Winter And Wild Teas

In the natural world winter is a time for rest. The animals tend to stay in their dens. The hardwood trees are in a deep sleep as are the bears. Even the deer find a nice place in the deep woods where they can shelter from the cold. The days are still short and the cold nights are long. Just perfect for deep rest.

The giant elm tree in tonight’s feature image is just as beautiful in the winter as it is with its leaves on in the warmer months. One of the special treats of the colder months when I was a kid was bark teas. I’d be careful about where I harvested the bark (see note below) but elm actually has a nice spicy flavor. Several years ago I was able to try it for the first time. Traditionally it’s used for sore throats and colds ( I’m not a doctor or a certified anything so this is historical statement and not medical advice) due to the gelatinous fiber it yields. The flavor is similar to the Balsam Poplar that grows in higher elevations. In just a few months the buds will begin to swell and they make a good tea as well. In the old days, the Basswood (Linden or Lyme in Europe) buds were a source of winter food for my ancestors. Winter hikes in my teens always included stopping by a grove of black birch for a handful of wintergreen flavored twigs to nibble on. Sassafras was also a wonderful bark tea with an aroma that filled the house. There’s also the Carolina Spicebush who’s twigs provide a very lemon like flavor and the red berries of the stag horn sumac which has to be filtered well but gives us a pink lemonade in winter.

Perhaps that’s why I like this big old elm tree so much. It’s not only because it’s awesome to look at but it reminds me of all the cool stuff that the Appalachian forests provide even in winter.

(NOTE: WHILE THE TREES AND FOOD USES MENTIONED IN TONIGHT’S POST WERE TRADITIONALLY USED IN APPALACHIA THERE ARE HAZARDS AND FOOD ALLERGIES TO CONSIDER. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ELM IN TONIGHT’S POST IS GROWING NEAR A PLACE WHERE HAZARDOUS SOIL CONTAMINATION IS A RISK AND THEREFORE I WOULD CONSIDER THIS PARTICULAR TREE UNSUITABLE FOR CONSUMPTION. IT’S A SAD REALITY OF THE MODERN WORLD AND JUST NOT WORTH THE RISK. MCHM IS IN USE IN THE REGION AND LOCALS KNOW ALL TOO WELL THAT BY THE TIME A SPILL IS REPORTED IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION. )

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Tonight’s Feature Image is “The Big Elm At London West Virginia 12.27.18” and is available for purchase by usingthe Contact Form on my website. ( just click on the the bell below)

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Taking The Next First Step (One year of blogging and updates to my website)

Sam:
If I take one more step, I’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.

Frodo:
Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

Tonight’s Feature Image of the Fayette Station Bridge made me think of the quote from The Lord Of The Rings. Sam’s hesitant attitude about taking the first farthest step kinda resonates with me. It difficult thing to leave your comfort zone. Or, should I say expand your comfort zone? When I started Lloyd’s Lens Photography a few years ago I wasn’t really sure how it would go. Would my work be accepted or my writing be understood? I didn’t really know. But what I did know was that there was only one way to find out. My friends and family came out in force to support me at my first art show. After a couple of years it was time for the next first farthest step and I got my first website. Which I broke shortly afterwards. It’s not a sin to fall down. It is a sin to stay down after you fall. So I moved to WordPress and started over. Yesterday was my one year WordPress Anniversary! I want to thank all of my Subscribers and Facebook followers for the wonderful encouragement that I’ve received over the past year. I would not have been able to keep it going without you!

So, what’s the next farthest step for me? I’m currently building a print on demand page with Zazzle for people who are interested in purchasing an image. The daily posts are never going away and not every image will make it into the online store. However, the ones that do will just be a click away and will be available as a wider range of products and ship directly from the production facilities.

In addition to the prints I’ll be able to offer greeting cards, puzzles, stickers, magnets and more!

My blog posts will continue to be spam free. ALWAYS! The only difference will be an extra link at the bottom of each post that takes you to my online store.

Thank you again for all of encouragement and compliments. I will endeavor to provide my best up front for your enjoyment.

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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Visit My Website

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Stepping Out” and is available for purchase by using theContact Form on mywebsite. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

Where Past Meets Future

The cold November wind cuts through the open field like a wolf chasing after it’s prey. I stand in the middle of the old highway looking at the old derelict barn and continue to allow my imagination to have it’s way with the scene in front of me. I listen to the echoes of time as they speak about what might have been and what may be again one day. Last night I wrote about a possible past surrounding the old barn on Muddelty Creek. As my mind wonders into the future I can envision a young couple who exits a vehicle and joins hands as they step up to the footprint of where the old barn used to stand. They are just starting a life together. Her vision for the property is so vivid that as she stands in the spot where the living room will be that she knows the exact color of the walls. She describes in detail all her plans. His hands are skilled and experienced. He will bring her vision to life. The old barn that she fell in love with as a child will rise again as a rustic home in the country. There they will raise a family and fill the special place with and art.

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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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Forgotten Harvest 2” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website.(Note, I do not share or sale contact information. EVER)

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8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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The Old Barn On Muddlety Creek, November 2018

I had a few minutes to spare on my last trip to town a few days ago and decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite subjects. Namely, the old barn on Muddelty Creek. The past few years has not been kind to this majestic old barn. More of the roof has been stripped away by the wind. The framework is sagging more than the last time I was there as well. I have learned a little more about the history of the barn and how it came to be left derelict and neglected. It was and still is tied up in legal issues. As I stand on the quiet country road doing my work with the lens the damp air grows more chilled and a light snow starts to fall. I can’t help but to imagine the old barn in happier times. Children would have been playing games in and around the barn as livestock grazes in the background. A young boy and his sister poke their heads out from the loft door and look for shapes in the clouds. A young mother watches with safety concerns from a kitchen window as her husband reassures her that the kids will be just fine. He pauses for moment and suggests that perhaps he should go and look for the farriers rasp that he lost in the barn last week. She knows that she saw that rasp hanging next to the horse’s stall. Right where it’s always been since the day they were married. Soon after he enters the barn the children exit and go off to play a different game.

I’m roused from my daydreaming by a large snowflake that lands right in my ear. I’ll take a few more shots from a couple of different angles and wish the old barn well as I climb in the big blue truck and run my errands. What the future holds for the old barn is unclear but for as long as it offers it’s beauty and inspiration I’ll continue to come to this spot for a daydream and photos.

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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Visit My Website

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Forgotten Harvest” and is available for purchase 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

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

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

Time Spent On The River Is Not Wasted

As look upstream at the New River the water looks very cold. The green of spring and summer is nothing more than a fond memory in a collection happy summers. The pop of Fall Colors has faded to a reddish brown. I have listened to and read multiple stories of fishing at Fayette Station. Some tell me that they have caught the biggest fish ever in the frigid waters while others say the fish were small but plentiful. After all the fish fish tales I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the real catch was time with loved ones. Parents and children, children and grandparents and all the best friends gather in this spot to try for the one that got away. I suppose that wiley rascal is still out there hiding in some deep eddy of new river taunting fishermen by tugging on lines and stealing bait. That’s it’s purpose in life. To entice us out away from the electronic devices or whatever is on T.V. to cast a line in the water and spend time with someone special.

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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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 theWelcome Page

Visit My Website

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Upstream” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using theContact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

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

Taking The Long Way

If I concentrate on it I can remember a time before Interstate Highways in my area. Every road was the scenic route and every road was the long way home. Oftentimes the road was a single lane and when you met someone coming from the other direction each would have to move one wheel off of the pavement so that there was enough room to pass. Most of the time people would idle in the middle of the road and have a conversation with their windows down. I can remember being late for appointments because two people sat in the middle of the road for several minutes with traffic backed up behind them on either side. Sometimes it lead to an internal conflict of protocol. Is it more rude to block the road or to interrupt the conversation?

Thankfully we now have social media and there’s no need to block traffic for a status update. In the 70s a car was usually large enough to seat 6 adults in relative comfort and quiet drives though the country was a good way to relax.

A slow drive through the mountains was rewarded with grand views of the valley below. If the road was remote enough you could spot wildlife on the edge of the forest. Time was more generous then and the slower pace allowed for one to experience life instead of spend it. We tend to think of an open road as a symbol of freedom but I have to wonder if we miss the point when we’re just reaching the next destination as quickly as possible.

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 theWelcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Crossroads In The Gorge” 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 contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

Sample Portraits

The Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn And The Drive By Photographer

A quiet country road in the Appalachian Mountains is incomplete without at least one Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn. The once large West Virginia based tobacco company would paint your barn for free. Of course, there was a catch. They got to paint an add on at least one side of the barn. But it was a good deal for the farmer and cows are not known to be concerned about the color of their barn. There was a second Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn just a few miles away from the one in tonight’s feature image but it finally sucome to the ravages of time. These old barns are really a form of endangered history. The one pictured here has been a challenge to even get a decent picture of. It’s in a place where you cannot pull over and it’s in a blind curve to boot. I have driven by multiple times with my camera hanging out of the window and snapping photos as I pass. After a few years of practice shots I finally got one that I could publish. I guess that determination eventually pays off.

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 “Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn In Zela” 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.