Tattered Wings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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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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Swamp Rose

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Swamp Rose 62919A” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My big blue truck rolls down the quiet country road in Nicholas County West Virginia. I have come to check out what might be happening in the marshland of Muddelty Creek. As the dust from the road thins into breeze I can hear the Red-winged Blackbirds. The calls seem to come from everywhere. I look out among the cattails and bullrush in search of one of the singers. The landscape is full of pink dots all throughout the delta.

A red-winged blackbird perched in a sea of Swamp Rose.

The pink dots are one of the simple beauties of the marshland. They are the native Swamp Rose. Swamp Rose is native to the Appalachian Mountains. Knowing that roses in general have many traditional uses for food and medicine I’m sure that they were important to Native Americans. In my imagination I can see a birch bark canoe silently glide through the marsh as one of the occupants casts tobacco leaves onto the surface in payment for the rose products collected.

It’s not hard to imagine that a native canoe is gliding through the water.

The beautiful and serene setting is one that I could visit on a daily basis if life’s circumstances allowed. And in truth I have wished that there was a public boardwalk that one could take to reach deeper into the landscape.

This little marsh is kinda rare in my mountains. In most places the landscape is not level enough to form this kind of delta. At one point this would have been the home of whooping cranes and herons. The herons are occasionally spotted but I haven’t seen or heard a whopping crane since the early 1970s. However that unique call may once again echoe through the Appalachian Mountains. If we can preserve the wetland areas that they rely on.

Earlier this year I captured a photo that while beautiful represents a danger to the ecology of this marsh.

The Yellow Flag is a warning that native species are in danger of being crowded out.

The color of the invasive Iris is the same color of a warning flag. In fact this European plant is commonly call “Yellow Flags”. As I researched the plant it became painfully obvious that it’s beauty is it’s only desirable quality. In spite of a posts stating that it’s been used as a medical plant the warnings were so numerous and dire that I have no plans to ever even touch the plant. And that’s in fact one of the warnings is that it can cause a severe rash in some people. But the biggest problem is that it completely overwhelms everything else in the swamp. Once established it grows so thick that you can stand on it. It’s thick enough to prevent native species from germinating and thus plants like the native Swamp Rose are choked out. The seeds are prolific and spread for miles because they float downstream. In some cases herbicides are used to control the spread but I’m dubious as to the safety of that action towards the aquatic life. Normally what’s required is physical labor to chop out and remove the whole plant along with the soil it’s growing in. It’s also likely to be a plan that has to be repeated occasionally because they come back from any piece of root left behind. And as they spread they clog the waterways and block migration of fish.

What is needed is a conservation club that can go into these areas and restore the environment under the guidance of a qualified expert. Perhaps the DNR would be needed because of the impact of such drastic measures.

I walked back to my big blue truck as these things weigh on mind. The Yellow Flag was brought here by people who wanted to add something beautiful to their landscapes. I took a second glance at wild Swamp Rose with it’s pink pedals and edible fruit and I can’t help but wonder why it was overlooked by those people.

It’s a much better idea to work with native species in landscapes.

Working with native species in landscapes can be rewarding. Using plants like the Swamp Rose or Cattail not only yields a beautiful landscape but also a food source. Rose hips were made into jams in Victorian times. The flowers are strong scented and in bloom for six weeks while the Iris flowers last three weeks on the average and produce no food.

Turning the key brings the big blue truck to life and I drift slowly back to the main road on my way towards the next photo and the next adventure.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

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

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

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

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Painted Ladies

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Painted Lady On Dogbane 1” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As I stood on the edge of yard outside of the office building the butterflies continued to playfully feed on the bloom of the Indian Hemp. Across my my right shoulder one of more colorful ones fluttered by to land on the small white flowers. When it landed it folded it’s wings to show the silvery patterns on underside of the rear set. It was a painted lady.

These small colorful butterflies are found in both the old and new world. In the old world they migrate between Europe and Africa. The experts seem to debate on which populations actually cross the ocean but at least some do.

Back in North America the painted ladies stay mostly in the United States and Southern Canada with one population mapped in Mexico.

It’s been observed by some scientists that the population seems to boom during periods of heavy rain. I’m guessing that might have something to do with the rain and warm weather causing the plants to have growth spurts which means more flowers and thus more food for the butterflies.

Last night I mentioned that the Great Spangled Fritillary was host specific to violets and laid it’s eggs where there would be violets for the catipiller to feed on but Painted Ladies are not as choosey. They host on over one hundred species of plants.

The males, ( still called painted ladies) are territorial and will actually have aerial duels with rivals. They pick a roost and return to it after fight.

The last little bit of trivia for tonight’s post is that painted ladies see in the ultraviolet ranges but probably cannot tell the difference between red and green. Which incidentally is something that they have in common with honeybees.

Painted Lady On Dogbane 2

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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!❤

West Virginia Day 2019

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sundown On The Kanawha River “and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

In April of 1863 the people who lived west of the Blue Ridge mountains began to talk about succession. Virginia had already succeeded from the Union and was now ready to succeed from itself. By June 1863 Mountaineers were part of Union once more and West Virginia was born. Our spirit is embodied in our state motto Montani Semper Liberi, Mountaineers Are Always Free.

West Virginia of course is most known today because of the coal that lights up the night and smelts the steel. But that’s not all we are.

We are the ones who still hold the doors open for a stranger at the store. One of my favorite stories about my fellow Mountaineers came from a local talk radio show when a woman called in to publicly thank two young men that helped her when she lost a load of laundry out of the open bed of her truck. She said that they never asked her name. They just stopped and started picking up her lost belongings.

Our wilderness is second to none. We have clean wild rivers that provide rapids for thrill seekers and shoals for those who just want wade through the water and fish or collect stones. We even have natural water slides to splash around in.

We are also the future. As I understand it, a plan is being formed to recover Rare Earth Elements from the waste of coal mining. We’re being told that not only will this mean a better economy but it will also help keep our beautiful environment clean.

I think about my ancestors that tamed the hills and valleys by the blood sweat and tears. My own grandfather who wore a carbide light on his head as he went into the deep dark mines and risked the mountain collapsing in on him as he fed his wife and eight children by pulling the coal out one shovel full at a time. He helped power the industrial revolution in a time when a lot of work was still done with a mule team. And in the very near future it’s very possible that a miner will sit in air conditioned comfort and supervise a team of robots that will mine materials that power the automation revolution.

I have to wonder what else the future of a free people might bring. But one thing I have a solid inclination to believe is that whatever else comes we will maintain a sense of who we are and never lose that independent spirit that conquered the Blue Ridge mountains.

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!❤

A Perfect Day In The Gorge

Have you ever been asked about what your perfect for looks like? Some people describe the perfect day as winning the lottery and having the check delivered by their favorite celebrity. Who of course arrives on the back of a magical unicorn that you get to keep. While that’s an “interesting” vision and would make for an awesome day it’s not quite for me. I was never really awestruck by fame and rumor has it that unicorns are high maintenance. Lottery winnings might be nice though. But my perfect day would have to involve the freedom to roam the hills of Appalachia. I think I would like nothing more than to pick a trail along the river and slowly amble my way downstream while exploring all the little nooks and crannies that are seldom seen. I have even fantasized about packing up a fleet of canoes documenting all the rivers and streams in West Virginia. Perhaps even find some pre-columbian ruins and photograph mysterious petroglyphs before the elements obscure them forever. Or perhaps find a rare flower that has never been seen before. These were the dreams of my childhood. Not that fame and fortune were a bad thing but it was a lifestyle of simplicity and the wonder of discovery that I found attractive. And, while I may never really be the first person to stumble upon a grand discovery there is the very real possibility of seeing something that’s new to me. And that’s still awesome.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Perfect November Day In The Gorge ” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

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Blackwater Falls Through Old And New Eyes

The cold weather if late Fall and early Winter always draws my imagination to the Pleistocene era. I can imagine how the lone hunter must have seen his pristine world. He walks through a land untamed by clocks and unnatural restrictions. As he steps out of a thicket his eyes behold the falls for the first time. He is at one with the rhythm of nature as he approaches the edge of the water. He sees the fluid movement of the shadows as they dart around beneath the falls. His feet are in tune with the earth as he raises his Atlatl spear and slowly gets into position. As he casts his stone tipped dart towards the target his eyes never lose focus. There’s no splash as the dart penetrates the fish below the water’s surface. His skills with the weapon are so deft that the rest of the fish are undisturbed until he wades into freezing water to retrieve his meal.

Today Blackwater Falls is a popular tourist attraction in West Virginia. A paved path leads to the wooden staircase and there are platforms for taking in the view. However, it’s still easy to imagine that you’re a wild human roaming the wilderness in the distant past as you look down into the Falls.

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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Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blackwater Falls 1” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

Taking The Long Way

If I concentrate on it I can remember a time before Interstate Highways in my area. Every road was the scenic route and every road was the long way home. Oftentimes the road was a single lane and when you met someone coming from the other direction each would have to move one wheel off of the pavement so that there was enough room to pass. Most of the time people would idle in the middle of the road and have a conversation with their windows down. I can remember being late for appointments because two people sat in the middle of the road for several minutes with traffic backed up behind them on either side. Sometimes it lead to an internal conflict of protocol. Is it more rude to block the road or to interrupt the conversation?

Thankfully we now have social media and there’s no need to block traffic for a status update. In the 70s a car was usually large enough to seat 6 adults in relative comfort and quiet drives though the country was a good way to relax.

A slow drive through the mountains was rewarded with grand views of the valley below. If the road was remote enough you could spot wildlife on the edge of the forest. Time was more generous then and the slower pace allowed for one to experience life instead of spend it. We tend to think of an open road as a symbol of freedom but I have to wonder if we miss the point when we’re just reaching the next destination as quickly as possible.

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. Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Crossroads In The Gorge” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

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