Look Who Dropped By For Lunch

One of the true pleasures of the Appalachian Fall is the whitetail deer. We’re at the point where they have begun to shift their travel patterns just prior to the rut (mating season). This little guy in the feature image frequents the property around my day job with his mother and twin brother. He’s not quite a year old and as only recently lost his spots. He and his family decided to join us for lunch over the past few days. Being a city deer he’s reasonably comfortable with his human neighbors and didn’t seem to mind posing for a few pictures in front of the beautiful fall foliage. Deer are actually fairly curious creatures. As I knelt down to get different angles he pretend to eat the sweet clover on the lawn while inching nervously closer until his mother decided that he was close enough and stepped between us. She gently herded her children back to forest edge and to a comfortable range. I’ve seen the buck whom I believe is the father of twins. I expect that he’s a ten or a twelve point this year. The buck normally keeps his distance from us. This time of year he’s busy defending his territory from rivals. The ritual combat of the bucks is really nothing more than a wrestling match. They lock horns shove each other until one of them gives up. I’ll be watching the edges of the property for next few weeks hoping to get a good shot of the bucks as they contest each other for dominance.

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 the Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Yearling Buck 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 contact information. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

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

The Little Dragons

I have to admit that I never met a lizard that I didn’t like. Of course that might all change if I ever run into a Gila monster or a Komodo Dragon. Here in the Appalachian Mountains they don’t get much larger than this little guy in tonight’s feature image. The Five Lined Skink. The largest one I’ve seen was one about six inches long but in the eyes of a little kid with a vivid imagination it was a living dinosaur! I was never able to catch one but I always wanted to make a pet out of one so I could teach him to play Godzilla with my toy soldiers. In those days home movies were still shot on film but I had visions of setting up the scene shooting my own monster movie. It was during this endeavor that I learned about the trick tail. I was hunting for a big one that I had seen out by the barn. I was cautiously lifting up old wood an pieces of bark with a stick in case of a snake when I found him. My hands moved like lightning and I caught him! However the lizard had a surprise in store for me and the blue tail broke off in my hand. I looked down and saw the empty tail wiggling in my hand and started crying because I had broken my lizard. My kind and loving grandfather explained that it lets go of its tail on purpose and that the tail grows back. (Of course as a child I thought it grow back instantly like magic). At one point there was one with a forked tail living close to the house. It’s tail had not completely detached and the new one grew in next to the old one.

As an adult I smile and even speak to the little lizards on my property. I try to save some space for them on and around my property and in return they help keep the insect population in check. It seems that I got my pet lizards by simply leaving them alone and letting them do their thing.

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. You’re also invited to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of the Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Guardian On The Bridge” because he lived on the wooden foot bridge of my former home. Prints are available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

5X7- $10.00

8X10 – $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes. I am available for portrait sessions by appointment. Just use Facebook or Contact Form to inquire about the rates.

The Little Hen At Daniel Boone Park

The rays of the warm sun dance in the ripples along the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River. She watches close as her children play in sunbeams. The look of total contentment on the little hen’s face is infectious as I watched her through the lens. Taking care not to disturb her moment of total bliss I stay back and take advantage of the zoom. I believe that she is living in her purpose. She finds her fulfillment in the joy and well being of the flock. She is a part of her world as opposed to passing through it. I watched as the others pass by her rock one by as if inviting her to join in with the aquatic parade as they gather into a cluster. Eventually she gives in and they all swim single file upstream and disappear behind the rocks. I returned my lens to its case as I set out to find my next subject and the next moment of peace to preserve. This image now hangs above my bed to remind me that I’m also a part of God’s creation. And, that I’m at my happiest when I’m living in my purpose.

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.

Tonight’s Feature Image is available for purchase by contacting me via the Contact Form on my website or through the Message button on Facebook. I will need to know what size so I can reply with a quote. 😊

Around The Bend

Tonight’s image is a set of train tracks from late last summer. As I write this post a thunderstorm is raging through the mountains. My little buddy Scout has pointed out the clause in his contract that requires he be comforted during any all thunderstorms. ( In return he keeps the ninjas out from under the beds in the house 😉 ). This set of tracks is one of the ones that always indicated my sense of adventure. I’ve never seen what it is that is around the corner. For now, Scout and I will look at picture and distract ourselves from the thunder. I hope you enjoy the image as well.

The Bunny

The office of my day job is located in a reclaimed strip mine. What was once spoiled land is now a virtual wildlife preserve on the edge of the city. This little bunny lives raises it’s family on our parking lot. Every morning she can be seen munching on the clover with her brood. I wouldn’t say that she’s tame but she is accustomed to the presence of humanity. She actually allowed me to get pretty close for this shot. She had developed a little bit of trust in the workers who came to hwr home every day. Trust is a very fragile quality for as soon as I moved she took off like nobody’s business. I’ll continue to watch her and her babies and who knows, perhaps one day she’ll trust me enough to get even better shots.

Battle Scars

In an ancient kingdom in a far away land the young recruits of the kings army gathered to meet the Man At Arms. It was his job to turn peasants into warriors. They were undisciplined . They wandered about the yard gawking at everything. They spoke in loud voices about irrelevant topics. They paid no attention to the surroundings. The Man At Arms raised his hand and gave a sign to the watchers on the castle walls. The drums began a loud tattoo and the heavy oaken doors opened slowly. A hush falls over the recruits. He doesn’t speak a word at first. The young men instinctively follow him inside where there in the torchlight hang rows of battered and cracked shields. The Man At Arms speaks. “This is the Hall Of Honor. The men who once held these shields did not turn and run. They stared in the face of our enemies and held their ground. They proved their worth in heat of battle and kept the kingdom.” The young men marveled at the condition of shields on the walls. Dented, broken, scarred and in ruin all except for one shield at the end of the hall. It would have been in perfect condition had not been for heavy Patina of oxidation. The plaque beneath the unused shield read, Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. He fought no battle and his armor did rust. The Man At Arms noticed one of the recruits reading the plaque. “This man was a coward and always avoided confrontation. Nobody remembers his name.

After publishing the picture of Tiny several days ago one my coworkers on my day job pointed out a second turtle making his way along the outside of the office. All I had at the moment was my cellphone but I decided to walk over take a snapshot. He was fairly big for an Eastern Box Turtle. However as you can see he’s been through the wringer. Because he’s missing an eye I decided to name him Popeye after the famous cartoon sailor. His shell has sustained quite a bit of damage that seems to have healed over. I can tell that some scars are older. This kind of damage means bird attacks. (Larger birds will try to peck through the shell . ) He didn’t try to hide when I got close and I almost think he was daring me to try and pick him up. It’s the first time I’ve ever actually worried about being bitten by a box turtle. Popeye has certainly won his place in the Hall Of Honor. He also taught me that even though a battle will leave you with scars; victory is possible. It’s going to happen eventually. Eventually we all get a battle scar here and there. Some of us are going to have quite a few. But the scar is evidence of surviving the battle. Means you’re gaining experience, wisdom and strength. As long as you don’t give up the fight you’ll earn your place of honor.

Lessons Learned from Tiny

While on my way to my day job Sunday morning I noticed a familiar shape on the road. Unfortunately, the Eastern Box Turtle sees the warm road surface as a great place to absorb the morning sun and get the old metabolism going. And what’s worse is that not all drivers are alert enough notice them in time and a few are cruel enough to crush them on purpose. This one is just a baby! He was the smallest box turtle that I’ve seen in a long time. I just couldn’t leave the little guy to fate and so blocking the road with my truck I hopped out and scooped him up.

I wasn’t really sure what to do with him as I’m not a herpetologist. So, I carried him into the office where my coworker quickly found spare box, some scraps out the break room and came up with name Tiny. Tiny was declared to be our team mascot for the day and the whole crew fell instantly in love with him.

While he mostly just kinda sat in the box not understanding what was happening by the end of day he had become accustomed to the attention.

Originally the plan was for me to take him out of the city and relocate him to a nice secure place near my property (which borders the National Forest) . However, in researching how to properly care for him in the meantime we learned that because of strong homing instinct that such a move would almost certainly kill him.

Tiny was released on the same property where he was found but well away from the road.

During his short tenure as Department mascot he did manage to pass on a few words of ancient turtle wisdom.

1. Not everyone who messes up your plans has bad intentions. Tiny’s plans to warm up on the road had to be ruined for his own good.

2. Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out for a friend. Had Tiny not come out of his shell my coworkers would not have been impressed as much and been so motivated to research his well being.

3. There’s no place like home. The Eastern Box Turtle spends it’s entire lifetime (as much as 100 years!) within one mile of its birthplace.

That’s it. Tiny is just a baby and that’s all he had to share right now. But he and his kind have the potential to teach the same lessons to the great grandchildren of the humans born the same time he was. So, if you spot a turtle trying to cross a road (take your own personal safety into account FIRST) the best thing to do is to move it to the other side of the road as close to the woods as possible.

Back in the day, we would write or paint names and dates on the shell. That’s definitely not recommended today. Not only is it possibly toxic to the turtle but it messes up his camouflage that protects him from birds.