Keeping The Wonder

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my blog! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Outpouring” and is available for purchase by using the contact instructions at the bottom of the page.

I don’t really know the history of the stone wall with it’s waterfall cascading down just outside of Charlton Heights West Virginia but it’s one of favorite places to stop and catch a moment of peace. The old stone wall looks like something that could have been left behind by forgotten civilization. In my imagination I can clearly see an Indiana Jones type adventure cautiously entering the nearby cave. ( visible on right of the panoramic)

I have to admit that more than once I’ve been tempted to gear up and see if there’s a deeper level of the cave with any ancient artifacts hidden away right under our noses. However, having grown up around miners I’m well aware of the dangers of a roof collapse or that it’s possible to simply step out of the breathable air deep underground and become an artifact myself. In my wild imagination I can see an Adena architect leading his tribe as they construct the wall. Or, perhaps the cave was a mine where chert and flint were brought up out of the Earth’s depths. Perhaps later on people used the cave for shelter. Pocahontas herself traveled this area and it’s possible that she camped in this cave with it’s nearby water source. Maybe it’s better not to know. The old saying goes that “the unknown is always more grand than the truth.” Maybe it’s better in some cases to have the wonder and mystery to inspire our dreams than it is to be anchored by the mundane. An unsolved mystery can inspire multiple stories with a variety of roots and outcomes and that might be the real reason why I have not looked inside the cave or climbed up to peek over the wall. Maybe I want the mystery to endure.

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The Make Believe Robots

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Here’s Looking At You” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. Prices, options and links are provided at the bottom of the article.

I’ve always loved the coin operated binoculars found in parks and recreation areas. I’ve commented before that they remind me of the goofy robots from every B science fiction movie that I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s the combination of wrought iron and chrome or the fact that they seem to have that expressionless face that makes me think I should be seeing the saucers at any moment. Especially when I notice the one closest to my lens seems have his head cocked to one side as if trying to understand the human. And I can’t really blame him for being perplexed at the middle aged man with the camera who took his time making sure that all the “robots” were looking at the camera and commanded them to say cheese as he snapped the shutter. I’m a huge advocate of not taking adulthood so seriously that you can’t act a little silly in public. Especially when you have all of these blank stares looking back at you. Before gathering my gear and moving to the subject I gave my make believe robot commander the name “B-9” and instructed him to wait for the next human. I’m certain that he and his brethren stood there at full attention until a coin was dropped in the slot. Today we have real world robots that live in the internet and interact with us via our phones and tablets. We even have fully autonomous vehicles and aircraft but to me nothing says robot like a blank stare on a chrome face.

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

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The Providers

The cold December air bites my face as I approach the tree growing in the middle of Muddelty Creek. I’m not sure if it’s technically a delta but I’ve always thought of it that way. It’s almost impossible to see all of the little fingers of water that stretch out in this spot where the ducks and geese rule. I’ve come here on this wintery day to check out the scenery and seek new images and new thoughts to feed my passions. My ever active imagination wonders and in my mind’s eye I can see pre-columbian hunters riding a canoe silently through the water. With them an elder sits in silence occupying the center of the vessel. As they patrol the waters edge they stop occasionally and he mumbles a few words of prayer and gathers medicine growing in mud. A few twigs of willow here and some dried berries there. From the muddy banks they gather a few roots from the arrowleaf plant. These “duck potatoes” will help sustain them during the winter. As they paddle in a little farther they check the fish traps set out the on the prior evening. The traps are empty. They are moving towards the next set of traps when a large ripple breaks the surface of the water. The hunter in the front of the canoe takes notice and cautiously rises to his feet as the man in back of the craft attempts to bring them to halt. With a subtle thrust he sends his Atlatl dart into a spot just beyond the swirl. The stone bladed spear finds its mark and the swirl of water morphs into slashing. The huge alligator gar fish is pinned to the muddy bed of the creek by the shaft of the spear. The large fish barely fits in the little dugout canoe with the three men. The elder grins as heart swells with pride. His grandsons have learned their lessons well and fed the family with their skills.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Loner” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on mywebsite. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

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8X10 is $15.00

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

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.

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

Ring this bell for 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

Visit My Website

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

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

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

Peek-a-boo With A Moth

Have you ever had that feeling that you were being watched? I’m often amused by the reaction of wildlife when the human walks into their domain as if he owns the place. I’ve noticed that animals seem to go out of their ways to watch the people. The little moth in the feature image it only wondered out of her hiding place in broad daylight but actually landed in font of my lens and leaned out from the blade of grass as if to say “peek-a-boo!”. We expect our pets to have a personality and it’s not surprising to see larger mammals exhibit playfulness but I never expected that from an insect. She did her little peeking routine for me a few more times and then fluttered back into the trees. I hope my next excursion into nature is just as fruitful.

Capturing A Dragon

The ancient Chinese told how dragons might be responsible for storms. The Aztecs had Quetzalcoatl. But the old timers in the eastern part of West Virginia told stories about the Snallygastor. A dragon in the New World. Even though the feature image shows a dragon-like impression in the texture of the clouds I’m not quite ready to lay responsibility of a storm on the existence of a “fearsome critter”. But it does seem to fuel the imagination. I can imagine a grandfather type character looking out from the shelter with children on his knee telling them all about the dragons as the storms pass. The story always has a happy ending and the children become so enthralled by the tale that they forget about the fear of thunder and lightning outside.

Reflections In The Mists

A morning stop at the junction of the Gauley River, New River and the Kanawha River was rewarded with a display of the mists rising up from the surrounding mountains. Fog and mists are inspiration for the imagination. While looking at the scene before my eyes it was easy to conjure up what it must have been like during the settlement era. There were no houses or roads. Just the river and the tree covered mountains with the occasional rocky ledge. If I close my eyes and focus on the image I can hear a Shawnee playing his flute as he sits on the bank. He’s working on a love song for his true love, drawing inspiration from the song birds. The tune has to be perfect because it’s the only dowry he has. I can also smell the fire from his camp as his breakfast cooks. He’s having fish from the weir he made yesterday. He’s wrapped the fish in wild aromatic herbs and the scent is amazing. The leaves of Carolina Allspice impart a lemon flavor to meal.

The young warrior pauses to make a mental note of the tune and turns towards his meal. He pretends not to notice that she has been watching him the whole time. He smiles as he watches her reflection in the calm pool along the river’s edge. Playfully he calls out, “If only there was someone who would share this meal with me!” With slight giggle his true love emerges from edge of the bushes. They embrace and I am called back to the real world. I pulled my truck back onto the highway and began my morning commute. However, as I did could have sworn that I saw the two lovers reflected in the river.