Panning For Appalachian Gold (And why I named it so )

The soft rain falls steadily from from the darkened sky. Late fall and early winter in the Appalachian Mountains of my West Virginia home is usually marked by gray skies. Most of fall leaves are now on the ground but a few cling to the branches above. As the world around me swims in cold mists of the season a single leaf drops from the ridge line above and comes to rest in a pool of water near my home. As it floats in the pool against the dark background the mists collect on it’s surface. The leaf is from a Yellow Poplar and so is the seed that floats on the right side of feature image. I was struck by simple beauty of the scene that God created before my very eyes and preserved it forever in my lens.

I have given tonight’s feature image the title “Panning For Appalachian Gold” not just because of the yellow color of the leaf but because of the economic importance of the lumber. Yellow Poplar is a fast growing tree and is used to make plywood for building materials. The logs are peeled in layers on a giant lathe and the resulting sheets are cut to standard sizes. Knots are cut out of sheets and plugs are planted firmly in their place by a hydraulic press. The sheet are then stacked so that the grain of the wood is transverse with the adjoining layer making it very strong. When people think of West Virginia they normally associate our state with the coal industry but the timber industry is also one of our biggest resources. It’s gold that actually grows out of the ground.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Panning For Appalachian Gold” 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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Where Past Meets Future

The cold November wind cuts through the open field like a wolf chasing after it’s prey. I stand in the middle of the old highway looking at the old derelict barn and continue to allow my imagination to have it’s way with the scene in front of me. I listen to the echoes of time as they speak about what might have been and what may be again one day. Last night I wrote about a possible past surrounding the old barn on Muddelty Creek. As my mind wonders into the future I can envision a young couple who exits a vehicle and joins hands as they step up to the footprint of where the old barn used to stand. They are just starting a life together. Her vision for the property is so vivid that as she stands in the spot where the living room will be that she knows the exact color of the walls. She describes in detail all her plans. His hands are skilled and experienced. He will bring her vision to life. The old barn that she fell in love with as a child will rise again as a rustic home in the country. There they will raise a family and fill the special place with and art.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Forgotten Harvest 2” 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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Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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The Old Barn On Muddlety Creek, November 2018

I had a few minutes to spare on my last trip to town a few days ago and decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite subjects. Namely, the old barn on Muddelty Creek. The past few years has not been kind to this majestic old barn. More of the roof has been stripped away by the wind. The framework is sagging more than the last time I was there as well. I have learned a little more about the history of the barn and how it came to be left derelict and neglected. It was and still is tied up in legal issues. As I stand on the quiet country road doing my work with the lens the damp air grows more chilled and a light snow starts to fall. I can’t help but to imagine the old barn in happier times. Children would have been playing games in and around the barn as livestock grazes in the background. A young boy and his sister poke their heads out from the loft door and look for shapes in the clouds. A young mother watches with safety concerns from a kitchen window as her husband reassures her that the kids will be just fine. He pauses for moment and suggests that perhaps he should go and look for the farriers rasp that he lost in the barn last week. She knows that she saw that rasp hanging next to the horse’s stall. Right where it’s always been since the day they were married. Soon after he enters the barn the children exit and go off to play a different game.

I’m roused from my daydreaming by a large snowflake that lands right in my ear. I’ll take a few more shots from a couple of different angles and wish the old barn well as I climb in the big blue truck and run my errands. What the future holds for the old barn is unclear but for as long as it offers it’s beauty and inspiration I’ll continue to come to this spot for a daydream and photos.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Forgotten Harvest” and is available for purchase 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

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

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)

4X6 is $5.00

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Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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Time Spent On The River Is Not Wasted

As look upstream at the New River the water looks very cold. The green of spring and summer is nothing more than a fond memory in a collection happy summers. The pop of Fall Colors has faded to a reddish brown. I have listened to and read multiple stories of fishing at Fayette Station. Some tell me that they have caught the biggest fish ever in the frigid waters while others say the fish were small but plentiful. After all the fish fish tales I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the real catch was time with loved ones. Parents and children, children and grandparents and all the best friends gather in this spot to try for the one that got away. I suppose that wiley rascal is still out there hiding in some deep eddy of new river taunting fishermen by tugging on lines and stealing bait. That’s it’s purpose in life. To entice us out away from the electronic devices or whatever is on T.V. to cast a line in the water and spend time with someone special.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Upstream” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using theContact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

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Blackwater Falls Through Old And New Eyes

The cold weather if late Fall and early Winter always draws my imagination to the Pleistocene era. I can imagine how the lone hunter must have seen his pristine world. He walks through a land untamed by clocks and unnatural restrictions. As he steps out of a thicket his eyes behold the falls for the first time. He is at one with the rhythm of nature as he approaches the edge of the water. He sees the fluid movement of the shadows as they dart around beneath the falls. His feet are in tune with the earth as he raises his Atlatl spear and slowly gets into position. As he casts his stone tipped dart towards the target his eyes never lose focus. There’s no splash as the dart penetrates the fish below the water’s surface. His skills with the weapon are so deft that the rest of the fish are undisturbed until he wades into freezing water to retrieve his meal.

Today Blackwater Falls is a popular tourist attraction in West Virginia. A paved path leads to the wooden staircase and there are platforms for taking in the view. However, it’s still easy to imagine that you’re a wild human roaming the wilderness in the distant past as you look down into the Falls.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blackwater Falls 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 contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

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Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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Taking The Long Way

If I concentrate on it I can remember a time before Interstate Highways in my area. Every road was the scenic route and every road was the long way home. Oftentimes the road was a single lane and when you met someone coming from the other direction each would have to move one wheel off of the pavement so that there was enough room to pass. Most of the time people would idle in the middle of the road and have a conversation with their windows down. I can remember being late for appointments because two people sat in the middle of the road for several minutes with traffic backed up behind them on either side. Sometimes it lead to an internal conflict of protocol. Is it more rude to block the road or to interrupt the conversation?

Thankfully we now have social media and there’s no need to block traffic for a status update. In the 70s a car was usually large enough to seat 6 adults in relative comfort and quiet drives though the country was a good way to relax.

A slow drive through the mountains was rewarded with grand views of the valley below. If the road was remote enough you could spot wildlife on the edge of the forest. Time was more generous then and the slower pace allowed for one to experience life instead of spend it. We tend to think of an open road as a symbol of freedom but I have to wonder if we miss the point when we’re just reaching the next destination as quickly as possible.

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 theWelcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Crossroads In The Gorge” 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 contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

Sample Portraits