Among The Bracken

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Baby Bracken Fern” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Just below the blanket of last season’s leaves the infrared light of the sum warms the sleepers. They’ve spent the winter curled up into little balls dreaming of the day when they will push back the blanket and reach out for the light. Their line is one of the oldest in the forest. They’ve completed this spring ritual since the day of their creation. They even remember the thunder of the dinosaurs feet. Although they can sprout from spores the braken commonly sprouts from underground runners. The unfurling of the fronds can take on the appearance of ballet when viewed through the magic of time lapse photography. The term “fiddleheads” can refer to any emerging fronds but is most associated with the ostrich fern and it’s edible form. The dense coating of fur on the bracken and the hazard of possibly causing cancer makes the bracken unappealing as an edible. But as part of the landscape it adds just the right amount of a primeval feel to inspire visions of mist covered landscape from long ago. Perhaps even an alien world covered by a dense jungle.

As l look around at the fiddleheads in various stages of unfurling I have to imagine that the first one to finish makes a “Ta-Da!” sound as it does.

I wasn’t able to find the ostrich ferns that I was looking for but I was able to get out and enjoy the fresh air and spend some time in one of my natural sanctuary spots. I took a few minutes to breathe the fresh air and listen to the birds for a while. Finding that moment of peace was the real prize on this trip.

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Breakfast Meeting

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

The big blue truck rolls to the end of the parking lot as the morning sun burns away the previous night’s rain clouds. I turn volume down on the podcast and take a sip of the coffee I’d purchased with my sausage and eggs. I normally eat breakfast at home but the previous night’s storms had knocked out the power making the stovetop useless. I was quite a bit early for my shift and there was time to enjoy the change in weather. I love the way the world smells after a rain and after being sequestered by ice and snow I didn’t mind if it was a little on cool side. Just as was finishing my eggs I caught some movement out of corner of my left eye. I’d been feeling low about having breakfast alone since my little buddy Scout normally rests his head on my chair and waits to get the last bite. But doggies aren’t allowed in cubicles so he’s at home curled up on his pillow. I was not alone however. Well up into the treetops the movement was coming from the shakes of a bushy tail. I watched as the squirrel deftly shifted from twig to twig selecting only the finest and tastiest buds on the tree. The wind would occasionally shake the boughs but the squirrel was as steady as a career sailor in rough seas. He seemed to be watching me watch him as he enjoyed his meal.

Occasionally he would try to disappear behind the thin branches and peek out believing that he was really hidden. I lost sense of time while being amused by his antics and before I knew it I was down to wire for clocking in. The sense of peace from spending time with nature however was something that I was able to carry throughout the whole day.

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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Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Symbiosis

Hello Friends. The feature for tonight is titled “Symbiosis” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The cool misty rain floats in air and gently settles onto the forest floor. Because the ground temperature is warmer than the air the fog rises up almost immediately. The fresh scent of the moss wafts through the woods. As the rain slows to a halt the birds resume their songs. I decided to take advantage of the break in the weather and venture out. Throughout the sea of soft green that carpets the forest the tiny orange speck catches my glimpse. At first I thought that it was a gumball or piece of candy dropped near the trail but when I was close enough to focus on it I saw the tiny mushroom. To get a positive ID was a little beyond my reach but because of the location and growth medium I believe it’s some kind of Mycorrhizal fungus. No. Not “fun Gus”, fungus. Believe it or not Mycorrhizal fungus are a pretty important part of God’s design for planet earth. There’s a whole lot of impressive vocabulary connected with describing it’s job but for the purpose of this post it’s job is to deliver nutrition to the plants. In return the plants turn the nutrients into food that the fungus can eat. They don’t just grow next to each other. They share a root system. For most of us the word symbiosis is one of the first natural science terms that we learn. Just in case you were busy shooting paper balls through a straw at your classmates that day it means a partnership between two or more organisms. They are stronger together working as one than each would be on it’s own. The relationship means not just surviving but thriving.

Today’s world is pretty rough. Everywhere we look there are divisions and competition between people who have different angles on life and how it should be lived. Each side has it’s own talents and the potential for success in survival of the world but is there something more? If we could really come together in true partnership with each other and organize are talents while respecting each other’s needs what could be achieved? Because of the relationship between the fungus and the plants that surround it the underlying soil is far more productive for both. It’s productive enough to improve the life of organisms that are not directly connected to either the plants or the fungus. The fertility from the union helps the plants produce higher quality nectar which feeds the bees that produce the honey that fuels their flight to an other type of plant growing in a garden that gets fertilized by the bee and grows into a fruit that is eaten by us. We benefit from the strange little mushrooms that we’ve never seen.

And we might benefit from the relationship the doctor who cares for us has with the person who brews his morning coffee and ensures that he has a productive day even though that person might be someone who we don’t see eye to eye with in any options.

In closing I want to plainly say that my intention here is to encourage everyone to treat each other with kindness and respect. Because that person on social media that just makes your blood boil could be more important to you indirectly than you think. But even if they are not it’s still best to not engage with them and give your attention to someone and something that does have a mutual benefit so that you can get that positive return. 😊

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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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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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 onFacebook or use the Contact Form 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! Simply message me on Facebook or use the contact form on my website and 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 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! 😊

Some Days Are For The Birds

Recently the warm weather allowed me to get out for a few minutes and visit the bird feeder at my dad’s house. Dad goes all out for his little feathered friends. The TV is on but he has his binoculars pressed to his face looking out the window at all the activity in the chestnut trees on the edge of the yard. The term “yard” is kinda used loosely at dad’s place. In general it’s any place where you mow plus just under the trees where the woods begin. As we observe the feeding dad recounts the events at the feeder over the past few days. He hasn’t actually named these birds out loud but he knows all of the species and individuals who frequently visit his yard. He tells me that the Common Flicker in tonight’s feature image is the boss of the yard and how he even challenges and keeps at bay the murder of crows that are larger and outnumber him. He talks about the covey of mourning doves and how one always lands on the feeder and tosses food down to the ground for the rest of them. A Pileated Woodpecker swoops in as dad talks and lands on a dead limb of a hickory tree. He hits the dead wood like a jackhammer and sends wood chips flying everywhere in his search for insects living in the wood. ( I tried to get a nice shot of the Pileated Woodpecker but he’s far too camera shy and took flight as soon as I stepped outside.) Dad has one mortal enemy at his bird feeder and surprisingly it’s not the squirrels. It’s a mob of Common Grackles that have run the bluebirds out of his yard and have even overwhelmed the Flicker on occasion. The former Marine came out in dad’s eyes when he postulated on how to defend his songbirds from the Grackles. A few minutes later he softened a little and said that God had a place for the Grackles too. Most of shots from the window didn’t really turn out well and so I put my wilderness stalking skills to work and began to ease myself closer to the feeder. Most of the birds scattered at first but soon the chickadees returned. Small and agile the chickadees figure they can be gone with a mouthful of food before the human can react. I remained as motionless as a stone until they began to ignore me. As soon as the others saw that I wasn’t chasing after the chickadees they also returned. Then finally the Flicker decided that it was time to let me know that this was his feeder. The others gave way to him as he came in for a landing. He dug into the seed mix and found the one he wanted. Then he flew directly at the camera so fast that I couldn’t adjust the focus. He pulled up at the last moment and landed on the branch above me. Few a few minutes he seemed to play peekaboo by popping out from the tree with the nut in his beak. Finally he tucked it into his hiding spot on an upper branch.

Common Flicker hiding a nut in a tree branch

I watched him repeat this stunt a few times before I went back inside to visit with dad some more and share the photos with him. I’ve been told that some days are for the birds but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I want to encourage you to spend some time birding. The songbirds not only bring much needed beauty to the dull winter climate but also share their beautiful songs and impart a little peace to your morning.

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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A Conversation Between Friends

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled ” Friendship & Sunshine”. If you would like to purchase a copy please use the contact info at the bottom of page.

There’s something special about having a day with nothing to do but sit by the river with a friend. I look at the ducks in tonight’s feature image and I have to imagine that they’ve been best friends since the day they met. As they stood there on their rock looking out over the Kanawha River they seemed to quack to each other in a hushed tone and this could only mean that were gossiping. Which makes me wonder what ducks would gossip about?Perhaps they are having a conversation about Gertrude. “Gertrude thinks she’s in charge of everything but she’s just a silly old goose.” Or maybe they are talking about what an old crow Joe is. Of course it might not be gossip at all. They could be quizzing each other on the lecture given by the wise old owl last night. So that when he asks who they’ll be the first with the right answer. Perhaps they are discussing the sermon that the cardinal gave last week or the upcoming drake concert. I can almost hear one say to the other that “The hummingbirds are going to open for him!”. They could be commenting on how tall young Mr Crane is or Mrs Dove is so pleasant. It’s also entirely possible that one of them is saying that “There’s some guy sneaking up behind us with a camera.” Of course it doesn’t matter what the conversation is about. All that’s really important to them is spending time with a best friend.

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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A Busy Day With The Honeybees

Hello Friends! Tonight’s image is titled “Work Ethics” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Link below.

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The Jewelweed behind my house moves like the wind is blowing but there’s no wind in any other part of my yard. I decided to step outside to see what was going on and the hum could be heard at a distance. I knew at once that it was the swarm. The flowers teeming with thousands of little wings darting to and fro with ” saddlebags” full of pollen. At one point in my life this would have been a terrifying experience but since facing up to my fears and learning more about these little ladies it’s a joy to see them. It was almost miraculous to see such a large number of honeybees because this photo was taken when colony collapse disorder was in all the headlines. You see, almost all life on earth depends on the honeybees to pollinate flowers and grow food. Even the predators depend on the herbivores who depend on the propagation of the plants. Since gaining my confidence around the honeybees I’ve found that they react to my presence differently as well. They no longer dive bomb me in an effort to bluff me into leaving. Instead they either ignore me completely or on some occasions they seem to be trying to figure out who I am. One time last year a honeybee followed me into the house, buzzed around the living room and then waited by the door like a puppy waiting to go outside.

I’ve discovered that standing back a bit with a long lens that photographing bees in flight was a good way to practice action shots. They only slow down when they land and they never really stop. Instead of causing anxiety it now brings a strange sense of peace to watch them working.

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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Primrose And Bees

It never really ceases to amaze me when I find out how detailed God’s creation is. All along the edges of my property I find Evening Primrose. The bright yellow bloom always makes me smile. But today I learned something new about the happy yellow flowers that just turned up one day and stayed. They can hear. Israeli scientists have discovered that the petals function like ears. When Primrose flowers “hear” the buzz of bees they actually release sweeter nectar to draw them in. They only react this way to the sounds of pollinators. Making the sweet nectar is biologically expensive and comes with other complications so the Primrose plant doesn’t produce it until it’s likely to be visited by a pollinator. I didn’t really see it mentioned in the article but I’m willing to bet that the bees will buzz the flowers in an effort to “wake them up “. If this is happening then I would expect to see the bee hover close to the flowers and then come back once it’s had time to produce the sweet treat.

Albert Einstein is credited with having said that God doesn’t play dice with the universe. When I think about the relationship between the Primrose plant and the bees I see this as evidence that not only does He not play dice with the universe but He’s designed a perfect system and that everything has it place and a roll to play in it. For those of us who desire a harmonious relationship with God let me ask if that should also mean a harmonious relationship with his natural world? I believe so. If we could just figured out the little details and pursue a simple lifestyle I believe that creation would respond to us the way the Primrose responds to the bee. In the garden of Eden God told Adam and Eve to subdue the Earth, not destroy it. (The word subdue implying gentle persuasion. )

I’m providing a Link to the full article in case you’re interested in reading it for yourself. As always links to my blog and Facebook page are provided below.

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Ring this bell for Facebook

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “ Hughes’s Bridge At Winter Pooland is available forpurchase by using the Contact Form onmy website. ( justclick on the the bell below)

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