Father’s Day 2019

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

I’ve actually been holding onto this image since Valentine’s Day. The dominant buck in this area has been playing hide and seek with my lens most of year. It’s also fairly unusual for the Buck to be seen in the company of his offspring so when I spotted them all at the edge of the parking lot I knew that I needed to get a shot. What I didn’t expect was for them to offer a cool pose. If you viewing the image from a phone or tablet you may not be able to tell that the deer on the left is a button buck. It’s antlers are just barely out and are in the form of knobs on top of his head. In an effort to make them face the camera I whistled. The two bucks immediately positioned themselves back to back ready to fend off whatever just made the noise they heard. As the shutter snapped the thought of dad having your back came to me and I knew that I had my Father’s Day post.

I’ve never been a father myself but I have been a son. I grew up with a father who made countless sacrifices for his sons. Even when the paycheck was humble and we lived in a single wide trailer dad seemed to have a great joy in making sure that my brother and I had the most popular toys. I remember in particular the Batman that came from the store and the accessories that he made himself to go with them. I still have a toy “Bat-copter” that dad cut out with a jigsaw from a leftover scrap of lumber. It’s still one of my most cherished toys today. ( even if it is a bit dusty from storage)

The “Bat-copter” is still one of my most cherished toys. Made by my dad in 1971 and decorated with a crayon by me.

There was a lot of roughed out wooden toys. Today I also have some fine accent furniture that dad made for my wife and I. Dad’s woodworking skills greatly improved over the years but that first helicopter was better than anything that was store bought because of the love that went into it.

As I got older and became involved with sports dad was always there. The only game that he ever missed he missed because of a funeral.

There was never a problem that I couldn’t talk about with my dad. Even today dad is there ready to help me think things through. He doesn’t have to give the solution outright. Instead he asks the questions that lead to the solutions.

Most of all, I have greatly benefited from the prayers of a Godly father. I haven’t always played it safe. I have actually cheated death on a regular basis and no doubt that the prayers of a Godly father had something to do with that. Dad had my back even when I didn’t know it.

There was also times when dad was physically with me and I didn’t know it. I was allowed to go play in the middle of woods and explore the deep trails near my home. I didn’t know that dad was tracking me the whole time. He just hung back enough to let me think that I was alone. He was allowing me to build skills while still providing a safety net.

Dad has still got my back today. I know that no matter what I can go to my father’s house and get what I need. In my dad I have found a buddy, a companion, a strong arm of support and a brother in Christ.

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Look Who Dropped By For Lunch

One of the true pleasures of the Appalachian Fall is the whitetail deer. We’re at the point where they have begun to shift their travel patterns just prior to the rut (mating season). This little guy in the feature image frequents the property around my day job with his mother and twin brother. He’s not quite a year old and as only recently lost his spots. He and his family decided to join us for lunch over the past few days. Being a city deer he’s reasonably comfortable with his human neighbors and didn’t seem to mind posing for a few pictures in front of the beautiful fall foliage. Deer are actually fairly curious creatures. As I knelt down to get different angles he pretend to eat the sweet clover on the lawn while inching nervously closer until his mother decided that he was close enough and stepped between us. She gently herded her children back to forest edge and to a comfortable range. I’ve seen the buck whom I believe is the father of twins. I expect that he’s a ten or a twelve point this year. The buck normally keeps his distance from us. This time of year he’s busy defending his territory from rivals. The ritual combat of the bucks is really nothing more than a wrestling match. They lock horns shove each other until one of them gives up. I’ll be watching the edges of the property for next few weeks hoping to get a good shot of the bucks as they contest each other for dominance.

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 “Yearling Buck 1” 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

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

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

The Thrill Of The Hunt

I’ve been a hunter for most of my life. These days I’ve replaced my rifle with a camera but the basic skills are the same. If you sit still long enough they will come to you. But there’s a trick. You have to be able to become a part of the environment. Sitting in the woods with a camera isn’t enough. They can hear your heartbeat long before you can here their approaching footsteps. On a calm day they can smell you from hundreds of yards/meters away. If you don’t belong there they will know and stay away. Learning to belong to the wild places takes some time and practice but being at peace with creation is a very positive experience. Keeping your mouth closed and your ears open helps prevent them from smelling your breath. The birds will tell you where he is. As he walks towards you, the forest falls silent. Control your excitement. A racing heartbeat is a sure sign that you don’t belong. When he comes into sight he’ll snort and try to get a fresh scent of you. Be steady and move very slowly. His ears will twitch as he tries to pinpoint your heartbeat. Easy does it. Focus. Now, take the shot. He heard the shutter snap and he bounds off to be hunted again. Each time will be different but you’ll never lose the thrill of the hunt.

Oh Deer! Where Did You Come From?!

Living close to nature means interesting neighbors. They are generally good natured and tend to keep to themselves. Oh sure there’s the occasional dispute over who owns the garden but for the most part they don’t bother anyone. Being the outgoing personality that I am, I decided to walk over and check on her after a long hard winter. However, she didn’t seem to be happy that I interrupted her breakfast. In fact, she looked downright stressed that I was there. “Hello, how’s it going?” I spoke in a nice soft tone. She refused to answer. Once more I tried to start a pleasant conversation. “I see you made it through the winter ok.” Can you believe that she just stomped her foot and snorted off? How rude was that? But in her defense I was there unannounced and she probably hadn’t had her morning coffee 😉

Little Blessings pt 2

Yesterday I wrote about finding little blessings I notice when I am able to wander off the beaten path. Sometimes the little blessings wander out to find you. This little fawn would come into my dad’s yard and bed down every day a couple of years ago. I don’t own a lens any larger than 300 mm so that means I have to get close. For this little guy that meant slowly stepping out into the yard and allowing him to think that he was well hidden in the grass. It seemed to take forever to gain his confidence as I stretched out in the grass near to him and pretended to be ready for a nap myself. The trick is to make it seem natural to be there. Moving cautiously but trying not to look like a stalker. Whitetail deer communicate with tail movements. Most people know that a raised tail means danger but few know that a low quick wagging if a deer’s tail means that all is well. Learning what tale the tail is telling takes a little practice. Using my flattened hand to mimic a mother doe at ease and crawling around like I was grazing eventually paid off as the fawn began to relax. I followed suit and laid down fully about twenty feet (approximately 6 meters) away. I purposely began to breathe slowly and rhythmically as if falling asleep. The little fawn curled up and soon he was in dream land. I hope to get more wildlife photography to share with you as time goes on. My mountains hold many such little blessings.

MOMMY KISSES

Sometimes everything just works for you. The image here was taken after a long day of finding absolutely nothing interesting to photograph. I had finally decided to call it a day. The sun was high in sky, the light was too harsh and I was frustrated. I gathered my gear up. Got in my truck and headed home in defeat. As I left the woods and back onto the pavement I caught motion in the stream just below the road. The doe and her twin fawns were splashing around and playing in the water. I stopped the truck and placed the camera on the hood and zoomed in as tight as I could. Just as I snapped the shutter the baby fawn reached up and gave mommy a kiss.