Humble Beginnings

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Humble Beginnings 41921a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The forest is alive with the scattered calls of all the songbirds. Each day a new voice would seem to join the great chorus of joy that fills my life on the mountain. The Eastern Towhee has so far eluded my lens but he and his mate have made their way to the feeders and now I have their song in my life as well. What’s more is that the forest is really turning green now. After the long dull gray of winter the new leaves just the ointment sore eyes require. By May life on my mountain could be compared to living inside the emerald. It’s on warm green days that I like to kick off my shoes in the soft grass and stretch my arms out to let the breeze wash over me. However, my trip today definitely requires good shoes as I tread lightly into the forest edge and check my sanctuary. I’m greeted by the beech. It’s a small tree now that is just a little over six feet tall but one day it will be a giant.

Image “Titled Humble Beginnings 41921b”.

Most of the twigs still have buds but a few have opened to reveal the viridescent treasure I’ve longed for. As I said earlier this beech is small. It’s wispy trunk isn’t even a full inch thick yet. One day it will tower over the forest and yield up tons of nutlets. I can envision what will look like hundreds of years after I’m gone. I imagine that it will completely fill the trail at that time. I also imagine that a person after my own heart will come and sit quietly under it’s canopy and listen to the songs of the descendants of my beloved songbirds and pray, think and dream.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/

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’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/

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 use 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!

Holding Light And Life

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “American Beech 110320a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Reaching out with all their might the beech leaves soak in as much of the light as they can. In the coming weeks the sun will cool and hibernate leaving icy shadows to rule the landscape. The leaves hold tightly to precious life giving light until it fills their very essence and they glow with a life of their own. Likewise, if we can fill our own lives with light and hold fast then we too will have life in dark times.

Good night friends 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

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/

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!

Forage Friday #29 American Beech

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is untitled and was taken specifically for this article. All of the photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

When I started doing the Forage Friday posts I was concerned about finding enough plants that qualified as something one might forage. What shouldn’t have been a surprise was just how bountiful the wilderness of Appalachia is. The mountains are absolutely loaded with the American Beech. And a mature beech tree is capable of producing a huge amount of beech nuts. A few years ago when bio- diesel was a hot topic there was a lot of concern about converting crops into fuel and what that might mean for the food supply. At the time, I remembered reading in a survival book about people in the past substituting beechnut oil for lamp oil and the idea hit me that with the vast amount of beech nuts in the forest that perhaps a program to convert it into a fuel crop would be beneficial. I never really perused the idea but I never forget it either. The amount of eeffort it would take to do this even if it were only supplying energy for one household would make it impractical. But still, a little bit of beechnut oil has some interesting potential. The nuts themselves are edible but it’s not really a good idea to eat them raw in larger quantities due to a mild toxin called fagin. Fagin is found in the skin of nut itself and it’s said that roasting them makes it easier to remove the skin. ( similar to the skin found on chestnuts. ) The nuts are also a little astringent. As a kid I remember hoping that they would be like eating a raw chestnut and bit into one. I was pretty disappointed. Enough so that I gave up on them and spit it out almost immediately. But the oil is said to be quite different. The fagin is not present in the oil and neither is the tannins that make the nut astringent and slightly bitter. ( Tannins are water soluble and are removed by leeching in water. )

Last Friday I talked to you about how there’s actually a commercial market for Tiger Nuts and after posting the article I saw that the top Google results for Tiger Nuts was around $13.00 Per pound and the average yield was about 300 pounds per acre. But beech nut oil’ s top Google results was only one supplier at a whopping $75.00 for an 8 ounce bottle of cold pressed beech nut oil. I didn’t find enough hits to give me an idea of market demand for it but I did find srveral websites proclaiming health benefits of beech nut oil which makes it worthy of more research.

The unripe bur waiting for just the right moment to drop from the tree.

The nuts are born in burs and each bur contains 3 triangle shaped nuts. The shape of nut reminds me a bodkin style arrowhead. The nuts are also tiny. About the size of a large sunflower seed. The ground beneath the tree in my parent’s yard was so full of beech nuts that it was like walking in the pebbles near the edge of river. That’s even with a horde of squirrles carrying the nuts away as fast as they can. Beech nut trees don’t really bear fruit until they are about 40 years old but by the time they’re 60 years old they really make up for lost time.

From a foraging point of view beech trees also offer a few other things. The buds are also edible in early Spring although the papery shealth makes them a little awkward to consume. I have also tried the new leaves which aren’t too bad. The guide books say that the inner bark is also edible but if it’s like some of the other inner barks it requires a lot of work to process.

The wood of beech is sold as Maple and often has a beautiful grain that shows a lot of ray fleck.

As you look out of windows and see the bright yellow yellow leaves this fall some of them are going to be beech. It just might be worth a trek out to mark the spot of this very useful 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

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

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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!❤