For centuries the giant stood on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris and watched over the villages that sprouted up along the water. It laughed silently along with the children who played beneath it’s branches. It glowed along with the young lovers that swooned and stole kisses in the park. It kept the secrets that were whispered in it’s presence. It held the hearts that were engraved in it’s bark. The giant old tree loved the presence of the people so much that it grew a bench from it’s roots in hopes that the villagers would come and share the stories of lands beyond the mountain tops. But all things must change eventually. One day the skies grew angry and poured their rage into the river and even a giant couldn’t withstand the torrent. The giant fell with a thunderous crash. And yet, when we look closely at the stump we can see hope rising again. A single twig still continues to stretch out towards the sun. And love lives again. It’s said that strong roots gives us the strength to survive but it takes more than strong roots to rise again. It takes determination and love.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Giant Reborn” and is available for purchase by using the ContactForm on mywebsite.(Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)
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I am amazed at the velocity of time. The scene in tonight’s feature image is only one week ago. While I have not been to same spot twice in the past week I can tell by trees and leaves in my yard that the fall colors are almost gone. As I look up to the tops of the mountains I can see the bare branches. It’s as if the older trees are stretching their arms with a sleepy yawn and preparing for the winter’s hibernation. The reds and oranges and yellow are fading to browns and tans. I can see the squirrels in the tops as they run from branch to branch patrolling their borders. A young friend commented today that she wished this day would end as she took on one difficult task after another. I heard the voice of every elder in my life coming out of my throat as I replied to her by advising her not to wish time away.
The special moments of life are fleeting indeed. And entire season (natural season, not calendar season) has, passed before my eyes in just a few days. Like drops of water they add up and before you know it there’s a sea of moments that are forever gone.
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 FollowLloyds 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 “Wolf Creek In Fall 2018” 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)
4X6 is $5.00
5X7 is $10.00
8X10 is $15.00
I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use theContact Formor message me on Facebook for details.
With Halloween occurring in a few days the hobgoblins are beginning to gather and roam the countryside looking for whatever they can devour. Usually a pillowcase full of chocolate is what’s needed to ward them away. I have have also seen plenty of superheroes patrolling the neighborhoods but I wouldn’t count on them. I’m pretty sure that they are in cahoots with the hobgoblins. Never the less, they will require a few bits of candy for their services as well. You’ll know for certain that it’s a conspiracy when you spot Iron Man, Batman, the Devil and a horde of zombies meet on the corner to discuss which houses have the sugary sweet chocolate awesomeness and who’s handing out the ever dreadful and stale popcorn balls.
Then there’s the other Halloween tradition. The pranks. Older kids who are up to mischief. One of the less harmful pranks was to rub a bar of soap on the windows of those houses that were “fuddy dudies”. The soap made just enough of a mess that something had to be done but yet not enough of a mess as to lead to legal action. I was only caught once and the responding officer was content to supervise us as we cleaned up our own work to his satisfaction. (The takeaway lesson their is that mild infractions can be handled creatively).
Eventually this leads to the dare. (Queue dramatic music) The dare was the inspiration for tonight’s feature image. In every town there’s the place that’s taboo. Nobody wants go there no matter what time of year. Sometimes the path leads to an abandoned graveyard. Sometimes it’s the abandoned house or an old factory. In West Virginia there is even an abandoned amusement park. Whatever is out there it always at the end of some foreboding path. The trail seems open enough at first but then the trees seem to close in on you. Thick vines trail along the way like tentacles that just might grab you and drag you into the underbrush. Do you take the dare or face the teasing on the next day? Okay then, I knew you’d be the type who wouldn’t back down. Go ahead. I’m right behind you. Cautiously we step onto the pathway slowly walk. What was that in the shadows? Something is moving parallel with us. Shine your light off to right. Did you see it? Was that… eyes shining back at us? Suddenly the eyes are gone deeper into the shadows of the thick bush. We’re to far away from the group to head back. Whatever it is might chase us or drop from one of the trees. We’re going to have to keep moving. The trail should open up again soon. Shouldn’t it? No sooner do we start moving forward again that the sound of something in bushes starts again. Instinctively you turn the light towards the source of the noise. The eyes are back. Brace yourself. I’m going to flush it out whatever it is. I bend down slowly without looking away from the eyes and pick up several small stones from the trail. The first one is not much larger than a marble. I gauge the position of the glowing eyes and toss the stone. Suddenly it leaps out onto the trail. It’s just a cat. A black one and it’s just crossed our path. Not a good sign. After catching our breath and with a sigh of relief for not having been eaten we get back to our mission to find out where this trail ends. To be continued on part 2.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “I Dare You ” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
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Hello Friends, before I continue my prehistoric fiction story inspired by the rocks at Beartown State Park in West Virginia I wanted to invite you to make sure that you read Part one first. The Hunter (part 1)
The hair on the back of the hunter’s neck stood up . He strained his eyes trying to penetrate the shadows as he prayed for strength. The thumping of his his heart was so loud it was drowning out the growling and hissing from the back of the cave. His voice cracked as his prayers grow more audible. He moved slowly as he leaned to the right and groped the dark cavern floor for the shaft of his spear. He could not break the lock that the beast had with his eyes. Instinct told him that if he looked away that the creature would pounce. He kept his movements subtle and deliberate. Finally he felt the bite of the spears stone tip against the palm of his hand. He drew the shaft forward projecting that razor sharp obsidian blade towards the danger. With his main tool now in place he braced the butt of shaft with his foot and waited for the terror in the shadows to make its move. His eyes widened as a shrieking howl burst forth. The noise sounded almost like the screaming of a woman. The eyes moved lower as something slinked his direction and paused. Another scream shattered the cavern air and the hunter tightened his grip on the spear. As the firelight fell on his opponent his worst fears were confirmed. The jet black cave lion drew it’s hind legs in tight and sprang forward. The hunter gasped as the cat became airborne and for a split second it seemed to hover in mid air. The hunter felt the full impact of the cat’s weight as it fell motionless across his body. His spear had found it’s mark at the last second. The cat was nearly as large as he was. His muscles strained as he pushed the animal off of himself. He he quickly scanned the cave to make sure that there was no mate to avenge the first cat. Satisfied that he was once again alone he picked up his discarded flute and renewed his song of thankfulness to the creator.
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The crisp breeze gently shakes the trees. Brightly coloured leaves rain softly from the canopy. The rustic boardwalk welcomed me foreword and with the first step the outside world disappeared. The rock cap ferns form a thick mat in the leaf litter atop each crag. The rocks at Beartown State Park form a Labyrinth with tunnels and canyons that wind their way through the forest. I imagine that Millenia ago this was a large cave system. Perhaps some prehistoric hunters took shelter here while tracking a primeval beast. In my mind’s eye I can see him unroll a bundle pelts with all of his treasures tucked away safely inside. Wrapped up in the leather pouch at center is the dried meats and wild roots that sustained him on this journey. His fire kit is bound in a separate pouch. Not just any dry sticks will start the fire. The twigs were selected with great care. This was magic and must be treated with the utmost respect. With ritual precision he places a stick in the notch and begins to sing the fire song and spin the evening fire. Soon the smell of smoke rises up from the joining of the wood. He knows not to quit yet and keeps his efforts in time with the fire song. Once the last verse has ended he shakes free the ember from notch and places on a dry mushroom. He remembered the words of his father when the magic was passed down to him. “The fire is a living thing and like all living things it must breath”. The hunter kindles the ember by passing on the breath of life. Again his father’s wisdom speaks to his memories, “living things must be fed slowly so that they do not choke “. The hunter starts to feed the fire fluffed leaves and then small twigs. He progresses from step to step when the fire was strong enough he began to cook his meal. He doesn’t require much. Just a thin stew from his provisions. After the meal he thanked the creator by playing his flute. He had a lot to be thankful for. Good shelter, a warm meal and a rich heritage to keep him strong. As he played something stirs in the back of the cave. Something that is not happy about the noisy music in the cave. The hunter whirls around and comes to one knee. Deep within the shadows of cave the greenishglow of eyes in the firefight glare back at him.
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The clean smell of the rain hangs in the air as I pull into the little parking lot. Just crossing the threshold of foot bridge transports me to another world. A primal place with gigantic trees and a thick mat of ferns where the small things live. A tree frog drones out it’s high pitched song calling for his love.
Tread carefully on the muddy pathway to the base of the falls. The trail shows that someone who passed through earlier left their mark on the pathway. A mark that leads to an unexpected bath in the knee deep stream below. Near the base of the falls large flat rocks catch only a fraction of an inch of the water flowing through the mountains. Butterflies play in the air as the cascade fills this natural cathedral with a light mist. Small fish dart around in the highly oxygenated water. Most of the small stones are blown out by the force of the water but the ones caught in crevices are smooth and clean. I could really spend all day here just breathing in the charged air.
But there’s a set of sad eyes and wagging tail who needs to be walked soon. As so, fully refreshed from the rich environment beneath Cathedral Falls I began to pick my path back to my big blue truck and head home.
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As I stepped out of the house today the signs of Fall were everywhere. The Box Elder tree in the yard is really dropping it’s leaves. The air is cooler and less humid than yesterday. Soon the green leaves will turn golden yellow, red and orange. Early Fall is a great time to be outdoors. The oppressive heat of mid to late summer gives way to the cool dry winds from the North. This the time of year that we would start putting up firewood for the winter. The smell of the fresh cut oak mixed with coffee from a thermos during a work break will forever be one of my most cherished memories. I can remember sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck and watching the squirrels play as I ate my lunch. The mottled light pours in from the broken forest canopy and in the distance the sound of footfalls in the dry leaves let’s me know that I’m not alone. I hop off the tailgate and peek through the bushes to see a buck looking back at me. His antlers are still in velvet. His nostrils flare as he tries to catch my scent. I make one move forward and he snorts fiercely then disappears into the shadows of the closest thicket.
Another thing that I look forward to in fall is homemade stew. Often the firewood collected in fall would soon be put to good use just a few short weeks later. We heated the house with a Fisher wood burning stove. A large stock pot and a low flame kept the stew simmering for hours. The smell of cooked tomatoes and carrots and a beef roast filled the house. The stew was always thick and rich. We would come in from the crisp air and the aroma alone was enough to renew my vigor after a hard day’s work.
Fall has so much to look forward to that instead of mourning the loss of Summer I want to welcome Fall with open arms and my favorite denim jacket. I look forward to being able to share with you the bright colors of Fall and some the activities in my mountains as we move ever forward in the river of time.
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