Wild Geranium & Morning Quiet Time

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wild Geranium In Soft Rain” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The rain drizzles down softly into last year’s fallen leaves as I carefully place my foot into the underbrush. The little spot on the edge of my yard has become a sanctuary for the native Appalachian wildflowers. The pinkish purple bloom of the wild geranium stands out against the dull brown of the forest floor. It’s a cool spring morning and the tiny droplets catch the light enough to shimmer like little gemstones. The sound of the water gently flowing through the hills is broken only by the occasional call of the cardinals in the distance. The breeze carries the scent of wood smoke from the neighbors place upstream.

It’s a blessing in and of itself to be able to start the day with a tranquil moment and center yourself.

I often wonder where all the great thinkers are today. We have advanced science and technology that is on the edge of what was fiction when I was young. Just the internet alone was a fantasy straight from the silver screen. We have all the power and knowledge at our fingertips in the form of a little black box that holds the some knowledge of mankind as a whole but do we ever actually think? Do we ever take time to contemplate our place in the world? Do we ever get a chance for more than collapsing in a chair in a state of total exhaustion while the t.v. or the internet does our thinking for us?

There’s definitely a difference between a full life and a busy life. If you don’t have a chance to catch at least a few minutes of quiet time then one has to wonder if life is just busy. I have made a commitment to steal back at least five minutes per day to take a deep breath and push away the outside world with all if it’s distraction and frustration. And, I feel so much more fulfillment in my day.

The drizzle slows to an eventual stop and the forest smells fresh and clean even with wood smoke from the neighbors fire. I feel renewed as a step back into my yard and cross the wet grass to start my day.

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A Mother’s Day Story

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my blog. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Flowers For Mommy” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Tiny hands work diligently in the warm morning sun. Softly, a little voice hums a tune as each daisy is carefully selected and placed in the repurposed soda bottle. The arrangement is a little crowded because the more flowers that are included means a bigger “I Love You”. The little feet march proudly back into the house carrying the gift.

She was awake and watching everything from the bedroom window but when she heard the singing out in hallway she crawled back under the covers and pretended to be asleep. The song was more or less the tune of happy birthday but the lyrics were based on phrase “I Love Mommy”.

As the song ended she was presented with the bundle of daisies which were displayed in the soda bottle on the kitchen table. Before they faded she pressed them between the pages of a book and kept them with the rest of her special memories.

Down through the years there was many gifts. The little feet walked out into a life of their own and the tiny hands developed skills that earned a good living. Mother’s Day gifts included nice jewelry and fancy meals. But always paled in comparison to the empty soda bottle of wildflowers. On the page of her memory book where the pressed daisies had been preserved was the words “Nothing says “I Love You like daisies in the hands of a child”.

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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Encountering Bluets

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Bluets 43019” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I can be a bit of a frustrating trail partner for those who wish to get to the other end of the trail in the most efficient way possible. I like to take my time and examine every little patch of ground along the way. I want to experience life in detail. If I had simply been rushing from point A to point B I might have overlooked the small unassuming cluster of flowers. I have seen two types of them. Blue ones or white ones it doesn’t matter, they’re all called Bluets or Quaker Ladies. They are not always found in small clusters like in the feature image. They can actually form large colonies. The guide books list them as having uses in folk medicine but I’m neither a doctor or a certified herbalist as well as never tried using them that way. Therefore, I can’t really cover those aspects. But what I can cover is the wonderful feeling that I get when I spot them in early Spring. As we transition into Summer I can look forward to seeing them up into July.

Bluets seem to prefer the shade and that might make them useful for brightening some of the edges of my yard. This colony was on federal land so I’ll continue to enjoy them on my trips to the lake. But, there is some growing up on the mountain behind my house that can be transplanted. It should be as simple as dividing them like any other garden plant that has the same growth habits.

After a few minutes of admiration I raised my lens and took a few shots to preserve the moment and continued down the trail to the water’s edge for a few minutes of peace and quiet contemplation.

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.

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The Spring’s Flame & The Return Of The Hummingbirds

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Flame Of Spring” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The rain fades away under the cover of darkness. As the new dawn drives away the mists the honeysuckle burns brightly in defiance of the cold rain. The orange flowers open slowly at first, just a few at a time in the early stage. However, the rest all seem to open at once overnight. It’s as if the dawn sun has set the bushes ablaze. It’s normally about this time of year that I begin to hear the buzzing of tiny wings all throughout the different types of honeysuckle on my land. The bees have been working the wildflowers for a few weeks now but another set of wings will soon be joining the rest.

Small and agile, a living dart zips in and around the sweet smelling blooms testing each one to see if it contains the ambrosia detected. His energy is sustained by the nectar found within the base of the flowers. He has flown thousands of miles to get here in time for the bloom. The Ruby Throated Hummingbird as arrived at long last.

I have yet to actually spot one this year but I am expecting them soon. I have plenty of photos of the hummingbird’s favorite foods but catching a good photo of one has been as challenging as catching up with the eagles on the Kanawha River. Maybe even more so because they never really seem to rest for more than a few seconds. However because they do favor my honeysuckle bush and azaleas I have set a goal for myself to get a good shot of one eventually.

They say that the brightest flame burns quickly and that’s certainly true for my orange honeysuckle. The bush is at full bloom now and I’ve gotten several photos of this year’s flowers but I am still waiting for hummingbirds to make their appearances.

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=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.

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Forage Friday #7 – Wild Ginger

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my blog! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wild Ginger 41619” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

When I was seventeen years old the words “Wild Ginger” would have brought to mind an image of a girl that I could have never introduced to my mother. However this wild ginger is not quite as spicy as that girl with the Led Zepplin tee shirt and skull earrings. This one is a sweet treat that was highly prized by backwoods mountaineers and puritans alike.

According to Peterson’s Field Guide the rhizomes were boiled down in sugar water until the root was tender and then eaten like candy or dried and ground into a powder for seasoning. The resulting broth could be used as a tea. As with a lot of wild edible plants there’s also recommend medicinal uses that may or may not be valid. From what I understand the spice value was more popular than the medicinal value.

Again I have a plant that I find fascinating but have been apprehensive about actually trying. And there’s a reason. The USDA warns that if you eat too much wild ginger that it can cause kidney damage. In fact it’s been found that some species produce aristolochic acid. A substance that is found in rat poison! I know that some foragers are more daring and will think that I’m too cautious but I tend not try plants that that have questionable reputations. One of the stories that I ran into while researching for tonight’s post is about a mass poisoning that happened in Belgium during the late 90s. There was even deaths. The tragic story said that the deaths were linked to diet pills that contained a Chinese member of this same genus of plant. ( Which is why I always caution readers to do independent research and keep in mind that Forage Friday is only intended to be an entertainment and give you an interesting story to read )

The big question is if the North American variety has the same problem. The USDA warning says yes it does but the history of the plant says no. And, since I’m not a biochemist I’m not really able look much deeper into the toxicology so I don’t risk it.

The plant’s growth patterns do make it a beautiful addition to the shady areas of my property. Once established it grows in thick lush colonies near the Mayapple. I have noticed that the soil in these spots tends to be alluvial.

The wild ginger flowers are reddish brown and very low to the ground. They also smell horrible! That’s because they are pollinated by flies. They actually smell like something that has been dead for a while.

An unopened flower bud of the wild ginger.

Timing has not allowed me to locate a fully open flower but as you can see here the buds look like they could be from an alien world. Once open they look similar to the Trilliums.

Another oddity is that the seed is spread by ants. The tip of the oily seed is cut off by the ant and taken into the colony and the actual seed is left outside to germinate.

In closing, wild ginger is a no go for me due to the risk of damage to diabetic kidneys. The online research says that maybe it’s okay in small amounts and the history shows that that’s how it was used. Not as a main course but as a flavoring. Even as a candy it would not have been consumed in large quantities. The lesson of wild ginger is moderation.

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.

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! 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 to https://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!

Catch The Moment

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Mountain Purity” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Soft clouds skim the mountains and the scent of the pending rain fills the air. The birds have settled down in the thick underbrush to take cover from the change in weather. During a lull in the wind I ventured out with my camera to see what I might find before the rain begins. The first thing I spotted was my Azalea that was planted by the previous owner. The delicate white flowers bruise very easily and if I’m going to get a shot before they are battered by the storm and turn brown now is the time.

As I’m admiring the bloom from different angles I can’t help think about how pure they look. The white flowers on the field of white felt very fresh and clean. I spent all winter hoping for a chance to capture something with this same feeling of purity but the mild winter here means mostly rain and mud. But the Azalea more than made up for the lost opportunity.

With the rain scent in the air and the white flowers I was feeling very renewed. Soon I heard the lonely cry of a Mourning Dove and I knew that my opportunity for photographing the unspoiled flowers wouldn’t last much longer. Before I knew it I was feeling the sprinkles of the rain hitting the back of my neck. The flowers will be here for a few more days but they will be bruised and my best opportunity has come to a close.

I put my lens cap back on and hovered over the camera body to keep it dry as I stepped back into the house. The lesson that I learned from this experience was to appreciate the moments as they come. The flowers are mine and they bloom every year but I’m not always able to catch them before the hard rains come and the moment is lost. My generation came up with Carpe Diem, Seize The Day and the phrase is now well known. But what is unsaid is that a day is made up of a collection of moments. If we could really seize the moment as it comes then the day will be ours.

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 the web to go tohttps://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.

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 5… Dandelion

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sun Seed” and the image at the bottom is titled “Make a wish and blow” both are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

If you’re in the Eastern part of North America then I’m willing to bet that the first flower the you ever picked for your mom was either a daisy or a dandelion. While much maligned by those who want a yard that looks like a putting green the humble dandelion is a wild edible plant that just keeps giving.

Living in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia means that I grew up listening to my grandparents generation singing the praises of the dandelion. Every Spring the rural yards were dotted with happy yellow flowers. I remember hearing one of the other kids comment that it looked like pieces of sun fell off and took root.

Even though the local reputation for dandelion was a positive one we didn’t consume it in our house. It wasn’t until went on a wilderness survival camp in Civil Air Patrol that I tried it for the first time by nibbling on the leaves and flowers. The leaves are a little bitter. The flowers had a dry texture that didn’t really appeal to my tastes at that time. I was aware of dandelion as a wild edible plant but that first experience with the flower kept me focused on the leaves.

It wasn’t until I got really bad sick with pancreatitis and liver problems that I tried anything more than a few nibbles of the leaves or stem. I had read in a few manuals that dandelion was good for the liver. I began to keep dandelion tea on hand. I can’t credit it with curing me completely because I also took the medicine that my doctor prescribed. But do think it helped me and every so often I enjoy a cup or two for maintenance. ( I am not trained herbalist or medical professional of any kind. If you’re sick please seek a professional for advice. I’m only telling you about my own experiences with dandelion)

The roots of the dandelion are said to make an excellent coffee substitute when roasted. While it might look like coffee and even taste like coffee it has no caffeine. That makes it an unsuccessful substitute for coffee in my opinion. But it’s fine as its own thing.

Speaking of that tap root, it’s very long. A dandelion root can get as long as eighteen inches. And it’s great at breaking through compressed soil and pulling up nutrients that locked up deep underground. Left alone, the dandelion can help revitalize overworked land.

And as we all know it’s plentiful! It’s odd to me that in some parts of society humans spray poison in the yard to prevent the dandelion from growing for free but go to store and buy salad that’s shipped in from far away. The dandelion tea that I mentioned earlier had to purchased because it was the dead of winter and there was no wild ones to be found. For organic dandelion at a specialty store the price was $6.00 per box. Something to think about before spraying the lawn with Roundup.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Dandelion Festival in White Sulphur Springs next month. It’s a pretty big celebration in honor of the happy yellow flowers who pop up in Spring. The festival features one of Appalachia’s most unique products; dandelion wine. I’m not really a wine connoisseur so I can’t really judge the quality of the wine however it does have a great reputation as both a wine and a tonic. The festival itself consists of parades, music and handcrafted items of all kinds.

Last but not least, Dandelions are a source of wishes. Think real hard about your wish and blow on the seed head. The seeds will carry your wishes to heaven.

Make a wish and blow!

⚠️Please remember that my blog is about the photos and that Forage Friday is only intended to entertain you and not to make you an expert forager.⚠️

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

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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! 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! 😊