Forage Friday #132 Box Elder

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Box Elder Keys 112021a” and was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All photos found on my website are my original work unless otherwise specified and are available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

Cold hands run their fingers up and down the trunk of the tree searching for just the right place to make the cuts. The older man is talking to the tree as much as he is planning his next action. Once he’s found just the right spot he retrieves the stone axe from his belt. The polished Celt was hafted by making a shallow cut in the fork of a young tree and binding limbs together so that the handle grew to the perfect haft. The stone need not cut too deeply so he holds the head in place and instructs his grandson to tap firmly but gently on the back of the tool with a thick branch until they had a V shaped notch for the sap to flow into. A small chert point is twisted back and forth until a hole is drilled. A small piece of river cane is fitted to the hole. It’s split into two pieces that form a channel for the sap to flow through into a cone of birch bark that hangs on the tip of the tap. The grandfather then turns his attention to the small box elder saplings that are spread throughout the area. He carefully examined each one as he selected which ones to cut and which ones to keep. Nothing will go to waste. The inner bark of the saplings that were cut was collected for medicine. A pit was dug and small pieces of box elder were burned in the pit to make charcoal. Some of the charcoal would be set aside for tattoos and some for mixing with mud and bear fat to make a paint for camouflage. When the cones filled with sap they were emptied into a larger birch bark container and hot rocks were pulled from the fire pit and added to the sap until it was boiled down into a sweat syrup for making candy for his grandson.

Box elder is actually one of the maple trees. The scientific name is Acer Negundo and Acer is the maples. Acer is an old Celtic word for hard and for the maples we’re familiar with like sugar maples the wood can be very hard. But box elder doesn’t share that attribute. In fact the wood is very soft. I’ve been using box elder for small projects and the young twigs have a very soft and fairly large pith that’s pretty easy to remove making it useful as handles for small tools like my hand files and small knives. It carves pretty easy but can be stringy at times.

Where box elder comes into foraging is with the sap. Maple syrup can be made from maples other than sugar maple but you do need more sap and you need to evaporate it for a longer period of time in order to get the right concentration of sugar. I have sometimes wondered if anything could be done with the prolific seeds of box elder. The first problem is that they are extremely hard. Theoretically the small hard seeds could be made into a flour. The problem there is that while the sap is edible the seeds may contain a carcinogenic component that would only be concentrated in the flour. Now I have learned that the young leaves can either be powered, cooked like spinach or eaten raw. I might try some this spring.

Image Titled “Box Elder Keys 112021b”.

The inner bark of a lot of trees is edible but box elder inner bark only has a history of medicinal value. Native Americans used it to treat respiratory issues, kidney infections swelling and paralysis. However, I haven’t yet uncovered the mechanism behind this use.

That’s it for tonight’s Forage Friday! Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

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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WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY.

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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 use 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 photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Renewal In The Forest

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Box Elder In Macro 4220” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My little forest sanctuary is rapidly changing as days grow longer. It’s said that Nature can’t tolerate a vacuum and Box Elder that is the shade tree in my yard is her accomplice. Every open spot where I don’t really mow now has a new Box Elder growing. Most are seedlings like the one in tonight’s feature image. As the master of my property I have some choices. I can remove the seedlings in an effort to maintain the open space or I could let nature take course and see what happens. The young seedlings have a market value and I have them in abundance. I could probably donate a few to a group that is interested reforesting waste areas. I’m sure that if I wanted to put the time and effort into it that there’s at least a dozen options.

I have the distinct impression that this spot was once as thick as the rest of mountain but at some point in the past something disrupted the status quo. Who knows what ancient tree was removed from the spot in the past? The only constant thing in this world is chang. Whatever changed in the past before I acquired the property removed the things of the past but also made it possible for new beginnings.

Our world is the precipice of major disruption but be encouraged. The vacuum left in the wake of change is our chance to shape the future. All it takes is for us to look at the options and set a course.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that graduation will be here before you know it. Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

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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.

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/

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!❤

Morning Whispers

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Morning Whispers” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The smell of the coffee in my tumbler fills the cab of my big blue truck as I drift along the tiny one lane road on Peter’s Creek. Most of the colorful leaves have fallen to the ground leaving behind the pale branches and boles of the sleeping forest. The vibrant songs of the mockingbirds and warblers have given way to the cries of jays and crows. The seasonal progression brings with it an icy chill making the hot coffee all the more appreciable. As I scan the edges of the road hoping for a jay or a Cardnial to pause long enough for a portrait the gently swaying keys of a box elder catches my eye. The winged seeds persist well past the dropping of the final leaf and some of them stay on the tree well into the winter. I know that the calendar says that winter doesn’t really start until the solstice but that’s mankind’s artificial time. For me winter starts with dropping of the last leaf or when those that remain have turned to dull rusty brown. The forest slumbers until the songbirds sing and wake the first blossom of spring.

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!❤