Things Are Just Ducky #4

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Nice Day For A Swim ” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

George waddled up to the edge of the river and took a deep breath. He paused for a moment and caressed the cool grass with his webbed toes. The sun was shining and he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. He enjoyed the soft breeze as it ruffled his feathers slightly and looked out at world around him. Then he hopped into the river with a plop. For a moment he bobbed like a cork which was always something that made him giggle. He plunged his face into the water and shook his head vigorously to clean his bill just like his mother taught him.

The smooth water flowed around him as he paddled across the surface in no particular pattern. He went where he pleased as his curiosity inspired him. The odd swirl moving against the current meant an insect that he could chase.

George allowed the current to carry him to the edge of the falls. He could hear the water crashing into the rocks below and just as he went over the edge a quick flap of his wings he was airborne. He circled around and landed on the water at the base of Kanawha Falls where the minnows are stunned by going over the edge. George ate his fill before finding some quiet cove where he could nap in peace. Just before his eyelids became too heavy to hold open he looked skyward and thanked God for making him a duck.

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

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/

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!❤

Rough Waters & Thoughts On Community

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

They say that the two best days of a boat owner’s life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it. I’m not sure where the former owner of the boat in tonight’s feature image falls on that scale but it certainly wasn’t a good day. I have no idea how the boat ended up on the bottom of Summerville Lake but I know that for a while it was the playground for local scuba divers.

As I look over the wreckage it comes to mind that things don’t always go as planned. I have this vision of a day cruiser plowing through wakes at full through with the sun shining and everyone laughing when there’s a thump on the hull. Depending on the size of the driftwood the boat may have capsized. Some details are probably best left to imagination but I prefer to think that nobody gets hurt.

An accident on Summerville Lake is probably the best place it could happen if it has to happen. Boaters here are quick to respond to someone in trouble even if it’s just being out of gas. There’s a strong sense of community on the lake. I imagine that when this boat had it’s accident that the others came to the rescue pretty quickly. That’s the power of community. It means that when you’re in your worst moment that someone is there for you. You might not even know their name or their history but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that what you have in common brings a connection that makes you be there for each other. I used to pass the same car everyday on they way to work in about the same place. The car had very unique personalized license plate that was hard to miss. Then one day we stopped seeing her for a while. Even though we’d never really met my wife and I became a little concerned about what happened to her. She had become a part of our community and her presence was missed when she wasn’t there.

Now to be honest I have no clue how this boat was damaged. For all I know it could have damaged in dry dock or it could have been scuttled because it was just too old to maintain. But because I once spent a lot of time on the lake I still have that sense of community and feel a bit of concern for whoever once owned this boat.

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

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/

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 #11 Yarrow

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Yarrow 6119A” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Achilles surveyed the battlefield. He was covered in dirt, sweat and blood. He and his men had won the day but this moment of rest wouldn’t last long. Many of the soldiers were wounded and he would most likely need them again before morning. He sheathed his kopis sword and held his hoplon above his head to shade his eyes from the Mediterranean sun. He barely make out the the white blooms growing on the edge of grass. His men looked on as he waded into the grass and plucked a few fern-like leaves from the woody stalk and crushed them between his thumb and forefinger. He held the freshly formed pulp up to his nose just like Chiron taught him. The aromatic oils even smelled like medicine. He called one of the warriors to his side and applied the pulp to the man’s wounded hand. Almost imeadiatly the blood clotted and the bleeding stopped. The plant was powerful medicine indeed. One day soon it would even heal the most famous wound in Greek history, Achilles’ own heel.

I may have taken a little bit of a creative license with Greek history in the story above. But when I saw the yarrow growing in the ditch near the old pasture I knew that I had to include it Forage Friday. Typically when you think about foraging you think about exotic wildcrafted herbs and spices. Or sweet berries and fruits that are gathered in buckets and baked into all manor of goodies. But tonight I wanted to introduce you to some wilderness first aid. Tonight’s plant is yarrow.

Yarrow gets it’s scientific name from it’s association with the Greek hero Achilles. The genus Achillea is found pretty much worldwide and it’s one of those special plants that needs to be treated with respect. I have successfully used it myself but with some caution. ⚠️ As I have stated in previous Forage Friday posts anybody can have an adverse reaction to any plant at any time. ⚠️ In Peterson’s Field Guide James A Duke states that yarrow has over 100 biologically active compounds. And while some traditional uses are internal I’m just not comfortable discussing internal uses. One of the reasons why is that some strains of yarrow contain dangerous alkaloids. Yarrow also has a tendency to retain contamination from the soil it grows in and so the history of the land is an important consideration. Overuse of yarrow is known to cause an allergic reaction to sunlight so it’s recommend that even external use is short term. With that in mind let’s take a look at the uses.

As stated in the story above yarrow is probably best known as a clotting agent. The last time collected it I hung it upside down in a cool dry place out of the direct sun and waited for the fern-like leaves to become dry and brittle. Then simply stripped them from the simi-woody stalk and crushed them into a powder by rubbing them between two spoons over a bowl. The resulting powder can be sprinkled into minor nicks and scrapes to control bleeding. Adding other plants like plantain (plantago spp. Not the banana like fruit ) will have synergistic effect that is said to help prevent an infection.

A closer look at the light green fern-like yarrow leaves.

I’ve not tried to use the stem for starting a friction fire yet but my instincts say that it’s worth a try.

I don’t really remember where but I do remember reading somewhere that a few leaves added to the compost pile helps speed up the composting process.

One last word of caution. Yarrow is one of those plants that really resembles poison hemlock so if you think that you’re interested in exploring it further please do plenty of research on both plants so that you recognize the difference.

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

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/

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-winged Blackbird & A Childhood Goal Achieved

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Red-winged Blackbird On Cattail 6119” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I was on Muddelty Creek the other day in the marsh and heard an unmistakable sound. The trilling call of a red-winged blackbird. And then another, and another. The marsh was suddenly alive with them. Well, their calls at least. They didn’t really seem to want a portrait on this particular day. I would catch one setting still for a moment but as soon as I raised my lens they would take to the sky and disappear into the greenery.

A red-winged blackbird darting across Muddelty Creek

I remembered the iconic pictures from wildlife books I had as kid. The red-winged blackbirds were always pictured as being perched on a reed or cattail stem and I really wanted to reproduce that childhood memory.

I discovered that even when perched these hyper little guys are never really still. They seemed to be more jittery than I had remembered. Finally the one that’s pictured in mid flight moved a little closer and gave me the shot that I had been waiting for.

I definitely want to go back to this spot for more shots. I know there’s a female in the area but she’s much better camouflaged and will be harder to spot. I also want to catch the male in full display during his call and I’ve downloaded the call to help pull one in a little closer. For now I’ll have something that I have wanted to capture ever since I was a little boy leafing through an encyclopedia at Mt. Lookout Elementary School in the 70s.

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

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/

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!❤

Stonework And The Return Of Nature

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Nature Returns 52619a

Many people have the opinion that the age of megaliths was when mankind truly began to conquer nature. We literally built a world made from the bones of the earth. As a child I found a book in my grandfather’s library that was all about ancient mysteries. All of articles in the book were about megalithic cities and artifacts like Stonehenge. I didn’t just wonder about how the stones were cut an moved but I dreamed about what it must have been like to live in those structures. I would imagine what the city sounded like with the music of ancient instruments echoing off of the stones. At a time when every meal was cooked over an open fire. In the days before the internet I would spend hours leafing through dusty old books and learning about stone cutting and leverage. I was convinced that I could build my own megalith o e day. But hey, I was ten years old and anything was possible and rocks were free so they fit into a ten year old’s budget.

Needless to say that as an adult I still have an affinity for stonework. I pass by the wall in tonight’s feature image every day and look at the large blocks of stone. I don’t really know the history of this retaining wall. It stands just a few feet off of the highway and in the winter when there’s no foliage I can read the lay of the land well enough to know that a structure of some kind once stood above the wall. Not far from this spot is the foundation of church that no longer stands and a forgotten graveyard that I have not had a chance to investigate.

But what has really caught my eye lately us the roses that cascade down the stone. They are mixed in with at least four other wild vines. My mind was taken back to my grandfather’s library and the pictures of ancient ruins in South America. Those pictures of vine covered temples and trees growing in the hallowed halls. The broken idols that once symbolized human mastery over nature are now the hunts of serpents and birds. Mankind’s victory over the forces of nature is temporary. The masterfully crafted stone blocks now tumble as the mountain rejects it’s constraints. Rain washes out the mortar and trees push away the stones until one day the wall topples like a child’s toy.

“Nature Returns 52619b” The trees are beginning to topple the old stone wall.

Perhaps if the world stands long enough a young boy will enter his grandfather’s library and whatever form the books will take will feature images of cut stone in Appalachia. Perhaps the boy will marvel at the ancestors skill in shaping the bones of the earth and read about our lives and wonder what must have been like to live in such a marvelous time when stone cutters and code writers worked side by side to tame the land.

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

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/

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!❤

The Water Falcon

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

The early morning sun breaks over Gauley Mountain to wake up the three rivers area. As my big blue truck rolls by I noticed something odd perched on a piece of driftwood out in the middle of the Kanawha River. I had to rub my eyes and blink a few times. We had always joked and called that partially submerged log “The Gauley River Monster” because of it’s resemblance to the famous Scottish cryptid. But this morning it actually seemed to move it’s head. I pulled into the parking lot of the Glen Ferris Inn and in typical redneck fashion wheeled into a 180 back up the road. I keep a small set of binoculars in the console. I knew that there was no way possible that the log had grown a living head overnight and just needed to see what it was. It’s neck was long like a goose but it’s beak was pointed like a heron. Except that it seemed to have a hook on the end like a bird of prey. The legs were short like a duck and it even had webbed toes. Skin around the face seemed to have bumps and scales like a buzzard. I found myself asking God if he had parts left over from other birds when he built this one. Then it spread out it’s wings began to dry them in the sun. This day I only had my cellphone as a camera and the digital zoom just didn’t bring the bird in with enough clarity to make me happy. But it did access Google and I found a match. It’s a cormorant! I have been around lakes and rivers my whole life but had never seen this odd dinosaur looking critter before.

The bird is considered to be pest by modern day fisherman. However, in Asia they use the cormorant as an aquatic falcon. The bird is given a collar to prevent large fish from being swallowed and then it’s released into the water to dive down. It’s been found that a cormorant can dive as deep as one hundred and fifty feet! The birds return to the raft and wait for the fishermen to remove the stuck fish. They don’t seem to be harmed by this and it actually looks like they bond with the owner.

The ones here are pretty standoffish though. Even my 400 mm lens can barely bring them in for a photo.

A local cormorant standing on the “Gauley River Monster” which is fully submerged in this photo.

I have stopping in these spots on a fairly regular basis and trying to catch them doing something other than standard out on that log. Then finally one morning I caught the feature image. The cormorant took off from its perch and flew in circles slapping the water with his wings. I’m not sure if it was trying to flush out prey or just playing and enjoying being a bird but it was a spectacular show. I have watched a few days and this seems to be something that they do often.

I also thought that because of its reputation as a pest in North America that it was a non native species but they are found all over the world.

The literature on these birds is quite extensive, especially in the cultural references. I could write pages and pages just covering all the little threads on Wikipedia alone but as life would have it time is the limiting factor in everything. And it’s time to metaphorically turn my big blue truck back onto the highway and look for the next subject to photograph.

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

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/

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!❤

Take Time To Grow

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

It’s not how you start out but where you end up that’s important. Growing as hard as it can this little hickory tree is barely a foot tall. But if it lives long enough it could end up being one hundred and twenty feet tall. But that’s not going to happen overnight. It’s likely to take hundreds of years of hot summers and icy winters. It will have to survive multiple windstorms and seasons of drought before it can be a giant.

In our age of technological wizardry when you can fix a hot meal and download your favorite feature length film in less than five minutes we have come to expect instant success. We want the “cheat codes” of life. But then what? You can’t cheat life without cheating yourself out of the reasons why winning is awesome. A one hundred and twenty feet tall tree that has never weathered the storms will be doomed to crashing down in the first gust of wind. Like our own bodies, a tree has to develop its strength and flexibility by being exposed to the harsh conditions. It takes time to develop that kind of strength. It’s a battle that often leaves scars inside the wood. Not every tree reaches its full height. In fact, the average hickory tree is only sixtyfive feet tall. About half of its potential. And still we sit beneath it’s branches in awe of its size not considering that at one point in its life it was just another plant growing in a ditch. Most of us would have mistaken it for a weed.

A hickory seedling looks like just another weed

We shouldn’t measure our lives by where we are now. We need to consider that reaching our potential means weathering many storms and taking the time to develop those strong roots that hold us fast.

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

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/

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!❤