About That Ivy On Your Antique Decorations

You really couldn’t find a better symbol of resilience than English Ivy. Not only is it evergreen it seems to thrive wherever it puts down roots. I had always noticed that in some older Christmas decorations that English Ivy seemed to be present but I really didn’t know why. Here in the Southern United States holly and Mistletoe are staples of Christmas decor. So much so that unless you are an active observer you might mistake the Ivy for stylized holly. But it’s not. As I started to dig a little deeper into Ivy as a Christmas symbol I learned that it’s use peaked somewhere around the year 1200 Anno Domini. Like all Christmas symbols it has roots in paganism but then if people can be converted then why not symbolism? But I digress. The Christian symbolism of Ivy at Christmas is that of the believer. Like the Ivy the believer thrives wherever he/she is planted. Like the Ivy the believer is evergreen in having eternal life. And like the Ivy the believer must have support. English Ivy must have a wall or something to hold it up in order to reach the heavens. And the believer must lean on Christ throughout his/her life.

The next time you are pulling out those antique Christmas decorations look closely at the filigree. For years what I thought was holly turned out to be English Ivy.

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Go Jump Off A Bridge (Bridge Day 2018)

Since before history mankind has dreamed of living flight. Even long before the aircraft Leonardo Da Vinci invented a parachute designed with the idea of base jumping in mind. At this point I’ll need to leave the finer points of that history to the real experts and leap straight into Bridge Day. Celebrated annually in Fayetteville West Virginia Bridge Day marks the crossing of our most challenging natural barrier. Namely, the New River Gorge. Today was the first time I attended Bridge Day in a long time and the first time ever as a photographer. I also want to give a Shout out to Adventures On The Gorge for the courtesy bus ride and free parking. As well as to “Mama Dee” (I’m hoping I got the name right) for being a very entertaining bus driver. I’m also going to keep the writing shortened to brief description tonight and let the photos do most of the talking.

Walking into the event from where the bus dropped us off.

As I look down into the New River Gorge the fog is sticking around a longer than normal today.

The objective is to hit the bullseye and not the tree. ( He made it just fine)

Looking at the event from one of the overlooks.

It’s a long way down!

The wind seemed to carry him along rather quickly but he makes the bullseye.

Back up on the bridge the crowd gathers to watch the jumping.

Second thoughts? Not on your life. He’s just testing the wind.

Catching the catapult in operation was harder than I thought. Even with countdown. Apparently, throwing your friends from the highest single arch bridge in North America is a great way to pass the time.

It’s a bit late for second thoughts now.

“CANNONBALL!!!!”

These guys are going to do a tandem jump.

I’m not sure what he was saying but it looked like a prayer to me. He stood there for several minutes with his hand stretched out over the river.

This guy was going for the high dive.

“I BELIEVE I CAN FLY!”

This guy did several flips on the way down.

A still from the GIF above.

Another one goes off the high dive.

I decided to pull back from the jumpers and give the rest of the crowd space to get in a few shots. Perhaps the next time I’ll make it down to the Landing Zone and get some shots as they come in. The dark sky and lack of rain gear was my motivation to head home and do my editing.

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. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on the bottom of my Welcome Page.😊

Life In One Moment

They say that life is more about the journey than the destination. I have a different idea of how important the destination is but the journey is more than just getting from point A to point B. It’s kinda hard to put into words but life should be about living. We are far more than just biological machines meant to perform repetitive tasks so that we can earn money which is to be handed over to someone else. Life is a spiritual exploration of God through His creation. Life is more than a measure of time which we perceive in small slices.

A few minutes ago something happened and tomorrow we will experience something else. We mark the nature of time by the occurrence of events and line them up in a neat order. You might think that tonight’s feature image is of a barn, a road, power lines, plants and clouds. But it’s not. It’s a map of time. The old barn on the left is the past fading away behind a vail. The plants and clouds are the present day having it’s season and moment to flourish. Road before us and the power lines that stretch out into the distance are the future that draws us ever closer to the destination.

All three elements in one point as a single occurrence. Each with it’s aspects but never truly separate. We can only pause for a moment of observation and check our progress before moving forward. In that pause be sure to check your bearings and experience life more than existence.

About Time In God’s Eyes

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
– Gollum’s Time Riddle, J.R.R Tolkien

About tonight’s image. The truck is part of another old drilling rig. This one is in Victor, West Virginia. It’s been in this spot for as long as I can remember. I have watched it erode away from the effects of time and I suppose it was that observation that inspired tonight’s post.

I have been thinking a great deal about the passage of time and the true nature of eternity. I’m not sure that Gollum had it right. We perceive time from the perspective of a mortal. This means that we see the flow of time from the inside of the flow. We’re carried along with the current like a cork on the river with little or no control over the speed or direction of travel. We see only the river with its peaks and valleys. But God sees time from the outside. He sees where the flow starts and where it it ends. He knows our exact position at what we perceive as any given moment. He knows where the current will carry us. In God’s eyes, there is no difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow. Sometimes when we’re praying and searching for an answer we wonder why God hasn’t answered or why he allows suffering to go on for so long. I think that the truth is that he’s already acted on our behalf but the flow of time hasn’t carried us there yet. And, that if he had acted in the wrong spot the flow of time would have carried us away from his provision. It’s all a matter of perspective.

About Those Three Crosses Near The Highway

I remember when the crosses started showing up along the highways. The man who started this project was Bernard Coffindaffer and He was from Craigsville, West Virginia. Not too far from my home. He was certainly a man on a mission. My understanding is that the Spirit of God spoke to him and gave him a commission for the work that needed to be done. He was a six year veteran of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and as a Former Marine nothing was going to stand in his way.

I never met him personally that I can remember but I remember the talk in the county. He had a lot support from his brothers and sisters in Christ but he also faced a lot criticisms and laughter. He didn’t let negative opinions get in the way. He just stood for what he believed in and continued to work anyway. I have read that the project never ended even though Bernard passed away in 1993. I have also read that some of crosses have been planted in the Philippines and Africa. It just shows that when God gives you some inspiration you should go with it. You might not realize how far it will go or how many lives will be touched.

Reel Life

There’s no better thing on this Earth than to be a ten year old boy with a fishing rod, a lake and no responsibility. The little guy in this photo ran into frame and had nothing on his mind except for getting a hook in the water. I was struck by the thought of a “Reel Life”. That’s not a typo. Reel life should always be part of real life and it’s only going to happen in “Reel Time”. Even if you’re not interested fishing at least make time to get close to nature. Human beings are just as much a part of this planet as any other wildlife. The time spent in fresh air and sunshine is not just good for the body but it also does wonders for the soul.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

History. The word actually says His story. In the age of automation history is short. 3D printers are set to replace the skilled hands of an old world craftsman. Artificial intelligence is ready to take over the jobs of lawyers, financial planners and even educators. Even doctors are at risk of being replaced by a bot. But even with all the miraculous technology of the near future there is something that cannot be provided by advanced robotics. History.

History is more than just a timeline of events. It’s the impartation of life’s energy. Let’s face the facts. Life as we know it is finite. When someone expends the blood, sweat and tears needed to create anything they are imparting their life.

The image above is the dashboard of a 1929 Ford pickup truck. The curved surfaces were designed by a human mind. The raw ore was mined by men who certainly expended sweat and blood in the mine. The steel plate was probably stamped out by hydraulic equipment operated by human hands and intelligence. Someone then did the final polishing and another person installed all the little gizmos inside.

Yes. This antique dashboard is more than just conveniently shaped chrome and steel embedded into wood. It’s a whole collection of lives and stories. It’s the human experience forged into something that is functional art.

No matter how sophisticated the automation software is. No matter how accurate the fabrication robots are. The one thing it can never impart during the process is life.

Your writing, your art, everything you do is an impartation of your life. That includes the time you take to visit my images and read my writing. Thank you dear followers for sharing your life with me. It’s a gift that is graciously received.

Image was taken at the West Virginia state Fairgrounds in Lewisburg West Virginia which is in Greenbriar County.