The Closing Of The Season

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summer Azure 90820” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Where the warm breeze ends the tiny wings find their prize. The tall lanky plant with irregular pedals and spiked ball flowers welcomes the little visitor in the waning days of its season. The feeding session has the appearance of an embrace as the little blue butterfly clings gently to it’s host and accepts the sweet gift generated from within the flower’s depths. The shadow of the mountains grows subtly longer with each sunset. With each cool morning it takes the butterflies longer to warm up and begin their work of visiting the blooms and spreading joy. And yet the little Summer Azure is undeterred and performs it’s duty with a look of satisfaction. In it’s contentment the final secret is revealed that the last drop of nectar was the sweetest.

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An Observation Of Honeybees And Wingstem

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Honeybee On Wingstem 90820a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Nothing in this world is insignificant. Throughout my life I’ve endeavored to learn how to live. I’m not talking about the pursuit of a paycheck or optimal health or any of the hardline assets that we collect. I desire the experience of something more than mere existence as a cog in the machine. I find it odd that we as a society are so focused on the “What’s In It For Me” factor to the point that if we don’t see instant gratification we think of something as worthless. Tonight’s feature image shows such a thing. Not so much the honeybee but the flowers they are so engaged with right now. It’s called Wingstem. It has no known medical value. It’s not collected as food and in spite of pleasing color it’s not a garden flower. In fact if I were to have pulled back from the plant and shot it at a wide angle you would see that it’s spindly and twisted. And yet at the very moment the shutter snapped it’s showing us it’s value as a food for the honeybee. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ll know that the honeybee population is of great concern. Whole colonies are dying out and I’ve heard a few theories about what might be happening. Personally I think there’s multiple factors but one thing for sure is that bees have to eat. I noticed that even though there’s still a lot of pollen for them right now they don’t seem to be collecting it. They’re also ignoring the ironweed and Joe Pye weed that all the other pollenators are going nuts for right now. The only flower that this colony is focused on is the Wingstem. I’m not a bee expert so I’m not sure what it is about this particular wildflower that only the honeybees are interested in but my pattern recognition says that the nectar from Wingstem is very important to them right now. Wingstem is one of those plants that humans consider a weed because it’s of no direct use to us and most people cut it back when it turns up. But we definitely need the honeybees and they seem to it. Perhaps God made the Wingstem so unappealing to us because it’s for the bees to have all to themselves.

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.

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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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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

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Forage Friday #74 Thistle

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Thistle In Full Bloom 90120″ and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and all of the information is presented as trivia.

The first time I read about Thistle as a wild edible was in one of Tom Brown Jr.’s books about wilderness survival. He describes how it was hot and thirsty and his mentor peeled the stem of a Thistle and bit into it. When he did it was so full of water that it sprayed out from the bite. The story goes on to describe how juicy and refreshing raw Thistle can be. My own experience was a little less satisfactory. First of all the Thistle that I tried was bitter and stringy. In those days there was no smartphones and the fledgling internet had little information. Blogging hadn’t really caught on and most websites were nothing more than an online business card with an address and a phone number. Fortunately for me the public library was the best place to access the internet and so it was just as convenient and quick to go to the card catalog and look up a book on the subject. That’s how I learned that not all Thistles are equal. All Thistles are technically edible but they differ in quality. What I had was what is seen in tonight’s feature image. Bull Thistle. Also, part of the problem was that I had waited until they were fully mature and that certainly changes the experience. What was needed was a young plant and not bull Thistle but Milk Thistle. From what I understand Bull Thistle has every benefit of Milk Thistle it’s just not as pleasant flavored.

If you do your foraging in a local supermarket you’ll find Thistle in the form of a commercial standardized extract. In 2018 890 tons Milk Thistle extract was sold into the supplement market and that’s not counting the seeds that are sold as fodder for songbirds. Most people who use any type of Thistle are doing so as an aide to liver function and even the Native Americans used it to support healthy digestion as well as a treatment for arthritis due to it’s anti-inflammatory affect.

Image Titled “Among The Prickles 90820BW” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Of course if we foraging anywhere other than than the local supermarket we’re going to need to deal with the thorns. If you’re very careful all you really need is a good pocket knife. However, I recommend you also have a good set of gloves and maybe even welding gloves that cover the arm as well as the hand. The thorns are fierce enough to cause permanent eye damage so a decent set of safety glasses might be in order as well.

Those mean thorns are really the only part of the Thistle that is not edible. Then entire plant from the roots to the seeds may be consumed. The roots are said to taste like Jerusalem artichoke or Burdock roots. The stem and midrib of the leaves can be eaten raw but are better as a sautee as is the the flowerhead. Be certain to remove all the thorns!

The seeds are collected when the down appears. To remove the down simply rub the seeds between your hands and winnow them in same manner as separating wheat from chaff. It’s suggested by multiple sources to use an electric coffee grinder to coarsely grind the seeds and sprinkle them on other foods.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Thistle sprouts might be another option if you have enough bulk seed to make it worth the effort. I would recommend sprouting them like any other herb. It can be as simple as placing the seeds between damp paper towels and leaving them in a warm spot where they can germinate.

Why go to all that trouble? Well, wild plants can be richer in nutrition than even garden veggies. Thistle is high in fiber, protein, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. All of this depends on what’s available in the soil of course but presuming the ground is suitable for gardening the Thistle is better able to accumulate these minerals.

We’ve recently seen how fragile the normal supply chain can be. If you’re a person who has been buying supplements in the store then it makes sense to identify alternative resources just in case. All the better if you have a small space to allow some wild plants to flourish. And if nothing else Thistles will attract butterflies and others pollenators with its flowers and songbirds with its seed.

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.

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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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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!

Visited By A Flying Lobster

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “September Visitor 90720” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Amid the the rain kissed leaves and blooms the flight pattern catches and holds my eye. I’ve been watching out for a chance to photograph a ruby throated hummingbird but he’s very camera shy and vanishes into the forest when he feels my gaze. The hummingbird continues to elude me. However, the visitor who buzzed into view is just as special in its own way.

Outsiders to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia would swear that I had been hitting the still if I told them that I was visited by a flying lobster but that’s what we call them. The articulated tail which helps it hover really resembles the tail of a lobster. I suppose that some of the old timers had a lot fun at the expense of those who braved the muddy trails into wild mountains with tales of a crustacean that swims through the air. Of course the rest of North America knows it as the Snowberry Clearwing Moth. The unusual thing is that this moth is active in the day and into the night. It’s completely enthralled with the sweet purple flowers of the tall ironweed. It circles each cluster grooming the flowers with powerful beat of it’s wings. In response the flowers sweeten their nectar to ensure that the moth continues to feed and catch more pollen in its fur. The field is covered in ironweed and it’s really easy to see why my ancestors envisioned the moth as a lobster flying through the coral. The bees and butterflies also swarm around the foliage but there’s only one flying lobster. It’s not rare, only unique.

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/

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! 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!

The Wanderer In The Mist

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Wanderer In The Mist 1” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the at the bottom of the article.

The late summer afternoon sun glares intensely into the mountains as the big blue truck and I cruise a back road. The marbled sky has begun to show those deep blue pools that draw the eye into an echo of eternity. Such a sky recalls the days of lying in a freshly cut hay field and watching for the objects of fantasy to manifest in the canvas above my mountains. As I gently wind my way along the old route my attention to the heavens shifts back to road in time for a rolling cloud to cast a sunbeam into the margin of wildlife beyond the gravel berm. Awakened by seasonal rain and the shift in the light the Blue Mistflower announces an end to intense heat and humidity left behind by the Dog Days. The oncoming Equinox is only a few weeks away and with it the cooler days and turning leaves will change the world once more. I’ve always liked the little Mistflower with its arrays of frilly blue disks. They remind me of something from classic science fiction and today nature provides an alien life form in the form of a longhorn beetle. The little beetle is nearly as busy as a honeybees as it constantly wanders from flower to flowe. The longhorn has been pollenator for as long as the honeybee. It even dresses like the bees in the uniform of an official pollenator in black and yellow. The Mistflower itself is an important late season food for the native pollenators and without them then we may not have as many happy little wings in the Spring.

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/

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! 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!