Afternoon Stroll

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Afternoon Stroll 3820” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Softly and cautiously the little doe picks her way through the brambles. The March wind has dried up the soggy ground and the sun gives her a welcomed warmth. The previous days were dark and cold with precious little to browse. But with the arrival of the sun the buds have lost their hard scales and offered her the tender morsels on the tips of the lower branches. This nutrition is desperately needed by the new life growing inside of her. Her yearling fawn follows just inside the trees watching her and learning what is good to feed on this time of year. There’s so much to learn and she has to get it right the first time because next year’s generation will depend on the yearling for wisdom and knowledge. Both deer tremble slightly as they pass by the big blue truck stopped in the middle of the road. Here on the outskirts of the capital city they are seldom chased but the instinct to flee is strong. The mother doe casts a glance back to young one and together they move behind the scrubby bushes near the road. Not wanting to disturb their meal any further, I allow engine to carry me forward at idle speed. Perhaps if they aren’t pressured they’ll allow me to get closer next time.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. 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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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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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 #48 Mint

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

There’s not many life experiences that I enjoy more than the smell of the wild peppermint on a humid July afternoon. I enjoy it so much that I combed through weeds along my creek and collected the peppermint to transplant to the edges of my garden. It wasn’t long before the peppermint just went crazy and took over the whole vegetable bed. Then it outpaced the grass in that section of the yard. And I loved every bit of it! I carefully kept the mint out of vegetables by removing the whole plant and keeping the stems and leaves to cure by hanging upside down in a cool dark place. We have a tendency to say that we “dry” the leaves and roots that we use for teas but when it’s done right it’s more of a curing process that preserves the oils in the plant. When you search the internet for ways to cure fresh mint leaves most of them involve heat. It’s suggested to put them in oven or even the microwave but I’ve never really trusted this. The mint oil is volatile and dissipates when heated. Drying the leaves with heat will make your house smell good but that smell is the very oils that you re trying to preserve escaping into the atmosphere. A slower, cooler process means that the leaves will retain more of the oils. How long to hang them really depends on the environment. In humid air it’s going to take a little longer than if the weather is dry. In general, a couple of days should be good. Just keep an eye on them and when they have the texture and feel of a good tea they’re ready. They should be dry enough to prevent mold. You can place the cured leaves in a clean mason jar but don’t screw the lid down too tight. The jar can still have moisture in it and set up conditions for mold to grow.

The reasons for foraging any wild mint should be pretty obvious. Mints are big part of tea blends and candies but it’s also a big part some high end Gourmet food. I like my meals pretty simple but I’ve seen different mints incorporated in salads, pastas, fish and of course mint and lamb is a classic combination.

Medical uses are also pretty well known. Mints were and still are one of the mainstays of herbalism. Menthol is known to have antiseptic properties and mint was used to wash wounds to prevent infections. In researching for this article I even came across a commercial product that uses peppermint oil as a base for sterilizing textiles.

As a digestive aid peppermint is said to relax the digestive muscles and provide relief from dyspepsia.

Mints are also used in balms which was the inspiration for the title of tonight’s feature image. I couldn’t help but think about the need for healing when I noticed the condition of the little butterfly’s wings. I had to wonder if he landed on the mints to sooth his tattered wings.

Peppermint and mints in general are said to be antiviral and specifically the milder herpes viruses that cause cold sores.

One of the things that I like to use the wild mints for is pest control. When outdoors in places where I’m likely to encounter mosquitoes and gnats I rub down with a few mint leaves to keep them at bay. A good trick that I picked up from Tom Brown Jr’s books is to stuff a few mint leaves into the trim on a hat and that reduces the number of gnats in my face. A simple spray of lemon scented herbs such as Spicebush leaves and mints can be misted around camps and picnic areas. Make a tincture of the herbs by soaking them in vodka or grain alcohol for several days. Then I’d mix it 50/50 with water and place it in misting bottle and refresh as needed.

I suppose that a whole series could be done on mints and we may revisit them at a later date.

My Forage Friday posts are really just to get people interested enough to look up what these plants can be used for and to share ideas so please remember to do further research and never rely on a single source for information. I’m not a medical professional so any of the medicinal uses stated here are just anecdotal.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. 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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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! 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!❤

The Morning Smile

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Morning Smile 3320” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The saturated earth gives slightly as I tread out to my thinking spot. The warm day and time of year makes me a little more cautious about where I step just in case one of our pit vipers has awakened from hibernation early. I was on my way to to practice some long exposure techniques on the little drainage ditch that runs off of my mountain and into Little Elk Creek. And there it was. The smile from nature that I’ve been longing for since Christmas. The Harbinger Of Spring. To give you an idea of how small the flowers are the black speck is a flea beetle and about 1/10 of an inch long. The plant is also known as Pepper and Salt and the scientific name is Erigenia Bulbosa but I am partial to Harbinger Of Spring. According to Wikipedia it is the first wildflower to bloom in Spring but I’m a little dubious about the accuracy since my fly honeysuckle started opening a few days ago. Nevertheless, it is a most welcomed sight. It means that I’ll soon be seeing the Carolina Spring Beauty, Fiddleheads ( young fern fronds ) and the Trillium.

One thing that I agree with Wikipedia on is the importance of these tiny flowers for solitary bees like the mason bees that will emerge from their holes into a harsh world. Before 1622 solitary bees were the main pollenators in North America. It stands to reason that their lifestyle would be closely tied to early blooming plants like Harbinger Of Spring. I have looked around the area where I found this one and it seems to be the very first one to pop up on my place. It also wasn’t there yesterday ( or at least it wasn’t in bloom) because I was in the same spot and actually looking for any changes to forest floor. But from this day forward I expect to see life explode onto the scene.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. 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

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!❤

Little Mr. Big Voice

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Black Capped Chickadee 22520” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As the morning sun makes it way to the top of my mountain the surrounding forest is alive with the chatter of birds. If I close my eyes and concentrate on it I can filter out the individuals even if I can’t see them. One of those voices stands out really strong. I can tell that he’s somewhere near the top of my box elder but I can’t find him with my eyes. That’s not really surprising because he’s only the size of an extra large hen’s egg. For a moment his call is an alarm call until I mimic his previous pattern with whistles. I’ve always paid attention to the little birds in my area but it’s only recently that I’ve began to actively feed them and try to draw them in closer. I have had food out for them since fall but they seemed to reject it until the past few weeks. I stepped over to the feeder and made sure that the seed had not gotten wet and clogged up the reservoir catching any seed that fell out in my cupped hand at depositing it back on top of the feeder. I gave a few random whistles and stepped away. Almost as soon as I did I heard the rapid beating of tiny wings as they fluttered by behind me. As I turned he actually came in a little closer and lit in the Alder next to my driveway. He flew back and forth between the feeder and the Alder several times looking right at me as he did. I realized that this was a statement of gratitude and he was actively associating my presence with the food he was enjoying.

Since then I’ve learned that Chickadees actually have a complex language and that they actually have to teach these language skills to their young. It’s also known that as humans we can’t really pick up on the subtleties of their complex calls. Sure. I can mimic the high low patterns and approximate the rhythms but I can’t do it precisely and the context of the meaning is lost on me. So I’ve downloaded some guides and samples of the Chickadee songs and hope to at least learn which calls mean danger, happy, love etc. And perhaps soon I can call them in close enough for a detailed portrait. For now I’ll just settle for the occasional game of peekaboo in my Alder tree.

Image Titled Black Capped Chickadee 22520b

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. 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 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!❤

The Lord &Lady Of Songs

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Lord & Lady Of Songs” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article. ( Available as a set or individually)

As the days grow longer there’s a point where the local Cardnials ( and other songbirds) decide that love is in the air. The brightly colored males can be heard all through the hills. The female can be heard as well but her call is a simple loud chirp where the male call is long and varies in pitch. It’s also been my experience that the male takes great pride in frustrating photographers. Hello either sits high in the trees outside of the range of my lens or in the thickest clumps of twigs he can find. There’s been a few times that I could have sworn he threw a couple of “neener neeners” into his song as I raised my lens and focused in just in time to see him dart away.

One of the “Neener Neener” moments when the male Cardnial flew off with a snicker.

But I don’t really give up so easy. If I let this bird win now he’ll only be encouraged to continue his taunting. So I have to come up with some ultimate plan to capture a bird in my lens. The most experienced bird hunter in the world has to be Mr. Wile E. Coyote. And, I’m familiar with all of his master plans to capture a bird. The problem there was that I didn’t have an anvil handy and I’m not really a skilled enough painter to create a convincing looking tunnel on any of the local rocks. So I did the next best thing. I found a few soundtracks of Cardnial calls on YouTube and played them over the speakers in my truck with the volume as high as it would go. It only took ten seconds to get a response.

Image Titled Lady Of Songs and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The female Cardnial seemed to be very interested in whoever this new suitor was. She popped up right next to the truck window.

I hit the soundtrack again and she moved to the power line directly over my head.

The female Cardnial overhead looking for the second male.

It wasn’t long before the male couldn’t take this challenge to his territory and when he showed up he meant business! The fly in the ointment with my plan was that even though I got him to come out of hiding I never realized how twitchy an angry male Cardnial can be. He was no longer singing for a mate and he was flashing his wings and tail feathers in an effort to entice the other male into a duel for the honor of his lady.

Once he was visible I turned the volume back down slowly and he began to calm down a little. I was only able to catch him still enough for one shot before he took of in pursuit of the female.

He was still in a defensive posture and he never really got as close as the female Cardnial but now that I have a trick up my sleeve I hope to try for a closer shot soon.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. 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

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/

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!❤

The True Story Of My “Pet” Hawk.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Watching From Above 22718” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The little boy played in meadow doing things that a country boy in the 70s and 80s would find natural. He climbed trees and rocks. He caught salamanders and crayfish out of the creeks and puddles. He made swords from sticks and did battle with the trees standing in for the bad guys. One day he was having an adventure down in a marsh when he had that eerie feeling of being watched. He scanned the trees and bushes but there was nobody. He looked for signs of a bear or coyote but the woods was empty. Then he looked up. Perched on a branch in the top of a nearby walnut tree was the largest hawk he’d ever seen. It sat there like a statue only cocking it’s head every so often. He was profoundly curious about the raptor. He’d never been this close to one in wild before. The hawk was large for a hawk but too small to be a threat to him or the cattle. So he watched the hawk back. After a few moments he tried to speak to it in the same calm voice he was taught to use around pets and livestock. The cocked it’s head to the other side but otherwise didn’t react. After a while he got bored and moved his adventure to another part of the farm only to find that the hawk had followed him. Ove the next few days this pattern continued. No matter where the boy played the hawk turned up eventually. So he gave the bird of prey a name worthy of an avian hunter. The name was “Falcor”. A combination of Falcon and his favorite comic book hero at the time which was Marvel’s Thor.

I was the boy and Falcor was real. Although every time I tried to tell someone about my “pet hawk” they smiled at my wild imagination. I don’t know if Falcor visited other people or even if they noticed when he did. I kinda doubt that he did because he never seemed to come around when other’s were present. After a few times of being given “that look” by my friends and family I stopped mentioning him. For several years I’d go on one of my walks in the woods and Falcor follow me in the distance. He never got real close but he would always be in a nearby tree. I couldn’t explain why until one day when I was older I told the story of “Falcor the hawk” to a professor in my wildlife biology class. He was the first one to actually believe that the hawk was more than just the wild imagination of a little boy who played in the wilderness. He also had a pretty logical explanation for the bird’s odd behavior. He had done some work with The West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center and theorized that Falcor had come out of that program and that for some reason I must have reminded him of one of his caretakers. So it turns out that Falcor may have been waiting to be fed. Whatever the hawks motivation was to follow me around for a few years he still the coolest “pet” that I never actually owned and he has severed as the inspiration for a couple of characters in a couple of fiction stories that I will finish one day. Even today I’m reminded of him every time I see a hawk that seems to just be hanging out near humans.

Image Titled “The Hunter On The Fence Post.

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/

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=238248269630914251Lastly, 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 Feathered Little Minstrel.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Indignant Mockingbird “and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

One of the things that I most look forward to at the end of winter is the return of the birdsong to my forests. And the rock star of the Appalachian Mountains is the mockingbird. Not all mockingbirds migrate. Some do and some don’t. Perhaps the ones that stay can’t really afford to take time off work or maybe the others are retired and have no reason to brave the cold. But the ones who stay seem to hold their peace through the dark months. Even though this winter has been a little on the mild side it wasn’t until after I noticed the days getting longer again that I heard the familiar rapidly changing song of the mockingbird. He likes to hang out in the picnic area in back of the office at my day job where he can find the occasional dropped morsels of food. I was thrilled to hear him again but he apparently wasn’t really as happy to see me. Being a city bird he’s pretty used the presence of humans and so when I sat down he hopped over expecting a tip for his songs in the form of a few crumbs. I however only had my camera in hand. The feathered little minstrel hopped around examining the grass for signs of a meal but upon finding only the grass he turned and gave me look which was captured in tonight’s feature image. I can’t really blame him for his Indignant attitude. After all, he welcomed me with a song and received nothing in return. And that really hurts when you work for tips!

Having expressed his scorn the mockingbird quickly moved to the trees and returned to his song hoping that the next human who comes along would be a better tipper.

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=238248269630914251Lastly, 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!❤