The Gray Tree Frog in Appalachia

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

I had a special visitor come to my door the other night. I found her peeking in through the glass as if she wanted to come in. I quickly made a makeshift terrarium from an empty mason jar by threading the ring over scrap piece cotton cloth. I caught some insects to put in with her along with a twig and some distilled water. The terrarium was for her safety. Hopping frogs look like fun toys for dogs and as a fun loving doggy I was concerned that Scout may not understand that the tree frog was a guest.

I took the little tree frog into my office and left her there to get comfortable. One of the ways that I can tell it’s a female frog is because she didn’t sing. Generally speaking female frogs are quiet. The don’t sing among other things.

First thing the next morning I found the little tree frog clinging to a leaf on the twig. I could tell that she’d had breakfast because the insects were gone.

I took her outside to set her free and when I opened the jar she hopped out onto the tip of my pinky finger.

The little Gray Tree Frog On My Pinky Finger looking me in the eye.

The she turned to look me in the eye and thanked me for the night’s lodging. I was a little shocked. Kermit was the only frog that I’ve ever heard talk. The shock must have shown on my face because she smiled a froggy smile and winked. “There’s a lot about tree frogs that you probably don’t know.” She said. I simply nodded because I was still in shock. She continued without being prompted. And here’s what she taught me.

You’ve probably been told that it’s not easy being green. However, it’s no problem at all for a gray tree frog. In fact they can change color like a chameleon. Unlike thier cousins in the Amazon they don’t have the bright colors but they do have a range of gray, brown, green and black. The little tree frog on my pinky finger was such a light gray when I found her that she was almost white.

The secret to their Spider-Man like climbing ability is the large suction cup like pads on their feet. If you look closely at the tree frog’s feet you’ll notice that the toes are not webbed. That’s so that they can grip on the twigs like a monkey.

There are actually two species of Gray Tree Frog in Appalachia. They are identical in every way except in genetics and songs. The Gray Tree Frog has 48 chromosomes and the other species, Cope’s Gray Tree Frog has 24 chromosomes. This means that they can’t really hybridize and that even if they did that the offspring wouldn’t survive.

The other way to tell the difference is by the call. I could give you the pulse per second and frequency etc but there’s no substitute for hearing the difference yourself. So, I found a YouTube video that gives a great sound byte.

Once the shock of a talking tree frog wore off I asked the little frog how she learned to talk. She replied, “you left me next to your laptop all night and I got bored so I used your internet. You can learn how to do anything on Google. ”

With that said she took one graceful leap into the Alder tree in my yard and that’s where she lives today.

*I am not a herpetologist and so I am not positive about the sex of the tree frog.

The little tree frog now living in my Alder tree.

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A country Drive On The First Of June

Hello Friends!Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Country Drive 6119″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The late Spring air smells of rain mingled with honeysuckle and roses as I cruise the back roads of Nicholas County. I have the windows down in my big blue truck as I queue up the music from my youth. I drive a little slower than I did then if I’m not late. Okay, I drive a lot slower. A friend once teased me by saying that every time I found a straight stretch in the road that the state had to come along behind me and paint new lines to replace the ones I blew off.

Back then I was kinda locked into the “guy thing”. Expressing masculinity through raw power and that meant speed and loud music at the time. I have a distinct memory of this same road and the soundtrack from Top Gun blaring out of a 1985 silver Dodge Colt at unmentionable speeds.

However, these days I have more of an appreciation for taking in the view and looking for the little things that go unnoticed by the average person. Things like the rust on the roof of the barn and the small birds that frequent power lines above the road. You might say that I’ve discovered that there’s an art to driving on a country road.

You still have to have that edge of a sharp eye and reflexes. You still need to feel the wheels in contact with road. Only it’s not about keeping it between the lines. Instead it’s about not missing the experience. But, it’s a different kind of thrill.

The contrast between the two driving styles brings up the thought of how I view time now as compared to then. My younger self was thinking, “Don’t waste time getting there” while today it’s more like “Don’t waste opportunity getting there”. I suppose that as I’ve gotten older I have a better appreciation for the here and now. Some if that comes from being established as my own person but most of it comes from finally realizing that all we really have is the moment in which we exist.

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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Things Are Just Ducky #2

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “George &Ralph In The Sun” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase.

George and Ralph waddled up out of the puddle to warm themselves in the sun a bit. They noticed that their neighbors, the geese, had just gotten home from a foraging excursion out in the forest.

Papa Goose is very tall!

George happens to notice how tall Papa Goose is. “Y’know Ralph, Papa Goose is very tall.” George comments. “So.” Was Ralph’s only reply. “Well, he’s also pretty successful and people say it’s easier to be successful if you’re tall.” George continued as he held out his short duck leg for emphasis. Ralph snickers a bit and says, “Well, it’s pretty obvious that a duck will never be as tall as a Goose.” George thought for a few minutes and stretched himself out as tall as he could make himself while emulating Papa Goose as best as could. “Maybe not. But I can be as tall as I am.”

George stands as tall as he can.

Ralph hid his face in embarrassment at his friend’s antics. “We’re ducks and we have our place on the lake and it’s not for us to be tall.” He said. But George didn’t listen. He continued to reach for his goal and while he never got as tall as Papa Goose he was in fact the most successful duck on the lake. But it wasn’t because he was tall. It was because he was dedicated to his goal and he didn’t give up when Ralph thought it was impossible.

Tonight’s story was inspired in part when the duck that I’ve named George really did look straight at the Goose pictured and tried to emulate the Goose.

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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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

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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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Wild Geranium & Morning Quiet Time

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wild Geranium In Soft Rain” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The rain drizzles down softly into last year’s fallen leaves as I carefully place my foot into the underbrush. The little spot on the edge of my yard has become a sanctuary for the native Appalachian wildflowers. The pinkish purple bloom of the wild geranium stands out against the dull brown of the forest floor. It’s a cool spring morning and the tiny droplets catch the light enough to shimmer like little gemstones. The sound of the water gently flowing through the hills is broken only by the occasional call of the cardinals in the distance. The breeze carries the scent of wood smoke from the neighbors place upstream.

It’s a blessing in and of itself to be able to start the day with a tranquil moment and center yourself.

I often wonder where all the great thinkers are today. We have advanced science and technology that is on the edge of what was fiction when I was young. Just the internet alone was a fantasy straight from the silver screen. We have all the power and knowledge at our fingertips in the form of a little black box that holds the some knowledge of mankind as a whole but do we ever actually think? Do we ever take time to contemplate our place in the world? Do we ever get a chance for more than collapsing in a chair in a state of total exhaustion while the t.v. or the internet does our thinking for us?

There’s definitely a difference between a full life and a busy life. If you don’t have a chance to catch at least a few minutes of quiet time then one has to wonder if life is just busy. I have made a commitment to steal back at least five minutes per day to take a deep breath and push away the outside world with all if it’s distraction and frustration. And, I feel so much more fulfillment in my day.

The drizzle slows to an eventual stop and the forest smells fresh and clean even with wood smoke from the neighbors fire. I feel renewed as a step back into my yard and cross the wet grass to start my day.

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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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.

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The Spring’s Flame & The Return Of The Hummingbirds

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

The rain fades away under the cover of darkness. As the new dawn drives away the mists the honeysuckle burns brightly in defiance of the cold rain. The orange flowers open slowly at first, just a few at a time in the early stage. However, the rest all seem to open at once overnight. It’s as if the dawn sun has set the bushes ablaze. It’s normally about this time of year that I begin to hear the buzzing of tiny wings all throughout the different types of honeysuckle on my land. The bees have been working the wildflowers for a few weeks now but another set of wings will soon be joining the rest.

Small and agile, a living dart zips in and around the sweet smelling blooms testing each one to see if it contains the ambrosia detected. His energy is sustained by the nectar found within the base of the flowers. He has flown thousands of miles to get here in time for the bloom. The Ruby Throated Hummingbird as arrived at long last.

I have yet to actually spot one this year but I am expecting them soon. I have plenty of photos of the hummingbird’s favorite foods but catching a good photo of one has been as challenging as catching up with the eagles on the Kanawha River. Maybe even more so because they never really seem to rest for more than a few seconds. However because they do favor my honeysuckle bush and azaleas I have set a goal for myself to get a good shot of one eventually.

They say that the brightest flame burns quickly and that’s certainly true for my orange honeysuckle. The bush is at full bloom now and I’ve gotten several photos of this year’s flowers but I am still waiting for hummingbirds to make their appearances.

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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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=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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! ❤

Catch The Moment

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

Soft clouds skim the mountains and the scent of the pending rain fills the air. The birds have settled down in the thick underbrush to take cover from the change in weather. During a lull in the wind I ventured out with my camera to see what I might find before the rain begins. The first thing I spotted was my Azalea that was planted by the previous owner. The delicate white flowers bruise very easily and if I’m going to get a shot before they are battered by the storm and turn brown now is the time.

As I’m admiring the bloom from different angles I can’t help think about how pure they look. The white flowers on the field of white felt very fresh and clean. I spent all winter hoping for a chance to capture something with this same feeling of purity but the mild winter here means mostly rain and mud. But the Azalea more than made up for the lost opportunity.

With the rain scent in the air and the white flowers I was feeling very renewed. Soon I heard the lonely cry of a Mourning Dove and I knew that my opportunity for photographing the unspoiled flowers wouldn’t last much longer. Before I knew it I was feeling the sprinkles of the rain hitting the back of my neck. The flowers will be here for a few more days but they will be bruised and my best opportunity has come to a close.

I put my lens cap back on and hovered over the camera body to keep it dry as I stepped back into the house. The lesson that I learned from this experience was to appreciate the moments as they come. The flowers are mine and they bloom every year but I’m not always able to catch them before the hard rains come and the moment is lost. My generation came up with Carpe Diem, Seize The Day and the phrase is now well known. But what is unsaid is that a day is made up of a collection of moments. If we could really seize the moment as it comes then the day will be ours.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://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.

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! 😊