Reach For The Light

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red Maple 110919” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The darkness surrounds my little slice of Appalachia this time of year. The same mountains that shelter me from the storms also block the sun when it’s low in the sky leaving only a tiny slice of open sky through which the constellations can look down through. Over The next 30 days the shadows will rule the forests. It will be dark as I leave in the morning and dark when I drive home. But I do have a few days when I’m free to walk in the sunlight. During the last 30 days of the darkness my mind is taken back to a scene from the the 80s Swamp Thing Movie. There’s a scene where Alec (The Swamp Thing’s real name) is held prisoner in a dungeon and is injured. Only a tiny sliver of light shines through the barred window. Being part plant, he stretches out as much as he can to catch the sunshine. Sure it’s just a movie that’s based on a comic book but that one scene had a profound effect on me. The symbolism of reaching for whatever light there is available in order to be made whole should be a universal concept but let me spell it out for you. St. John Chapter 1 teaches us in the first five verses that we are creatures of light. We need that spiritual light to survive. We need the light to be made whole and sometimes we have to reach out a little harder to receive it. Now before you jump on the internet and download the movie let me clear that it’s got some scenes and themes that are not for more sensitive viewers. The nudity and violence including a bare chested Adrienne Barbeau. But when I caught the little red maple in my lens reaching for the sunlight it reminded me of the movie and of course the need to reach out and catch as much of the light as I can.

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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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Autumn Journey

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

The wind carries the fallen leaves to the tracks that cross the Kanawha River. The peak color was just starting to wane as I gaze across the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The hills seem to rejoice in their beautiful celebrationlebration of the season. The tracks call to me with an invitation to come and explore the seldom seen wonders that are hidden beneath a vibrant canopy of warm colors. Beyond the river and behind the houses a moss laden forest houses thick clumps of ferns, old stumps that full of mushrooms and twisted vines wrapped around old growth oaks. The mists hang around the grove like a curtain and provide a perfect sanctuary. That’s where the big buck lives. His crown bares 12 tines and his hot breath billows like the stack on and old train. Silently he patrols the grove warding off all rivals. He charges up and stops just short of the tracks that mark the edge of his realm. The big buck gives a defiant snort and us soon off into the misty woods. What wonders these hills hold indeed.

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!❤

Spilled Treasures

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

My breath condenses in the air and curls upwards as carefully step through bushes. I’m trying not to alarm any wildlife by snapping a twig. I slowly set the ball of my foot on the forest floor with a rolling motion and pay close attention to the sensation of the earth beneath me before settling my heel. My eyes alternate from the forest around me to the ground in front of me. The ground is carpeted in tones of gold, scarlet, maroon and green. The colorful scene laid out before me brings to mind thoughts of a treasure chest that has spilled out and scattered it’s riches across the landscape. All things in this world are temporary. Treasure fades into rust and the wind carries it away to parts unknown. Light dims into a soft glow on the horizon. For a while the forest will sleep under the pale of the moon. But this is only temporary and the colors which fell to the ground and soaked into the earth will be reborn as flowering of Spring.

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!❤

Red And Gold In November

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red Maple 111019″and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

A warm breeze caresses the forest as I step out to the edge of civilization and embrace the real world. The leaves are becoming more scarce now and most of branches carry only a few stragglers. The blood red leaves on a few of the younger maples have stayed longer than most. The younger trees tend to hold their leaves longer and it’s not unusual for beech and sycamour to keep their leaves until Spring. This particular red maple started the Fall with a rich golden tone and slowly transitioned into a velvety red with just the right amount of yellow to make it like gold dust settled on them. Or perhaps some woodland sprite visited the tree and sprinkled the gold as she flew past it. I marvel only for a moment and a lull in the wind allows me to catch the beautiful colors before they finally fade away.

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!

Time To Rest

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

Steam rises from my morning coffee and curls in thin wisps as I walk along the creek. Several weeks ago I sat out some bird feeders for the first time. I’m hoping to draw in more wildlife to my yard but so far they’ve ignored the feeders. I looked up to see the single yellow poplar leaf drooping into my path. The leaf looks sleepy. Tiny beads of water cling to the leaf and as the Sun is reflected in them and they sparkle like diamond dust. Soon the frost will replace the dew and the tree will sleep until Spring.

“Time To Rest” us also available in black and white.

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!❤

Forage Friday #33 Oaks

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “White Oak In Crimson” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Oak is a wild edible plant that I have not actually ever gotten around to trying with one I’ll fated exception that’s covered in the article. All of the information about it’s food and medicine value comes from years of reading and listening to other people who have shared their knowledge with me. As always, I only intend to give you an interesting conversation starter and recommend that you do further research before trying any wild edible plants.

The young warrior moved cautiously between the boles in the early days of Fall. He hadn’t really perceived any danger but stealth had become a way of life. It wasn’t for him enough to remain unseen and unheard but instead he had to be a ghost. That meant that he had to move without leaving any signs of his passing. As he crept along the deer path he placed a hand on the corky bark and gently rubbed off the powdery dust from the ridges. The twigs ended in crown-like clusters of buds and the few leaves that were still on the tree had rounded lobes without any burs at the tip of lobes. He gently raked back the leaf litter to find the nuts. Many of them have already sprouted but he also saw that the woody caps covered more than half of the shell. These were white oak acorns and that was why he braved entering a forbidden grove. From under his tunic he produced a coarsely woven bag and began to gather the nuts. Before he gathered the second handful he felt knobby end of a staff touch his shoulder with just enough force to get his attention. He dropped the bag and rose to his feet to see his master’s grinning face. The game was a training exercise. If the young warrior had been able to gather the bag of acorns without being caught it would have meant that he’d mastered the art of stealthily crossing enemy territory. But today’s failure meant that he’d have to scrub out the cooking pots again after the acorns had been made into the morning meal.

Anyone familiar with myths and legends of Northern Europe knows that the oak was a significant tree. It’s said that the title of “Druid” means “he who knows the oaks” and while I’m not certain of how accurate that is I do know that the oak is important to every culture that has access to them.

Today the oak is mostly known for it’s wood. It’s generally considered to be among the strongest lumbers. In my opinion the red oak has the most beautiful grain in the wood but is actually slightly less rot resistant than the white oak. That’s because the white oak has a tendency to be found in wetter conditions than the red oak and so the vessels hat transport water throughout the tree tend to be smaller and tighter to lock out fungus.

White Oak was also preferred for bending. The classic examples are bent wood furniture and tools like hay forks. White Oak wood is heated until it gets limber like a noodle and then it’s placed in a form until it cools down and holds the desired shape.

Oak bark is the source of cork. There’s entire plantations of cork oak. The outer bark is stripped away and processed into flooring, bulletin boards and if course wine corks. The stripping doesn’t harm the tree. It’s akin to getting a haircut and the bark regeneration sequesters carbon dioxide.

The inner bark has been used by herbalists for washing wounds and poison ivy rash. One of my guide books suggests that a strong tea made from oak bark us used as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums. The medicine comes from the tannins in the bark. Now I’m of the opinion that an oak based mouthwash is the act of a desperate person. And here’s why. When I first started reading up on foraging for food and medicine I read that acorns were edible. And I love nuts. Plus, I live in a forest that’s full of oak. So one day I found some beautiful acorns. They big too! So I pulled out my pliers and cracked the nut open and popped the nut meat into my mouth. Not only was that nut astringent but it was bitter and that awful taste was in my mouth for hours. Even after a lot of coffee, vanilla extract, and even hot chillies! But I had all of the experts rave about acorns. What I had missed was the leeching process. All of the bad flavor was from the tannins but, those tannins are water soluble. Removing the tannins would have been as easy as soaking the nuts in water for several days until the water no longer changes color. A strong solution of the tannins can be used to tan leathers but that’s something that we’ll cover some other time. The other method to remove the tannins is to simply tie them up in a porous sack and toss it into moving water for a few days. A modern method is to use a food processor to chop the nuts into a fine powder ( after shelling) and place the powder in a nylon stocking before leeching out the tannins. Because this increases for the water to act on it makes for less time leeching.

Main thing acorns are used for today is acorn bread. There’s plenty of recipes online but basically you’re substituting the acorn flour for wheat flour and some people mix the two.

Tonight’s feature image is a white oak. Don’t let the color of Fall leaf fool you. That’s not genetic it’s a result of the wavelength of light. Red oak can have a yellow leaf and vice versa. But red oak leaves are usually more pointed in the lobe and they tend to have a little needle-like bur at the tip.

Even though this article went a little longer than normal I’m certain that I’ve overlooked some little bit of information or trivia so I do encourage you to take a look online if you think you want to try acorns.

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!❤

A Morning Concert Performance

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Birch Leaf On Moss 102919” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The mists drift softly across the forest floor on a cool Fall morning. The first snow hadn’t fallen yet but the chill in the air foretells the oncoming frosts. The squirrels still scurry through the leaves hiding nuts but rain softened leaves means they don’t make nearly as much noise. The moss growing on the fallen log catches my eye. I don’t really know why but the presence of moss has always had a calming effect on me. Perhaps it’s the soothing green tones or the soft texture. Or maybe I just associate it with the peaceful solitude of being in nature but it’s always been a way for me to push back the noise of modern life and relax. The single leaf resting on the moss provides a focal point for me to concentrate my gaze and allow my other senses to explore the world around me. Several small birds are close by foraging for insects on the various bushes. Their quick and sudden movements produce a different cadence in leaves than that of the squirrels make when they bond across the ground. The wind gently shakes the leaves on the trees in my yard and produces a rhythmic rattle while the stronger breeze up on the ridge makes the familiar roaring sound. The creek sings out it’s gurgling songs and provides a melody to accompany the rhythms of forest. At one point a woodpecker makes itself known with it’s laughing call echoing through the hills. The laughing call is followed by the hammering of it’s beak on an old snag somewhere close by. Like all drummers he knows that he’s the real star on this stage. As the woodpecker’s drum solo fades into a echo my recharging is complete. It’s time to raise my lens and preserve the memory of my front row seat of nature’s morning concert.

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!❤