January’s Crossings 2

Old man winter howls in rage. His icy breath blasts across the three rivers bringing the deep chill that always comes in the last half of January and early portions of February. As I walk up the track towards the perfect spot to get my shot I’m assailed with tiny bits of ice. Somewhere off to my left I can here the panicked call of a female cardinal. She can’t seem to find her mate and she’s very worried. Instinctively I glanced down towards the direction she’s calling just in time to see something bright red drop from a twig in the underbrush. My heart sinks because the river is up and the male has fallen close to the edge. But I can’t see where he landed. The female is really freaking out now and I began to look for a way down. It’s a myth that if you touch a bird that it’s mate will reject it. There was one other time about fifteen years ago when I scooped up a stunned make cardinal out of the street and sat it gently in a safer place. As soon as I stepped away his mate flew too his side until he felt like flying home. I saw them together many times afterwards. I began to head in the direction of the place where this one fell but after just a few steps he burst forth into the sky like a rocket and rejoined his forever beloved. When he appeared the female’s calls seemed to change from panic to cheering. As they sheltered together under the overhang of a roof it occurred to me that sometimes all you need to be strong is someone who believes in you. Once assured that all was well with the cardinals I returned to shot. The old trestle bridge stood there unshaken by old man winter’s morning tantrum. Perhaps it too merely needs someone to believe in its strength in order to stand against the storm.

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King Of The Crows

The crow sits on his usual perch above the crowd in defiance of cold wind. This is his kingdom even if the humans below don’t know it. As a wise king he hasn’t chosen the highest branch for his throne. That honor goes to his bodyguards. They are situated in the very top of the canopy where they can provide protection against the hawk clan. The crow king calls out with two short caws and listens to his sentry reply with two short caws and a long one. There’s actually a syntax to the conversation. Two short caws is asking if there’s danger. A long caw means safety. And three short caws in a row means immediate danger. So the reply of the two short caws signifies who the sentry is replying to and the one long caw is the reply of safety. As I continue to observe the king crow he takes wing and glides down to the ground. He hops around a little and discovers an open bag of chips left behind by one of the humans. Cautiously he inspects the bag and with a single thrust of his powerful beak he opens it up completely revealing the bounty within. He purrs a few times and one by one the rest of his clan joins him for the feast. All except for the bodyguards who maintain their watch in treetops above. As his clan finishes the meal the king crow pulls a portion aside and with a few purrs he announces the end of the feast and returns to his perch along with the others. A few of the clan members land on branches near the bodyguards and allow them to have the portion set aside for them by the king.

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The Providers

The cold December air bites my face as I approach the tree growing in the middle of Muddelty Creek. I’m not sure if it’s technically a delta but I’ve always thought of it that way. It’s almost impossible to see all of the little fingers of water that stretch out in this spot where the ducks and geese rule. I’ve come here on this wintery day to check out the scenery and seek new images and new thoughts to feed my passions. My ever active imagination wonders and in my mind’s eye I can see pre-columbian hunters riding a canoe silently through the water. With them an elder sits in silence occupying the center of the vessel. As they patrol the waters edge they stop occasionally and he mumbles a few words of prayer and gathers medicine growing in mud. A few twigs of willow here and some dried berries there. From the muddy banks they gather a few roots from the arrowleaf plant. These “duck potatoes” will help sustain them during the winter. As they paddle in a little farther they check the fish traps set out the on the prior evening. The traps are empty. They are moving towards the next set of traps when a large ripple breaks the surface of the water. The hunter in the front of the canoe takes notice and cautiously rises to his feet as the man in back of the craft attempts to bring them to halt. With a subtle thrust he sends his Atlatl dart into a spot just beyond the swirl. The stone bladed spear finds its mark and the swirl of water morphs into slashing. The huge alligator gar fish is pinned to the muddy bed of the creek by the shaft of the spear. The large fish barely fits in the little dugout canoe with the three men. The elder grins as heart swells with pride. His grandsons have learned their lessons well and fed the family with their skills.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Loner” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on mywebsite. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information. EVER)

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Childhood Memories Of A Winter Morning

The hoary frost clings to the bare branches and the world starts to look like white velvet. The cool weather brings the smell of wood smoke to the valley. I can really relate to the philosophy of the bears as old man winter approaches. The urge to pull the thick quilted blankets over my head and not come out until Easter is very tempting. But then there’s the traditional cold weather hardy breakfasts that draws us back to humanity. Some of my favorite winter memories include waking up to the smell of warm maple syrup and the sounds of bacon in a hot skillet. Today we can call up any entertainment we want to with the aid of technology but in my earliest memories there was only three channels and cartoons were only available on weekends. After breakfast we would pile up on the couch with that heavy quilt and favorite pillow and spend the whole day watching T.V. Even without the T.V. I enjoyed just curling up in my blanket and watching the fire burn.

As the dark days of winter grow shorter over the next month it’s a good time to recharge your biological batteries. The light will be returning soon and soon afterwards there will be a world reborn to explore.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Winter Reflections On The Kanawha River” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website.(Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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Suspended In The Mists

What a difference a few days make! Tonight’s feature image is the same tree that I featured in Letting Your Light Show except the two shots are about two weeks apart. The little Bradford Pear has lost almost all its leaves. A heavy mist hangs in the mountains and gives an ethereal quality to the landscape. In the distance I hear the rattling of antlers as two big Whitetail bucks struggle for dominance of the reclaimed strip mine. We’ve spotted the biggest one just beyond the end of the lot in the background. He’s bound to be a 10 or twelve point this year. The rattling doesn’t last long. The forest echoes the report of loser retreating to the lowland. I turn my attention back to the tree. It’s losing more leaves as I prepare to release the shutter and preserve the experience in my lens. With one last click I halt the sands of time from eroding the moment and lock up the big blue truck so that I can enter my day job. It seems that I cannot bring the hourglass to a complete halt after all.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Suspended In The Mists” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

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Two Fires On Kanawha Falls

Grey skies cover the Kanawha River as the mountains rise to challenge the clouds. I stand on the edge of the boat launch looking at the peaceful water and I know that their challenge is in vain. Soon the fiery colors of fall will be washed away leaving only the bare branches to reach for the warmth of the sun. On the other side of the falls the turbine of the hydro plant produces fire from water and feeds it through the copper lines to warm the homes and even to make steel in the foundry down river. The time of resting is close at hand and the coolness of the evening air whispers softly that I must be on my way back to my warm home and the love that lives there.

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. Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of the Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Two Fires On Kanawha Falls” (for the hydro plant’s electric “fire & The Fall colors on the opposite end of the falls) and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information. EVER.)

4X6 is $5.00

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I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

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Wading Trees at Kanawha Falls

The rainy season is upon the Appalachian Mountains. The small roadside park below the local hydroelectric dam floods often but today the water was only up to the parking lot so I decided to stop and see if any pictures presented themselves. I used to able to capture some decent shots of the falls here but the trees were allowed to grow along the shore. The sandbar willow trees that grow along the bank of the river are allowed to grow as a form of erosion control and I think allowing nature to take it’s course was a good option. By the time I got to the spot the fog had obscured the falls anyway. However, I was not disappointed with the effort. This clump of trees seemed to be shouting “PICK US MISTER! PICK US! as they proudly stood there in the water’s edge. Who am I to resist when mother nature volunteers to pose for portrait? Life is about opportunity. Take advantage of every moment and opportunity will present itself.