and cancer treatment.

Image Titled “Nostoc 3”

The last market where Nostoc comes into it’s own as a living fertilizer. It doesn’t really poison your plants and it’s a nitrogen fixing lifeform.

That’s it for tonight friends. Be blessed throughout your days.

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The Lost Trail Incident part 5

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Fall Splendor 102020” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact.

This is the final part of The Lost Trail Incident. If you haven’t already read the previous posts avoid spoilers by reading them in order.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The hiker woke to the sound of the boy’s heavy work boots coming his direction. The fire had been stoked in the fireplace and he was thankful for the warmth in Rex’s absence. The boy knelt down next to bed and laid his hand on the hiker’s face. “You’re going to be fine now.” Was all he said. The hiker felt himself falling back to sleep but managed to get out a simple “Thanks” as he nodded off. Just as his eyes closed he caught a glimpse of a brilliant white light through his half closed eyes. He presumed it to be the antique carbide head lamp that the boy was so fond of using.

The hiker woke again to a deep chill. “Hey! The fire is out! He called out but there was no reply. “THE! FIRE! IS! OUT!” He called out again. This there was a reply. “It came from over there!” But the voice was the boy’s voice. It was a full grow man. The hiker opened his eyes fully to see the fall splendor in all it’s glory. In shock he tried to stand and look around. The injured leg restricted his movement but he manged to get on his one good foot and hop a little. The cabin was gone! There was nothing left but the crumbling remnants of the fireplace. The stonework chimney was covered by moss. Only the hearth showed signs of recent use. The handmade crutches, table, workshed and the walls of the cabin itself had rotted away decades ago. The sat down on one of the dislodged stones from the cabin’s foundation and rubbed his eyes in disbelief. He heard excited voices coming his way through the forest as men beat the vegetation aside to clear a path. One of them had a two-way radio and was already calling for an ambulance to meet them at the head of the trail. The hiker was still stunned by disappearance of the boy, the cabin and the dog. Not to mention the attack of a Panther that he was told was a “Devil cat”. As the rescue team eased the hiker into the sled shaped basket so that they could carry him to the extraction point he thought to glance at his injured leg. He found the Amadou bandage right where it was supposed to be. He would have to figure out what had actually happened later when he could think it through. As he was carried to the trail head he watched the tree tops scroll through his field of view while he tried to recall as much detail of his experience as he could. When the the last tree had passed by the the open sky was to see he knew that they were at the trail head. His rescuers were loading him into the back when the hiker thought he heard Rex’s baying out and before they could react Rex lept on top of the hiker and wiggled his way into the gurney. “Is this your dog sir?” Asked the EMT. “Do you see him to?” The hiker replied while trying to pretend that there wasn’t a 70 pound Bluetick Coonhound in his lap. The EMT responded, “Of course I see him, he’s as big as a house!” Hiker let out a sigh of relief. “Then he’s my dog. And I’m not going anywhere without him.”

The EMT had a little trouble convincing the hospital staff to let Rex stay with the hiker but they eventually conceded after a “service dog in training” certification was drafted on the back of a napkin. The hiker’s first visiter was the park supervisor. He told the hiker that he needed to interview him about the accident if he was able so he could make a full report. He asked the hiker the usual questions about how he injured and what kinds safety changes might be made. He then placed the paperwork in a folder and produced a three ring binder. He explained that this next part was off the record. “Let me try to guess.” The park ranger said. You left the trail, because severely injured, was rescued and nursed back to health by a boy in early 20th century attire. He sheltered you in furnished cabin and defended you from the attack of a black Panther.” The hiker looked at ranger in disbelief. The ranger looked at Rex who was at that moment on his back waiting for a belly rub. “But there’s never been a dog before” he added as he gave in to Rex’s requests for attention. The hiker confirmed that this his story as well. The ranger looked at Rex and noted that maybe he needed rescued as well. The ranger opened his binder and removed an old tin type photo that he handed to the hiker. His name was Joshua. He was an orphan and lived in the cabin his parents built near the river. The park service doesn’t have a record of his mother’s death but his father’s trade raft broke up in the river and he drowned. The hiker looked at the photo and this was definitely the kid that helped him. “I took some pictures of the boy myself.” Hiker said. But when he opened the file on his phone there was only a few photos of the fireplace in ruins. He zoomed in a little and noticed that there was only a white mist next to fire. The same was true for the photos of the boy feeding the birds. The ranger was unsurprised and shook his head slightly. “Well, I just thought that you deserved to know that you’re not crazy.” he said. “I hope you feel better soon and in the future, whatever you do, don’t leave the trail.”

Hello Friends! I hope you enjoyed this year’s Halloween ghost story. The hiker had what Adventurers call the 3rd Man Factor. There are some people who say that they were rescued from certain death by the ghost of a person who fell into the same peril. Tomorrow night we’ll be back to regular posts but until then be blessed throughout your days.

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

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

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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The Lost Trail Incident part 4

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Mossy Crossing 30420” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

This is part 4 of a 5 part series. Please read the previous 3 posts by clicking the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Once back inside the cabin the hiker sat back down on the bed and elevated his injured leg. “We’d better check under your bandage to make sure you ain’t got no infection.” The boy advised. It struck the hiker that for someone so young this boy was fairly mature. “Where are parents?” He asked. The boy hesitated and a look of sorrow fell across his face. The hiker immediately regretted asking the question so bluntly. “Pa took a load of his goods down river to sell or trade. He makes chairs and boxes and stuff from the lumber we harvest in the woods. He’s also got several bags of medicinal herbs that we gathered as well as some furs we trapped. He comes back with the stuff that we can’t make ourselves.” The hiker took a breath and asked about the boy’s mother. “She went out gather some herbs a few years ago but she never came back. We think that cat….” his voice dropped off before he could finish his statement but the hiker didn’t press the boy. A tear rolled down the boy’s boy’s cheek as he went to work removing the bandage. “Pa showed me that a deep wound like this one here shouldn’t be allowed to heal too fast. If it does it turns gangrenous and you have to take it off. He saw it in the war sometimes.” The hiker opted not to press on questions about the boy’s situation. The wound started to bleed a little as soon as the boy got it unwrapped. The boy noted that this was a good thing because it would help flush out any infection. The bandage though, was too blood soaked to be used again and the boy tossed it into the fire. “Wait here.” the boy instructed. He left the cabin for a moment and returned with a large square of very soft felt-like material. The boy explained that this was one of the resources his father traded down river. The felt was made from a mushroom that grew on trees and that his grandfather had brought the skill to work with it to the New World. The material was called Amadou and among other things it could be used for bandages. The boy placed the spongy pad on the wound and realized he had no way to secure it. No problem. There was plenty of stuff in his father workshed he could use to bind the Amadou over the wound. As he was returning with a ball of homemade twine he noticed that it was starting to get dusk and then he noticed something that made his blood run cold. A small log that had fallen across the ditch near the cabin was missing a patch of moss. Something had brushed against the log while he was in the workshed. He quickened his pace and bolted the door of the cabin with the heavy iron bar. He turned to see the hiker on the bed with Rex the hound curled up at feet. The hiker hadn’t noticed the boy’s panic. The boy knew that he had to finish binding the wound before they could do anything else and he manged to tie the last knot of his makeshift bandage when the warm glow of the sun faded in the waxed paper window. Rex whimpered slightly but soon began to growl. Just outside the door there was a baby’s crying followed by the scream of the Devil cat. Then there was an ominous moment of silence before cabin’s paper window was ripped away by a huge black paw. The opening was only large enough for the cat’s head to pass through easily and given enough time it would have wriggled itself into the cabin. The hiker was locked in a gaze with those lifeless yellowish green eyes as felt around the bed for a crutch to defend himself with. Time seemed to stand still as the two looked at each other but the tension was broken by the long bay of Rex as he lunged at the huge black cat. The loyal hound had his jaws locked on the cat’s neck as he thrashed his head from side to side. The awkward position of the Devil cat stuck partially in the window made it impossible for a full swipe of claws giving Rex the advantage for the moment. Eventually the Panther manged to escape Rex’s grip and withdrew from the opening but Rex would give no quarter and dove through the broken window frame in pursuit. The boy and the hiker could only listen in shock as they listened to Rex’s voice baying out through the night as he chased the Devil cat up river. They sat in the firelight most of night. Occasionally they would hear Rex bay, bark and growl and then the sound of animals locked in combat but eventually the night became silent. The boy manged to find enough wood to cover the broken window securely and both he and the hiker went to sleep wondering if they would see Rex again.

Thank you for joining me on this series Friends. Tomorrow night we’ll see the close of the Lost Trail Incident and all the loose ends will be tied up. But until then be blessed throughout your days.

Proceed to part 5

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

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer

Thank you again for your support of my page!

Forage Friday #78 Virginia Boneset

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled Virginia Boneset 92520a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

All of the information covered by Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

The young Quaker watched and listened closely to his pastor as they visited the home of a church friend. A concerned father and worried mother had called for him to come and see to the needs of their son who had been thrown from a horse. A slight bend in the forearm of the boy indicated that he’d broken his arm. The friends first prayed for the boy and then they prayed that God would guide the pastor to the right treatment. As pastor his job was also to be the doctor for his church. The stepped out of the small cottage with his companion and they searched the edges of the field. Growing in a drainage was a plant whose leaves joined at the base. The pastor rejoiced and pointed out to his apprentice that the joined leaves was a sign from God that this plant would heal the young boy’s bones. They collected the leaves in a basket and took them to boy. They placed leaves over the broken bones and wrapped them in a bandage. The bones would need time to knit but the leaves did their job and it took less time than was expected.

Virginia Boneset is a native Appalachian plant that was used by the many Eastern tribes and colonists alike. As the name suggests it was used to set broken bones and it actually seemed to work. The story above exemplifies a European belief in the Doctrine of signatures. While the doctrine was older than the Quaker church it certainly would have been adopted by them. It was the belief that a plant’s anatomy would give clues on how God intended the plant to be used. The joined leaves was the sign for healing broken bones.

Image Titled “Virginia Boneset 92520b” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

In Image “Virginia Boneset 92520b we can see a good example of the leaf base. We can also see that the plants are pretty hairy. This is important because there is a very toxic look-alike in White Snakeroot. The leaves of White Snakeroot do not join and are not as hairy.

Virginia Boneset wasn’t just used as a poultice on broken bones. During the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1819 it was used by some people as a tea to reduce fever and “cure” the flu similar to Joe Pye Weed and in fact the two plants are first cousins. They are also both called “Boneset” and probably produce the same chemicals in their leaves. Which brings me to a warning. It is now thought that like Coltsfoot, Virginia Boneset may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that damage the liver. One source suggests that they also have a substance that stimulates T-cell production and that’s why it was effective against viruses but I have not been able to find a second independent source on this and so I’m not sure if that’s so. Virginia Boneset is said to be a diuretic as well and therefore help flush diseases from the body that way.

Image Titled “Virginia Boneset 92520c” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Virginia Boneset is associated with wet conditions as you can see in Image Titled “Virginia Boneset 92520c” with cattails in the background. This photo was taken on the edge of a pond where the ground was moist but not muck.

Virginia Boneset flowers in the late season and some even refer to it as “Late Boneset” because it appears as the Joe Pye Weed is fading away. As such it’s going to be an important late season resource for pollinators such as honeybees and butterflies. If you want to see butterflies as late in the season as possible or if you raise honeybees then allowing this plant to have some space is a good idea.

One last note is that all of the sources I reviewed that have actually drank the tea made from either Boneset say that it is a terrible tasting tea. It’s actually listed as an emetic and known to cause vomiting so there’s no culinary uses for this one.

That’s it for tonight. Please keep in mind that I am presenting this as trivia and history only and be blessed throughout your days.

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

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

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 #12 Father’s Day

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Walking With Dad 52620” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article

George glided in with his stretched as wide as he could make then. The duck in the grass below looked up and seemed to smile a little wider after seeing George. The two ducks greeted each other warmly and began to walk together along the path. At first they chattered excitedly catching up with each other’s lives but as they walked their conversation because more direct. The older duck began to instruct George about what was good to eat in the area and how to avoid the excited dogs that come here sometimes. The conversation was very important to George because this was his dad. The more George’s dad taught the greater the twinkle in his eyes flashed. George just took it all in and listened in earnest as he actually learned new things. What’s more is that George learned that day that Fathers don’t just like to teach but that it’s how his dad expressed his love for his son. All those hours and hours of lectures when George was growing up wasn’t just for the sake of showing George what he’d done wrong but the love and dedication of a father trying to impart the best of himself into his son. And furthermore George learned that his dad never felt more fulfilled than when he listened.

Tonight’s post is dedicated to the best teachers I ever had. My dad.

This image in not for sale or transfer

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

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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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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! ❤