Things Are Just Ducky #5

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

George the mallard has been scavenging the park all morning. He’d had quite a bit of luck finding scraps left behind by the humans. Humans are always dropping their food in the water or on the ground. They didn’t really seem to mind when he waddled up and claimed what they dropped. Sometimes they even shared with him.

As he was making his way across the parking lot of the park he spotted a large male human straddling a motorcycle. Parts of the motorcycle were so shiny that he could see his own face in them. George carefully approached the big man from behind pausing for a moment to practice his “hungry face” in the reflection of big shiny pipe near the back of the bike. He tried to make his cheeks hollow and his eyes sad. Then he circled around wide and stood in front of the man. The biker wore black leather and was covering his eyes with dark glasses. In his hands was a crinkly bag full of something crunchy. George’s mouth began to water with anticipation of whatever the large human was enjoying. “Excuse me sir, might I have a taste of the crunchy stuff in your bag?” He asked politely. But all the human understood was a series of low quacking sounds. The human took another big bite out of the bag. Once more George made a polite inquiry and started walking in circles to get the biker’s attention. The big man smiled. “My friend, are you sure that this what you want?” He asked. George responded with excitement and was quacking like crazy. The big biker gave George a doubtful look but even though he looked big and scary he had a soft spot in his heart for wildlife. He dropped a single reddish colored chip in front of George. The chip never hit the ground. George swooped in like a falcon on the hunt and started to grind the chip in his bill. But something was wrong. George’s tongue began to burn and his eyes watered for real. It wasn’t an ordinary chip. It was a flaming hot red pepper pork rind! George took off like a rocket and dove head first into the water. He opened his bill as wide as he could shaking his face under the water. He felt like he had drank half of river before the spice relented. As George relaxed and began to recover Ralph paddled up to him. Once he saw that his friend was going to be okay Ralph gave George two pieces of advice. Be careful what you wish for and beggars can’t be choosers. After a long while George began working the crowd at the park again. It’s just part of being a duck and he couldn’t be a successful duck without the resources of the local humans. However, was never as greedy as to accept what was given without first making sure that it was something that he actually wanted. And his friend the biker began to make sure that he had a small pouch of rolled oats to share with the ducks from that day on. In fact, every Saturday without fail his Harley Davidson rolled up to edge of water and waited for George to show up.

* If you like to feed ducks at your local park please don’t give them bread because it can make them sick. Oats, cracked corn and regular bird seed are all acceptable. After writing this I did a quick search. It seems that hot peppers are regularly given to chickens but a few sources said that ducks won’t touch anything with peppers in it. Things Are Just Ducky is of course fictional and intended to be pure entertainment.

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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The Gray Tree Frog in Appalachia

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Perched Gray Tree Frog” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I had a special visitor come to my door the other night. I found her peeking in through the glass as if she wanted to come in. I quickly made a makeshift terrarium from an empty mason jar by threading the ring over scrap piece cotton cloth. I caught some insects to put in with her along with a twig and some distilled water. The terrarium was for her safety. Hopping frogs look like fun toys for dogs and as a fun loving doggy I was concerned that Scout may not understand that the tree frog was a guest.

I took the little tree frog into my office and left her there to get comfortable. One of the ways that I can tell it’s a female frog is because she didn’t sing. Generally speaking female frogs are quiet. The don’t sing among other things.

First thing the next morning I found the little tree frog clinging to a leaf on the twig. I could tell that she’d had breakfast because the insects were gone.

I took her outside to set her free and when I opened the jar she hopped out onto the tip of my pinky finger.

The little Gray Tree Frog On My Pinky Finger looking me in the eye.

The she turned to look me in the eye and thanked me for the night’s lodging. I was a little shocked. Kermit was the only frog that I’ve ever heard talk. The shock must have shown on my face because she smiled a froggy smile and winked. “There’s a lot about tree frogs that you probably don’t know.” She said. I simply nodded because I was still in shock. She continued without being prompted. And here’s what she taught me.

You’ve probably been told that it’s not easy being green. However, it’s no problem at all for a gray tree frog. In fact they can change color like a chameleon. Unlike thier cousins in the Amazon they don’t have the bright colors but they do have a range of gray, brown, green and black. The little tree frog on my pinky finger was such a light gray when I found her that she was almost white.

The secret to their Spider-Man like climbing ability is the large suction cup like pads on their feet. If you look closely at the tree frog’s feet you’ll notice that the toes are not webbed. That’s so that they can grip on the twigs like a monkey.

There are actually two species of Gray Tree Frog in Appalachia. They are identical in every way except in genetics and songs. The Gray Tree Frog has 48 chromosomes and the other species, Cope’s Gray Tree Frog has 24 chromosomes. This means that they can’t really hybridize and that even if they did that the offspring wouldn’t survive.

The other way to tell the difference is by the call. I could give you the pulse per second and frequency etc but there’s no substitute for hearing the difference yourself. So, I found a YouTube video that gives a great sound byte.

Once the shock of a talking tree frog wore off I asked the little frog how she learned to talk. She replied, “you left me next to your laptop all night and I got bored so I used your internet. You can learn how to do anything on Google. ”

With that said she took one graceful leap into the Alder tree in my yard and that’s where she lives today.

*I am not a herpetologist and so I am not positive about the sex of the tree frog.

The little tree frog now living in my Alder tree.

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

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

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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

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Things Are Just Ducky #4

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Nice Day For A Swim ” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

George waddled up to the edge of the river and took a deep breath. He paused for a moment and caressed the cool grass with his webbed toes. The sun was shining and he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. He enjoyed the soft breeze as it ruffled his feathers slightly and looked out at world around him. Then he hopped into the river with a plop. For a moment he bobbed like a cork which was always something that made him giggle. He plunged his face into the water and shook his head vigorously to clean his bill just like his mother taught him.

The smooth water flowed around him as he paddled across the surface in no particular pattern. He went where he pleased as his curiosity inspired him. The odd swirl moving against the current meant an insect that he could chase.

George allowed the current to carry him to the edge of the falls. He could hear the water crashing into the rocks below and just as he went over the edge a quick flap of his wings he was airborne. He circled around and landed on the water at the base of Kanawha Falls where the minnows are stunned by going over the edge. George ate his fill before finding some quiet cove where he could nap in peace. Just before his eyelids became too heavy to hold open he looked skyward and thanked God for making him a duck.

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

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

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

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

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

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Red-winged Blackbird & A Childhood Goal Achieved

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red-winged Blackbird On Cattail 6119” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I was on Muddelty Creek the other day in the marsh and heard an unmistakable sound. The trilling call of a red-winged blackbird. And then another, and another. The marsh was suddenly alive with them. Well, their calls at least. They didn’t really seem to want a portrait on this particular day. I would catch one setting still for a moment but as soon as I raised my lens they would take to the sky and disappear into the greenery.

A red-winged blackbird darting across Muddelty Creek

I remembered the iconic pictures from wildlife books I had as kid. The red-winged blackbirds were always pictured as being perched on a reed or cattail stem and I really wanted to reproduce that childhood memory.

I discovered that even when perched these hyper little guys are never really still. They seemed to be more jittery than I had remembered. Finally the one that’s pictured in mid flight moved a little closer and gave me the shot that I had been waiting for.

I definitely want to go back to this spot for more shots. I know there’s a female in the area but she’s much better camouflaged and will be harder to spot. I also want to catch the male in full display during his call and I’ve downloaded the call to help pull one in a little closer. For now I’ll have something that I have wanted to capture ever since I was a little boy leafing through an encyclopedia at Mt. Lookout Elementary School in the 70s.

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.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Things Are Just Ducky #3 ( A Duck On The Run)

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

The rest of the flock looked on as George zipped by as fast as his webbed toes would carry him. The rest of the flock all looked into the bushes but there was no fox. They strained their ears but there was no yipping of a coyote. They glanced skyward but there was no hawks.

Again the unmistakable sounds of flat feet slapping wet sand approached the flock and sure enough here came George in a blur of feathers. Back and forth George ran in no particular pattern. And he was quacking like crazy!

Finally, his best friend Ralph jumped out into George’s path and spread out his wings in an effort to stop the frantic George. Ralph winced slightly expecting to be knocked down by George. “What are you running from?” Ralph asked. “Not running from, running to.” George replied as he huffed to catch his breath. Ralph knowing that his friend was prone to unconventional thought processes adjusted the question. “Okay then, what are running to?” “To get finished of course, now let me through!” George insisted with a panicked quack. Ralph, still obstructing George’s progress, continued to press the issue. Finally, George broke down and quacked off a long list of goals that had to be done. “Are you actually accomplishing anything by darting around in a panic?” Ralph queried. “A little bit.” George replied as he continued to try and find a way around Ralph. As Ralph interrogated George it came out that George had the bright idea to start several projects at once in an effort to accomplish more in a shorter time span. But all of his tasks were on opposite sides of the lake. He was running back and forth trying to maintain what he started with little impact on the overall goal and calling it “multitasking”.

Multitasking is a bit of a buzzword in the modern world. As individuals have more and more demands placed on their ever diminishing time the expectations are to split the focus and accomplish more. But it’s an illusion. Multitasking is a poor attempt at function stacking. Think of multitasking as trying to run a load of laundry and dishwasher at the same time while taking a shower. Most of our homes simply don’t have enough of a hot water supply to handle it all at the same time and none of the tasks are accomplished effectively. Where as function stacking is more like carrying out the the trash and coming back with the mail. The two tasks are parallel but don’t require the same resource simultaneously. It’s a more effective use of resources.

So, whatever happened to George? Well, Ralph being the awesome friend that he is not only helped George to get organized but he and a few more from the flock pitched in and took over some of the things that George had started.

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

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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.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The Elated Snapping Beetle (Nature’s Jack-In-The-Box)

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is untitled but there’s plenty of titled images on my blog that are for sale. Just cruise the archives and if you see something that you like use the contact form to request prints.

Have you ever been out watching nature and that distinct feeling that nature was watching you back? It it looks like the tree in tonight’s feature image has grown a set of eyes, well, there’s a good reason why. Hiding in a crevice of the cork is the elated snapping beetle. It’s one of the largest insects native to the Appalachian Mountains. And, it has a few tricks up one of six sleeves.

The large eye spots on its thorax are thought to be there to detour predators. After all, they do resemble the large sad eyes of a cartoon character begging not to be eaten. But if that fails to work. It falls down and plays dead. Depending on its thick armored shell for protection. At least for a few minutes. It rolls over onto it’s back and curls up it’s antenna with it’s legs folded. Then at some point it changes the game and goes into Jack-In-The-Box mode. With a loud click it pops up into the air! Even as a full grown adult it’s enough to stun you when you’re not expecting it. It’s able to do this because of the hooks and notches on its shell that turn it into a spring.

The one in the photo is about average size for it’s species. About two inches long. They’re harmless to humans so I picked it up and let it play dead in my hand.

The Elated Snapping Beetle in my hand for a size comparison.

They belong to a group of beetles that bore into trees and live as larvae. Some members of the group are believed to live as a larvae for 50 years or more!

While the Elated Snapping Beetle has no bioluminescence that I’m aware of they are a first cousin to the tropical headlight beetle who’s eye spots are more foreword and produce enough light that they have been used as an emergency light for surgeries. They’re also related to what we call lightning bugs in Appalachia. ( fireflies in other places)

I was a little excited to see this one because I had not seen one of these giant clicking beetles since I was a kid. I’m sure that they have been around but I had not spotted one.

Other members of the group can be pretty destructive. One prime example would be the powderpost beetles which can be as damaging as termites. Dutch Elm disease is transmitted by wood boring beetles and the North American Chestnut is nearly extinct because of wood boring beetles.

However, there’s a bit of innocent fun when a young boy dares his friends to touch the dead beetle and it pops up at just the right moment.

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.

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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.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The Skipper & The Rose

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Skipper On Rose 51819″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

A sweet scent, a soft rain and fluttering wings greet me as the big blue truck rolls into the driveway. The rain had already slowed down to the odd droplet here and there as I stepped gently towards the flower. Almost on queue the little skipper butterfly walked up over the edge of the bloom and posed. With one flip of her wings she playfully rose into the air. Her aerobatic dance spoke of pure joy at the return of the sunshine. I was intrigued by her agility in the air. She lopped the loop and dove back down beneath the bloom and popped up where she started. I couldn’t help but chuckle while murdering “Show-off” under my breath. But who could blame her for being proud of her skills? As she fluttered her wings to groom the rose into producing more nectar I decided that it was time to unload the truck and leave her to her meal. My mountain is full of life and life is joy incarnate.

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!❤