Reunion With An Old Friend

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Juniper Berries 62020a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The breeze carries that familiar scent into the cab of my big blue truck. When I was a kid this Eastern Red Cedar was barely a foot tall and now it towers above my like some whispering giant. I reach out through the driver’s side window and hold onto the branch for moment. To me it was like shaking hands with an old friend and I swear that somewhere deep beneath the thick foliage there was a wooden smile. The branches are covered with the little blue berries which will not ripen until much later in summer or early fall. The cedar is thick enough to block out most of the sun and cool the heat of the day. My friend will be comforting those who pass by for hundreds of years after I am gone. And for these yet unknown kindred spirits there will be the connection of a majestic conical cedar on the edge of a gravel road. But will they know it’s secrets? Will they know that there’s a large deposit of natural clay at it’s roots where young boys used to dig and harvest clay with a stick? All of toys that couldn’t be bought were formed from the very earth itself. In fact we learned early in life that this type of tree always marked a place where the clay was easy to access.

Today as I stand beneath the stand of cedars I’m struck by how out positions are reversed. I used to tower over the tree but today I am the small one. I reached out at touched the branches one more time before climbing back into the truck and heading home.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #31 Juniper Berries

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is Juniper Berries On Eastern Red Cedar. The photos in this post were taken just for Forage Friday. All of the photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

DISCLAIMER : Juniper Berries are one of the plants that I have not actually used. I have done some research for the article but since I’ve not used it myself I’m strongly urging you to double check all information for accuracy. The Web MD article on Juniper Berries lists them as possibly safe. Therefore I wanted to point out that there are some cautions. With that said, we’ll also see that there’s also some traditional uses that would indicate that they’re relatively safe.

One of the more common plants that I have grown up with is the Eastern Red Cedar. It’s an evergreen that’s fairly common in the Appalachian Mountains and because it gets timber sized it’s often mistaken for a type of pine tree. But pine trees have true needles where the juniper has leaves that are more like scales. The eastern red cedar is a beautiful tree that’s often planted as an ornamental if the right soil is available. As kids we always thought of them as Christmas Trees because of the pyramid shape they have.

I have always thought of the red cedar as a utility tree. That’s one who’s properties are more useful as a non-food / medicine. The bicolor wood is absolutely beautiful when polished. It has a creamy colored sapwood and red heartwood that’s pleasing to the eye and wonderful spicy aroma. Because of smell red cedar is traditionally used to make cabinetry. The smell keeps pests like moths from infesting natural fiber clothing and cedar panels are sold for closets. Cedar chips can be purchased by the bale as pet bedding. Early in my life as an artist and craftsman I was commissioned to create a cedar bed frame. I saved as many scraps and as much sawdust as could scrape up to make air fresheners. When I was a kid most #2 yellow pencils were made out of cedar. Even as I write this I can slell the smell of the old fashioned hand cranked pencil sharpener in my third grade classroom.

The wood is usually pretty stable and I could fill the whole post with lists of things you might use it for but this is a #ForageFriday post so lets move on to the food and medicine.

As I stated that the disclaimer there are some reasons for caution. For example, Juniper is known to cause miscarriages and diabetes are cautioned to consult with a medical professional due to the risk of kidney damage. Even a healthy person shouldn’t consume the berries in large quantities or for an extended period. But the berries are used to flavor gin.

The key seems to be moderate use as a spice on wild meats. There seems to be plenty of recipes online calling for small amounts of juniper berries and one marinade I saw called for a total of 3 berries in the mix.

Anyone can have an unknown allergy but juniper allergy is a known thing so keep that in mind.

I’m not really the kind of person who uses a lot of cologne but in the 90s I did have a favorite scent that was made from juniper berries so if you’re the kind of person who has a talent for making scents juniper is one that you might try to craft from wildcrafted berries.

The last little tid-bit that I have tonight is that even though we call it a berry it’s actually a cone that encases a single seed. The part we call a berry is actually scales. And, the white powdery substance that coats the “berry” is a wild yeast that us probably what lead to it’s use in making gin.

A closer look at the berries showing the wild yeast.

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤