Today cold winter weather has me longing for green trees, brightly colored flowers and a warm breeze. If I concentrate hard enough I can almost smell the honeysuckle. As usual, the second week of January finds me done with winter. Santa Claus has come and gone, the festive lights are put away for another year and Christmas candy has all been eaten. What’s a person to do in the digital age other than pull out some photos that warm the soul even if the body still feels the chilly air. This is time I begin to watch the buds on the trees. It’s really early to see any sign of change. Normally it won’t be until March before the trees start to wake up from the long slumber that began in late October. But, like a schoolboy waiting for the last bell to ring I wil watch the clock. The deep frost is the first sign of change. That began today. The next phase is the deep snow. Usually that comes between the last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February. Between Valentine’s Day and the end of March it’s a little random but the March winds mean that the season is changing. Next we start noticing less of a need for heavy jackets in the last week of March but don’t be fooled, that’s just a setup for the Easter snow. My guess is that there will be bunny tracks in a powdery dusting of winters last hoorah this year. Historically speaking, that’s it. Then the warmth comes back to the mountains and the honeysuckle blooms for real. I really don’t have much to base this on other than recollection and gut feeling but it helps me look for the next goal as the snow falls outside of my window.
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As the evening sun hangs it’s sleepy head the well worn tracks light up and draw the soul into the West. He stops at home just long enough to shower and change clothes and pull that special envelope out from inside the stereo speakers. He doesn’t really own any fancy attire. A pair of pants that aren’t ripped or faded. One of two button up shirts and the boots that he only wears on Sunday morning to Church. The socks don’t really matter as long as they’re clean. The clock on the wall says that it’s fifteen minutes after six but it’s always about three minutes slow. He checks his pockets one last time before grabbing the keys off the chest of drawers and heading out of the door in a rush. The rusted old truck grinds and sputters. Laying his head on the steering wheel in frustration he mutters “Please Lord. Not tonight” and he turns the key again. The engine has three hundred thousand miles on it, but it roars to life. He drives parallel to the tracks and heads into the city. The parking lot is crowded but he finds a spot out on the edge and pulls in. A cinder block serves as a parking break. He pauses for moment at the door and checks to make sure that he has the envelop full of cash and that he didn’t get any dirt on his clothes while “setting the brake”. As soon as he steps inside the restaurant he spots her in the corner pretending to read the menu as she waits nervously hoping that he shows up. She’s in that little black dress. She spent hours making sure that she looked her best but all he notices is that special sparkle in her perfect eyes that lets him know how she feels. The envelope holds every penny that he could save up for two weeks but it’s money well spent. Their first date is going to be perfect.
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. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on the bottom of Welcome Page.
Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Heading West” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
Friends gather to enjoy the warm sun and retell old stories. Perhaps he’ll recount the story about escaping from a hungry bird. She’ll tell the one about the sweetest bloom ever. There’s love and laughter in the warm sun. There will be a game of chase and spectacular aerial dances between sips of nectar. Life returns to the meadow and all is right with the world.
Today is dreary day in the mountains of Appalachia. There’s been heavy rain and gray skies all day. By morning the ice and snow is supposed to return. On days like today I like to look at the summer images that I’ve taken. It makes me feel like I’m sitting by one of our rivers with a Zebco 33 and one of my favorite lures. The simple repetitive action of casting and slowly drawing the line back in has a meditative quality for me. I don’t even really care if anything bites. Like Zen archery ( or at least my understanding of it ) it’s all about clearing the mind and regaining focus. The image above was taken on the Meadow River during one of these trips. The spot is known mostly to locals and I’m sworn to secrecy as to the exact spot. Behind me a small campfire crackles softly making just enough smoke to keep mosquitoes away. It didn’t seem to bother the butterflies that danced and played on the buttonbush. I made one last cast into the river and slowly retrieve. There’s a tug on the other end of line. But, I let him go. Sometimes is not about the fish, it’s about the fishing and memories that are made.