The Mountain’s Call Part 2

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “White Turtlerheads 92520a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Deeper into the hidden world the Mountain’s call pulls me. The big blue truck rolls beyond the old fence posts covered by roses that have gone feral and surrounded fallow ground with thorns and bright red hips. Below the road and beneath twisted branches squirrels play where once a groomed orchard grew. And still, the sleeping mountain calls me deeper into the seldom seen to show me how well she has been healing. And there in a ditch where the forest meets the road was a treasure I’ve only seen in books and gardens during all my wanderings. A colony of white Turtlerheads! Now I realize that this is a common sight in the garden but in 52 years I have not found them in the wild. Which is odd to me because here we have an Appalachian Native plant that seems to have migrated from forests to gardens.

The plant gets its name from the shape of the flower which resembles a turtle with it’s mouth slightly open.

Image is titled “White Turtlerheads 92520b” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

There is a reason for the open mouth look. In the pre-Columbian era this ensured pollination by bumblebees. The opening is slightly more narrow than a bumblebee’s body. But, only the bumblebees are strong enough and the right size to force their way into the mouth to reach the supply of nectar that pools in the bottom of the flower. European honeybees are not strong enough to force their way in and the large carpenter bees are too large to fit in. So the bumblebees are the sole pollinators for Turtlerheads. If you look closely at tonight’s Feature Image you’ll notice a structure that looks amazingly similar to a human tongue. And the top lip seems to have a single “tooth” hanging down. These are the reproductive organs of course. As the bumblebees wiggle their way into the flower they pick up and transfer huge amounts of pollen.

However, the European honeybees have discovered a hack. They chew their way through the side of the flower and rob the nectar without any pollination. None of research actually says it but I conclude that the same pollinators that are so necessary for the food production of the world are also a limiting factor in the success of the Turtlerheads. So what does it matter. Well, it matters to the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly that hosts its eggs almost exclusively on the Turtlerheads. The implications being that without the flower we lose the butterfly. Fortunately, we have many cultivars that are planted simply for beauty by some and specifically for preservation of the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly by others.

Image Titled “White Turtlerheads 92520c” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

But what really made these special is because in the mid 90s I helped cruise the timber that was clear cut before the mountain was strip mined down to bare earth. And we’ll soon be coming up on the 30 year mark in the forest regeneration of this mountain. So to find a plant that I have not found in the wild growing so close to an unlikely location gives me great hope for the full restoration of the forest in this area. It takes a long time for nature to reclaim this kind of thing on her own but she can do it. I have been on land that is beautiful rich forest today but was cleared fifty or more years ago. But don’t think that makes me against mining. These men pull light from darkness and supply the carbon that strengthens the steel that modern world is built from. No, I am pro reclaiming that which was mined. We can have the best of both worlds and all it takes is a little thinking and planning. But that will have to be a topic for another day because this post has gotten way larger than I intended. So good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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.

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/

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!

Canada Lily. The Appalachian Native Alternative To Orange Lily

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Canada Lily 71020a”and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The big blue truck idles it’s way up the gravel road as my eyes search the dappled light for inspiration. Then I saw the bright orange color which at first I mistook for more Orange Lily growing on the edge of the forest. But something was wrong. These orange lilies didn’t look quite right. These bell shaped flowers seem to bow their heads in prayer. The orange lily is a proud invader that always holds its head high. But this source of humble beauty was a native species. This was a Canada Lily.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Orange Lily was a hardy and beautiful plant but doesn’t really do much for wildlife when it escapes the garden. In fact it’s considered an invasive species that squeezes out the native plants. And what’s even worse Orange Lily has no food value for wildlife. There’s not even nectar for butterflies and bees in the Asian Orange Lily. But with the Canada Lily it’s a completely different story.

The gracefully nodding bloom opens to welcome Swallowtail Butterflies and solitary bees. The deer will not touch Orange Lily but they browse so much on Canada Lily that in some states it’s considered a threatened species.

In my previous article on Orang Lily I was amiss to omit Canada Lily. Perhaps one reason why I didn’t think of it was it’s preference for shade and moist soil. Orange Lily does well in full sun and I think that’s why people tend to gravitate towards Orange Lily. Neither can I recommend propagation of wild Canada Lily because in areas where it’s threatened it might be illegal to remove it. However, I did see that several online sources offer either seeds or bulbs. For most of the lilies planting a bulb is probably going to be the easiest method. Because the bulbs are eaten by mice and voles you may need to provide protection for them.

So, if you like the looks of the Orange Lily but want to support the preservation of native species look into Canada Lily. If your land will support it you’ll also be attracting wildlife as well as providing yourself with beautiful flowers.

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.

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/

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!❤

The Sweet Life

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Sweet Life 71420a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As I approach the cluster of Ribwort the tall seedheads sway without a breeze to drive them. As look over the patch I see a few more. They’re not quite as numerous as they once were but there’s more than last year. My heart smiles for the hope that the hive has grown.

Moving in a little closer I tried to pick just one of the honeybees to follow. She pays no attention to me as I get within range of the lens. She simply continues to collect the nectar and pollen. She’s very content with her life. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of nature lives in contentment because they get to live the life they were created for.

The honeybee is only concerned with what’s in season and which plant to visit. She knows that in spite of the humble appearance the of the Ribwort it’s a prolific pollen producer. I do have to wonder if the bee uses the pollen in a special way. The Ribwort is traditionally a medicinal herb. It’s so iconic that at one time it’s form was used symbol to identify apothecaries. I’m not really an expert on honeybees but I do know that they store special types of propolis with strong antimicrobial agents as well as the honey they’re known for. Perhaps the reason why she’s so content while visiting the Ribwort is because she’s found the compound in nature that will help her hive to rebuild and become strong once again.

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.

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/

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!❤

A Few Things To Like About Lichens

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Lichen 121319” all the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The cold December rain continues to fall in my beloved Appalachian Mountains. At my core I am as much a part of the forest as the birds that continue to chirp in the lull between downpours. As I tread softly across the wet leaf litter the greenish gray colored vegetation catches my eye. The lichens are thick in this part of the forest. They have completely coated the fallen log and are even out competing the moss. I paused for a moment and took a long deep breath. The air is clean and invigorating and the lichens let me know that I could breath in confidence in this spot.

Lichens are very sensitive to chemical pollution. So much so that the U.S.D.A. and the EPA use them as bioindicators of the air quality. It’s not really as simple as a lot of lichens meaning clean air they’ve got it down to a science. Lichenology is the study of lichens but what are they? By the time most of us take a real science class in school lichens are one of those classic examples of symbiosis. Two different species living as one. Its an algea and a fungus. But there’s a whole variety of different types of lichens. Not only do environmental scientists look at the volume of lichens but they also look at the variety because different types of lichens are sensitive to different types of pollution. By looking at charts and counting the numbers of types they can get a pretty accurate gauge of the types of toxins are in the air and therefore what’s in the rain, soil and water.

Because it’s the Christmas season, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention that Santa’s sleigh runs on lichen. In the Winter months reindeer turn to reindeer moss for food. Come to think of it, tonight’s feature image does look as if a bite has been taken out of the lichens. And with the special night quickly approaching perhaps an advanced scout is out checking up folks in case of a last minute adjustment to the naughty and nice lists.

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/

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=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!❤

Succession and Success

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

The cold rain continues to drizzle on a late November morning as I search for a muse on the Kanawha River. The rain collects on the twigs and swells into large drops the drip rhythmically to the ground. Somewhere in the background I can hear the laughter of a wood-hen but the shy bird stays well away from anything that signals a human is near. A big red squirrel clings deftly to the side of a large oak. He occasionally pokes his head out from the back of the tree in way that makes me think he’s playing peek-a-boo. I turned my attention to the stump on the edge of the river and noticed the smaller tree that had sprouted from it. When I was a child there were no trees in this spot except for a few. The shore was kept clear so that you could admire the falls and hydroelectric dam. But the river was eroding the land to the point that there would be no park today. Large trucks came and heavy equipment was used to place large rocks and new sand on the banks in an effort to save the park but the river was relentless and the artificial shore was wasted away. Eventually it was decided to let nature take its course and the sandbar willows came. They put down roots that bound the rocks together and created pockets that trapped the sand and leaves along with the driftwood deposited by the floods. The sandy mix came to life with symbiotes and became soil. Soon there was more than just the willows. There’s honeysuckle bushes and vines. In the Spring violets are found all through the park. This is where I found the Spicebush Swallowtail feeding on Cardnial flowers over the summer.

God has created a complex world with checks and balances that heal the land. Everything has cycles and patterns of succession as described in the Book of Ecclesiastes ( and Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds ). When we learn to work within the systems of nature instead of against them the land flourishes and there is a bounty. But when we think that we know better and try to force nature to our will there will be failure and loss.

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/

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=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!❤