Simple Joy In Sunshine

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Simple Joy In Sunshine” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Yellow wings float by on warm breezes.

Happy chirps call out from the hidden branches overhead.

Splashing in the distance as fins break the surface and return to the deep.

The feeling of cool grass on bare feet.

Ice cream and frozen lemonade shared with a friend.

Schedule free days and peaceful moments.

These are the simple joys of sunny days and treasures for the soul.

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Forage Friday #20 Joe Pye Weed

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Joe Pye Weed And Butterflies 1” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

There was a knock at door of the little cabin. The young father raised his head from his prayer position near his daughter’s bed. His own body ached all over which caused him to move slowly. His calloused hand slid back the wrought iron bolt on the door. His wife was stifling a coughing fit herself as the door creaked open. If not for the long braids and dark complexion he wouldn’t have guessed that tall man in the doorway was the Sachem. The Sachem held up a leather pouch and with a nod of his head acknowledged that it was a gift for the family in their time of need. The young father was concerned about allowing the allowing the medicine man into his home. The church elders had warned people that a heathen out of the wild shouldn’t be trusted but he was desperate. If his daughter’s fever wasn’t broken soon he feared that she wouldn’t survive the typhus. The Sachem spoke very little but went straight to work preparing the medicine. He gave some to the daughter first. Then her mother and finally the father. The yellow liquid was hard to swallow but by the next day the family was on the road to recovery. The Sachem gathered his things and was ready to move on to the next house and family that was suffering from the sickness that was filling the land. He left the leather pouch full of roots on the table for the family to follow up with. As he was opening the door to leave the young father stopped him to thank him for his kindness. The Sachem extended a tattooed hand in acceptance of the gratitude and gave his name as Joe Pye.

The story above of how Joe Pye Weed got it’s name varies a little depending on the source. Some variations say that Joe Pye wasn’t even Native American himself but a Caucasian who simply created the persona of a Sachem for marketing purposes. However, all of versions say that an herbal healer used the plant in tonight’s feature image to stop an outbreak of typhus. A few versions say that the word Jopi was Algonquin for “fever” and therefore the plant was “fever weed” and that the spelling was anglicized into Joe Pye.

However it happened Joe Pye Weed is traditionally considered to be a powerful medicine for a multitude of health issues. Since I’m not a certified expert I won’t be able to give advice beyond saying that it’s an interesting topic and that seeking out further information is probably going to be worth the effort. Some of the topics covered in the reference materials include flu like symptoms, broken bones and urinary tract infections. You should also know that there seems to be multiple varieties and therefore any medical potential could depend on the variety and growth conditions.

I have a multitude of these surrounding my property. The biggest advantage of having it around is the number of butterflies it attracts. The variety in the feature image is Sweet Joe Pye Weed. I presume it’s a little sweeter than the others. The plant is also tall. The ones close to my home are about ten feet tall. This shouldn’t be a surprise because they are members of the Sunflower family.

The last little tid-bit that I have this Friday is that my brother and I would use dead stems as makeshift swords. The brittle flower stalk seldom stood up to smacked together in wild fantasies of fighting a duel. Today I would be concerned about putting an eye out though.

That’s about all I have for Forage Friday this week but I’m curious to hear if you’ve ever used this one yourself. The comments are open to the public.

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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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.

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The Spicebush Swallowtail Finally Makes It’s Appearance

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Spicebush Swallowtail On Cardinal Flower 1”. All of the photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I pulled into the parking lot of the little park at Kanawha Falls in my way home. I have been looking for the Spicebush Swallowtail all summer and I was beginning to think that I would strike out this season. I worried that I had jinxed myself by making a commitment back in the Spring. I knew that I would find something interesting to shoot in this spot and was actually trying to get some more ducks for my Things Are Just Ducky series so that I could expand the tales of George the mallard and his friends. But the ducks were all on the other side of the river.

Then I noticed the bright red spires of the Cardinal flower. These are also called Indian Paintbrush locally and they’re members of the Bellflower family and are sold as ornamental plants. I have a few pictures of them but they’re interesting to look at so I thought that a few more would be a good idea. As I stepped into the shade of the oaks I could see a dark spot fluttering around the bushes. Okay I thought. Another butterfly of any kind will add interest to the image. Raising the lens and zooming in as tightly as I could yielded a picture but the flash wasn’t really strong enough to reach out and freeze the wings.

Image Title: “Life In Motion”. Butterflies “groom” the flowers that they feed on. The fluttering of the forewings causes the flowers to sweeten their nectar.

The combination of the low light and extreme zoom didn’t quite hit the mark but it produced an interesting picture. The butterfly would only be there for a moment so tried to close the gap as quickly as possible. Unfortunately I started it and it disappeared into the forest. I tucked the camera back into its bag. Once I got the card into my laptop and pulled up the image I saw that pattern that I’ve been obsessed with all summer. The hind wings have a blue moon shape and a single row of cream colored dots along the margin. But this was a dorsal view and the main identifying mark was on the other side of the wing. I would be going back to that spot.

Over the next few days I stopped by looking for the Spicebush Swallowtail. I was certain that it was a female by the blue marks on it’s hind wings. The male has more of a greenish color leading the name of “Green Clouded Butterfly”.

Image Title: “Female Spicebush Swallowtail Feeding On Cardinal Flower”. The image gives us a clear view of the light blue marks on it’s hind wings.

The feature image came from the second encounter. This time she didn’t really seem to be bothered by presence. She even let me get a good shot of the blue chevron on the underside of the hind wings that is the identifying mark of the Spicebush Swallowtail.

Image Title: “Butterfly Peek-A-boo”. The third orange dot from the right is replaced by a blue chevron. Only the Spicebush Swallowtail has this mark.

The butterfly gets it’s name from hosting mainly on the Spicebush tree. I’ll be talking about the tree itself in an upcoming Forage Friday post but in short it’s another source for lemon flavored tea. Like the other Swallowtail Butterflies the Spicebush Swallowtail catipiller mimics the head of a snake. It even has a special organ that is forked and it can flick out to look like a snake’s tongue. I have not encountered a Spicebush Catipiller yet but as soon as I do I’ll be posting pictures and writing about the lifecycle of the butterfly larvae.

The main lesson I gained from my summer searching for a supposedly common butterfly that managed to elude me for months was that persistence pays off. The person who said that nothing is easy sure got it right but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

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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Tattered Wings

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

The butterfly bush got it’s name for a reason. This bush near the state road garage in Glen Ferris was so full of butterflies that it looked like the scene of a movie. Multiple species of Swallowtail were swarming the blooms. One particular Pipevine Swallowtail caught my eye. The wings were pretty torn up. Presumably from multiple bird attacks. The butterfly obviously had plenty of opportunities to just give up and let a bird take her but here she was. Going about her daily life as if nothing ever happened.

We often see the moment a butterfly emerges from the crysalis with it’s beautiful wings in full glory but we don’t often see the wings after the daily challenges of a lifetime in the wild. At first this might seem like a downer. But let me tell you now that it’s not. Why? Because this butterfly personifies a winner. This is what a winner looks like. This butterfly has obviously overcome adversity.

As often as have been advised on how to be successful in anything the one piece of advice that comes up consistently is “Don’t give up.” Sure there’s a lot more to it but in order to perform the other tasks you have to not give up before reaching that point.

Pop culture has given us the picture of a winner as a person who has always done it right, never making a mistake and just casually strolling into victory. That’s a lie. Even a person who we would consider to be a savant in a particular field has had to overcome struggles of one kind or another. We don’t really notice the that person’s “tattered wings” because we’re focused on the accomplishment and not the struggle that got them there.

As I drew closer to the butterfly trying to get a better frame showing just how shredded the wings were she proved just how mastery of the air she still has as she lifted effortlessly from the bloom and moved out of my reach between frames.

Since there was more butterflies there than I could count I chose not to pressure her any farther. I was still looking for a Spicebush Swallowtail in the first place and part of not giving up includes being focused on the goal.

I didn’t find the particular species that I was looking for that day in spite of getting several nice photos that I will be releasing in upcoming posts. But I did get encouragement to keep on keeping on.

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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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

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

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Pipevine Swallowtail

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail 62416” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I am still on the hunt for a Spicebush Swallowtail. What I didn’t account for was the number of look-alikes that dwell in the Appalachian Mountains. The more that read up on the differences between the Swallowtail Butterflies the more that I’ve had to go back and check references as I sort through my photos. I have Spicebush on my property. I have taken lots of butterfly pictures. There should be at least one of the Spicebush Swallowtail. What I’ve discovered is that the majority of black and blue photos that I have are of the Pipevine Swallowtail.

The online guides all show that a major distinction between the two species is that the abdomen of the Pipevine Swallowtail is blue.

Pipevine Swallowtails get their name from the fact that they host on pipevine which is also known as Camphor Vine.

A twisted camphor vine in Kanawha County West Virginia.

As the larvae feeds on the Pipevine it sequesters certain chemicals in the vine that makes it taste horrible to predators. Or so the experts say. I’m not a bit envious of the scientists who had to test that theory. 🤢

The males are know to collect and accumulate sodium from the mud as a gift to bribe the female with. Wikipedia says that this is most common in presence of other rival males. I checked and found that I have a photo of this behavior.

I believe that this photo shows two male Pipevine Swallowtails gathering sodium from the mud while a female in the middle waits to see who has the better gift.

An insect’s nervous system is dependent on the same mineral balance as a human. But they can’t can’t really get everything they need from nectar. So butterflies and some others look for those dissolved minerals in wet places.

Trying to get a good shot of a butterfly has proven to be a little bit of challenge. I stepped out of the house yesterday to find a blue and black Swallowtail zooming around my yard like a jet fighter. Even using the same technique that I’ve used to photograph athletes failed to provide a positive ID on the butterfly.

This is a blue and black Swallowtail coming in low like a jet fighter but I still can’t get a positive ID on which kind.

I needed a good look at the underside of the wings. I followed the behavior pattern of this particular butterfly and noticed that it seemed to be flying a figure eight pattern as it searched for nectar. I anticipated it’s next loop and keeping my camera in burst mode I managed to get a shot in the underside of the wings.

I managed to catch the underside of the wings as the butterfly engaged in a breaking maneuver.

The angle of the sun caused the butterfly to be in it’s own shadow but I can make out a single row of dots on the underside of the wings. If this were a Spicebush Swallowtail there would be a double row. The single row of dots and the fact that at least one of the dots is blue and not orange tells me that it’s most likely to be a dark morph of the female Tiger Swallowtail.

And so the search for a Spicebush Swallowtail continues for now. I know that there’s one close by and that I just need to be in the right place at the right time to catch it.

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/

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!❤

Tiger Swallowtail

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Tiger Swallowtail 6319” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As I continue to watch the swarm of butterflies on the weeds near my day job I’m reminded of the iconic animation of flowers turning into butterflies and filling the air. There was so many colors swirling around that it was a little surreal. The entomology class that I took focused on pest control and we tended to lump all of the Swallowtail Butterflies into one group. And it actually wasn’t until I started researching for this series that I learned of all the subspecies. This one is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Tonight’s feature image is a male. The males are always yellow and do not have blue spots on the hind wings.

The female Tiger Swallowtail seems to have a diverse wardrobe. That ranges from light yellow to dark black.

A female Tiger Swallowtail ( dark morph).

The female always has blue dots on the lower hind wings and is easy to confuse with the Spicebush Swallowtail. ( The Spicebush Swallowtail will be in an upcoming post)

A notable behavior of the Tiger Swallowtail is puddling. They tend to gather together on the edges of water for a drink. It’s not uncommon for butterflies to get water and minerals this way but it’s only the Tiger Swallowtail that I’ve seen doing this as a group. When I was a teenager I remember one trip to the lake when one of my friends managed to capture several of the Tiger Swallowtails at once. He grinned and slipped beneath the surface taking the butterflies with him. At the time I thought that the butterflies would be harmed but now I know that insects are basically balloons. Their complex respiratory system actually gives them the ability to hold their breath for several minutes. When he released them under water he managed to keep them in a bubble and the sight of the butterflies emerging from the water was pretty spectacular.

With the knowledge of puddling I think that it might be possible to entice the Swallowtail Butterflies to come closer by mixing a salty/sweet solution and soaking a sponge for them to gather on.

I don’t have a picture of the catipiller but it’s kinda special too. The Swallowtail catipiller has a butt that mimics the head of a snake complete with large cartoon eyes!

As we head into summer some of more colorful blooms will the choice food for butterflies of all kinds and I hope to bring you some spectacular images. Have a blessed day everyone!

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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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 Great Spangled Fritillary

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Spangled “Fritillary And Indian Hemp” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

When I stepped out the door of the office I was greeted by the fluttering of wings. The patch of Indian Hemp was full of butterflies. In fact there was several varieties. I saw little wood nymphs, painted ladies, yellow and black Swallowtail butterflies as well as small blues. I’ll be posting pictures of some of them later but tonight it’s the Great Spangled Fritillary.

Butterflies and moths are host specific. They require certain plants to complete their lifecycles. For the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly the host plants are native violets. Which means that if you want this type of butterfly then you’ll want to encourage native violets for the catipiller. During the summer months the female Fritillary lays her eggs on the violets but after they hatch they remain dormant until Spring. Only then will they begin to feed on the violet leaves. The catipiller will molt six times before it gets it’s wings! And what beautiful wings they’re going to be! I’m not really certain but I believe that the feature image shows a male. In researching the article I learned that the females are more brown than the male. Either way it’s a beautiful species.

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/

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!❤