The evening sun filters down through the canopy of new leaves near the river and lands just in the right spot to make me notice the slight movement in the pile of driftwood. It was the female pacing along the top of the half submerged log as her mate swam in little figure eights. The water was close to the edge of the road so I gently drifted up close with my big blue truck. I had chosen to stay in the truck because for some reason animals ignore vehicles. As I rolled down the window I could hear them quacking to each other. An amused grin curled itself around one side of my face as I considered the possibility of stumbling upon a married couple trying to decide what to have for dinner. “No, we had minnows last night and I want something different tonight ” I could hear one of them saying in my head. As I snapped the shutter my interpretation of the quacking continued. “How ’bout duckweed?” No we’ve had duckweed 3 times this week and I’m sick of that too.” Finally the male offer the suggestion bugs and stuff. ” No! The female rebuttals, “you can’t have junk food for dinner!”
As I pulled away from the scene the quacking ended and the duck couple waddled off in the direction of the river. I have no idea what they decided on but it’s nice to know that this conversation isn’t unique to humans.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled ” Friendship & Sunshine”. If you would like to purchase a copy please use the contact info at the bottom of page.
There’s something special about having a day with nothing to do but sit by the river with a friend. I look at the ducks in tonight’s feature image and I have to imagine that they’ve been best friends since the day they met. As they stood there on their rock looking out over the Kanawha River they seemed to quack to each other in a hushed tone and this could only mean that were gossiping. Which makes me wonder what ducks would gossip about?Perhaps they are having a conversation about Gertrude. “Gertrude thinks she’s in charge of everything but she’s just a silly old goose.” Or maybe they are talking about what an old crow Joe is. Of course it might not be gossip at all. They could be quizzing each other on the lecture given by the wise old owl last night. So that when he asks who they’ll be the first with the right answer. Perhaps they are discussing the sermon that the cardinal gave last week or the upcoming drake concert. I can almost hear one say to the other that “The hummingbirds are going to open for him!”. They could be commenting on how tall young Mr Crane is or Mrs Dove is so pleasant. It’s also entirely possible that one of them is saying that “There’s some guy sneaking up behind us with a camera.” Of course it doesn’t matter what the conversation is about. All that’s really important to them is spending time with a best friend.
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The rays of the warm sun dance in the ripples along the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River. She watches close as her children play in sunbeams. The look of total contentment on the little hen’s face is infectious as I watched her through the lens. Taking care not to disturb her moment of total bliss I stay back and take advantage of the zoom. I believe that she is living in her purpose. She finds her fulfillment in the joy and well being of the flock. She is a part of her world as opposed to passing through it. I watched as the others pass by her rock one by as if inviting her to join in with the aquatic parade as they gather into a cluster. Eventually she gives in and they all swim single file upstream and disappear behind the rocks. I returned my lens to its case as I set out to find my next subject and the next moment of peace to preserve. This image now hangs above my bed to remind me that I’m also a part of God’s creation. And, that I’m at my happiest when I’m living in my purpose.
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.
Tonight’s Feature Image is available for purchase by contacting me via the Contact Form on my website or through the Message button on Facebook. I will need to know what size so I can reply with a quote. 😊
It’s in those moments of peaceful contemplation that you really get to know the voices the speak to your spirit. We all have theses inner voices that speak to us throughout the day. The voice that tells you that you have chores to do, the voice that talks you out of doing those chores. There’s a voice of confidence. ( Be careful about this one because he can get you into trouble. ) There’s the voice of doubt. ( Also not to be fully trusted. )
I suppose that if we were to take inventory of all these inner voices that the list could be quite long. But the one I want to focus on is the quiet one. The voice doesn’t speak often. He patiently waits for an opportunity to make his point. The quiet one doesn’t compete with the other voices. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t argue or complain. The quiet one is logical and honest without being judgemental. The quiet one is the voice of Truth. He’s that Still, Small Voice. He is the voice of God. One of my atheist friends once expressed concern ( while smirking) about people who think God speaks to them. My only answer there is that God speaks to everyone, it’s just that not everyone listens. As I said, He doesn’t compete with the other voices. He simply waits to be heard. This why in a lot of my writings I like to focus on the opportunity to sit in quiet and peaceful places. It’s why I strive to push back the world with its ads and loud voices that attempt to dominate your every thought. Because when that Voice Of Truth speaks I don’t want to miss out on what was said. His words are life that added to my day.
I remember wearing my dad’s work boots when I was a little kid. The tops his boots came to my knees. I clopped around the house carrying his big lunch box which I had filled with Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes telling people that I was going to work. I could barely stand up in dad’s boots. My dad taught me to work hard. He was a telephone lineman and I can remember times when the phone would ring in the middle of the night. A storm had brought down the lines on some windy ridge and dad would be called out with his partner to restore service. In the days before mobile phones a downed line could be a matter of life and death for people with health issues. As I began to grow I became obsessed with the day I would be as tall as dad. I would beg him to stand back to back with me so mom could compare our height. It was dad who first taught me hunt. I can still see him knelt down on the old logging road pointing out the difference between buck and doe tracks. As the years passed my dad imparted a lot of the attributes that make me who I am today. And, even though I’m several inches taller than he is I still can’t fill his shoes.
I think everyone has had that feeling that they just don’t fit in at some point. In fact I’d say it’s multiple points for most of us. The temptation is to forsake one’s individuality for sake of the crowd. But isn’t that lying? It’s one thing to be polite and respectful towards other opinions but it another thing altogether to fein total agreement. What’s more is that when the truth eventually comes out the others in the group will feel betrayed. A true friendship can handle some individualism and if it can’t then it was never a true friendship in the first place. It was only mimicry.
Being your own person is often difficult. There’s going to be conflict and in today’s world a large portion of population is under the misunderstanding that disagreement and hate are the same thing. They most certainly are not. God could have created a world of clones where everyone is exactly alike. Everyone would have the same opinions, the same ideas and the same looks. How boring would that be? There would also be no fresh ideas, no variety and no excitement. I’m starting to meander here so I’m just going to get to point. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Sure there’s going to be people who don’t accept you because they can’t handle anyone who doesn’t mirror them but do you really want to burden yourself with such a shallow person? Just be yourself.
One of the things that I look forward to in the summer is when friends gather together just to hang out. We make little mini holiday as a framework. There will be Homecoming Sundays at churches and family reunions in addition to the birthday parties and anniversary celebrations all summer long. We’ve been holed up in house for winter and any excuse to get out into the sun is a good one. We see old friends and acquaintances in the parks having lunch just because it’s Tuesday or Wednesday. Mankind was meant to be social. It’s our nature to be together for at least a little while. Even the grumpy old curmudgeon wants someone to curmudge for.
Here in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia such gatherings are often accompanied by live music. Typically a “gospel sing” will feature bluegrass style music and a potluck dinner.
Whatever the occasion or excuse it’s all about coming together in fellowship and brotherhood. All that’s needed is a warm day, chores that are finished and good friends.