The Lost Trail Incident part 4

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Mossy Crossing 30420” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

This is part 4 of a 5 part series. Please read the previous 3 posts by clicking the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Once back inside the cabin the hiker sat back down on the bed and elevated his injured leg. “We’d better check under your bandage to make sure you ain’t got no infection.” The boy advised. It struck the hiker that for someone so young this boy was fairly mature. “Where are parents?” He asked. The boy hesitated and a look of sorrow fell across his face. The hiker immediately regretted asking the question so bluntly. “Pa took a load of his goods down river to sell or trade. He makes chairs and boxes and stuff from the lumber we harvest in the woods. He’s also got several bags of medicinal herbs that we gathered as well as some furs we trapped. He comes back with the stuff that we can’t make ourselves.” The hiker took a breath and asked about the boy’s mother. “She went out gather some herbs a few years ago but she never came back. We think that cat….” his voice dropped off before he could finish his statement but the hiker didn’t press the boy. A tear rolled down the boy’s boy’s cheek as he went to work removing the bandage. “Pa showed me that a deep wound like this one here shouldn’t be allowed to heal too fast. If it does it turns gangrenous and you have to take it off. He saw it in the war sometimes.” The hiker opted not to press on questions about the boy’s situation. The wound started to bleed a little as soon as the boy got it unwrapped. The boy noted that this was a good thing because it would help flush out any infection. The bandage though, was too blood soaked to be used again and the boy tossed it into the fire. “Wait here.” the boy instructed. He left the cabin for a moment and returned with a large square of very soft felt-like material. The boy explained that this was one of the resources his father traded down river. The felt was made from a mushroom that grew on trees and that his grandfather had brought the skill to work with it to the New World. The material was called Amadou and among other things it could be used for bandages. The boy placed the spongy pad on the wound and realized he had no way to secure it. No problem. There was plenty of stuff in his father workshed he could use to bind the Amadou over the wound. As he was returning with a ball of homemade twine he noticed that it was starting to get dusk and then he noticed something that made his blood run cold. A small log that had fallen across the ditch near the cabin was missing a patch of moss. Something had brushed against the log while he was in the workshed. He quickened his pace and bolted the door of the cabin with the heavy iron bar. He turned to see the hiker on the bed with Rex the hound curled up at feet. The hiker hadn’t noticed the boy’s panic. The boy knew that he had to finish binding the wound before they could do anything else and he manged to tie the last knot of his makeshift bandage when the warm glow of the sun faded in the waxed paper window. Rex whimpered slightly but soon began to growl. Just outside the door there was a baby’s crying followed by the scream of the Devil cat. Then there was an ominous moment of silence before cabin’s paper window was ripped away by a huge black paw. The opening was only large enough for the cat’s head to pass through easily and given enough time it would have wriggled itself into the cabin. The hiker was locked in a gaze with those lifeless yellowish green eyes as felt around the bed for a crutch to defend himself with. Time seemed to stand still as the two looked at each other but the tension was broken by the long bay of Rex as he lunged at the huge black cat. The loyal hound had his jaws locked on the cat’s neck as he thrashed his head from side to side. The awkward position of the Devil cat stuck partially in the window made it impossible for a full swipe of claws giving Rex the advantage for the moment. Eventually the Panther manged to escape Rex’s grip and withdrew from the opening but Rex would give no quarter and dove through the broken window frame in pursuit. The boy and the hiker could only listen in shock as they listened to Rex’s voice baying out through the night as he chased the Devil cat up river. They sat in the firelight most of night. Occasionally they would hear Rex bay, bark and growl and then the sound of animals locked in combat but eventually the night became silent. The boy manged to find enough wood to cover the broken window securely and both he and the hiker went to sleep wondering if they would see Rex again.

Thank you for joining me on this series Friends. Tomorrow night we’ll see the close of the Lost Trail Incident and all the loose ends will be tied up. But until then be blessed throughout your days.

Proceed to part 5

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A Tiny World

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Moss Bloom 42720a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The Sun filters down through the canopy above my little forest sanctuary. Most of the early Spring flowers have faded and the plants have set fruit. Days of soft rain and warming temperatures have signaled to the moss that it’s time to spore. Orange spires rise from the tiny jungle. They are giant broadcast towers in their microcosm. The sporophyte bulb brings to mind the world of Dr. Seuss and for a moment I would not have been surprised to find a diminutive littleWho wondering through the fern-like fronds of the moss.

Image Titled “Moss Bloom 42720b

Unseen by the naked human eye, miniscule storm blows across the log as spores are ejected into the breeze. In my imagination I can see the little whos of Whoville shoveling the spires in banks and clearing tiny driveways.

In my larger world I look around at the lush green carpet covers the forest holding in the moisture and providing habitat for the living things that do the work of maintaining the life that surrounds me. I’m happy for the cool moss and the wonderful world that’s mine to behold.

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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

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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.

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The Tiny Treasure

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Tiny Treasure 42720” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The softly fallen rain now trickles as minut streams that roll silently through the forest floor. Deep within the the wind thrown tree a thick mat of threads transport the necessities of life to the surface. As I approach the old birch log the scent if the rain soaked moss fills my nose. Then, among the tiny fern-like strands of moss a single leaf rises as it was a tree itself. Simple and unpretentious and yet the beauty of leaf is undeniable. The gentle curl near the base reminded me of a small child waking from a nap and rubbing it’s eyes. No wonder we refer to a rotting log as a “nurse tree”.

Image Titled “The Nurse Tree 42720”. The tree fell in 2012.

I’ve watched this log since it fell in 2012 when straight line winds forced my forest to be reborn. The event was what lead me come to the realization that disruption precedes regeneration. The event opened up the canopy and allowed seeds that had been in the ground for a long time to have their chance to flourish. Many of the wildflowers that I’ve posted this year were born out of that destruction. The giant tree fell and gave the moss a place to gather. The moss held the moisture and provided habitat for the fungus and the fungus feeds the violet leaf that spawned my moment of tranquility.

As we move forward in this time of concern I want you to know that even though the world changes that disruption doesn’t have to mean loss. It can also mean rebirth and the germination of seeds that once lay dormant unable to wake until something let in the light.

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

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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

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Forage Friday #45 Moss

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for this article as were all the photos in the post. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Last night I mentioned that the moss was starting to show a bright green of new growth. And that was a little bit of a foreshadowing of tonight’s Forage Friday post.

While not really thought of as a wild edible plant moss is considered to be a medicinal herb.

Some of my first reading on medicinal herbs came from Tom Brown Jr is survival books. He mentions that Stalking Wolf ( his Apache teacher) taught him to bandage wounds with sphagnum Moss. I was pretty intrigued with the idea that A clump of “dirty old moss” could be applied to a wound as a sterile dressing. But it is a historical fact that simple moss has been used to heal wounds since the caveman days. Moss was a major resource for wounded soldiers in World War I and is credited with saving “thousands” of lives. The Cotton had been allocated for uniforms and explosives ( nitrocellulose is made with cotton ) leading a shortage of cotton bandages. So the go to became viles of dried sphagnum moss. The secret it seems, was in the low PH factor of the moss making it impossible for pathogenic bacteria to flourish in the wound. ( I have found conflicting information about the PH of different types of moss. Some sources say that Sphagnum is neutral PH and peat is acidic. I have not taken the time to test this out for myself)

Further reading over the years has revealed that sphagnum was also used for diapers and feminine napkins with the same effect of limiting bacterial growth.

Image Titled “Star Shaped Sphagnum Moss 2120”

There are 12,000 different species of moss! But generally we think about either Sphagnum or Peat. There’s a granite moss in North America that’s red instead of green and it doesn’t seem to mentioned in the medicinal context.

Sphagnum is also said to help a sore throat and again it is probably due to the antimicrobial properties. In fact peat moss has been known to produce mummies in the lands of Celts and we occasionally hear that an anthropologist has been called in to deal with a body that was discovered in a bog.

Image Titled “Moss In Bloom” due to the sporophyte structures.

In the early Spring moss goes into spore and takes on the look of an alien jungle from a 1950s black and white science fiction movie. I always thought that it reminded me of a tiny alien jungle. When I was a kid I would look at the moss and imagine that crew of the Enterprise wading through those funny shaped pods.

Living walls have become popular. While not as effective as a tree, moss along with algae and lichens absorb 14 billion tons of carbon and fix 50 million tons of nitrogen per year. So in urban areas where a person might have nowhere to plant a tree the living wall fills the niche. The simple way this is being done is from mix buttermilk, moss and water retention gel in a blender and paint it on an outside wall. I would suggest that you make it shady spot since the moss doesn’t do well in direct sunlight.

Image Titled “Finding North”.

With the moss preferring to be in the shade and old saying is that it point a North. Well, yes and no. Moss likes shade and the shadiest side of a tree is going to be on the north side of the tree. The truth is that moss can grow on the south side of a tree if it’s shaded enough so the old trick is best used by sampling a number of trees and going with the average and even then it only going to give you a general idea of North.

Finally, the last resource that moss can provide is as a cash crop. In the final image below is only about 3 years worth of growth of moss on my property. When I was housebreaking my pup I leaned that I could train him to go to a large plastic tray like a cat would go to a litter box if I filled the tray with moss. I have since replaced the moss with sawdust for easy clean-up but the point is that moss is a renewable resource and Now that I know that it can be propagated using the buttermilk paint techniques I can seed it in places where I have harvested for a quicker turnaround time. As a child, I had neighbors who would collect and bale dried moss to sell to a buyer for use in potting soil mixes. They never made a living from it but the moss along with other herbs gathered in the forest provided a little extra money for Christmas funds, vacation or just to splurge on the latest desire. What they accomplished by searching the mountains could conceivably be done by seeding the moss in a designated area that’s a little easier for harvest. One might even use the idea to create ready made terrariums for decor.

The Moss I harvested just a few years ago it’s almost ready to harvest again.

Moss in general is a commonly overlooked resource that provides a variety of benefits and I’m certain that I’ve left out a lot but perhaps you have some knowledge that you’d like to share in the comments.

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

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A Quick Look Below The Surface Of The Forest Floor

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Bracken Fern 011120” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The cool damp air is thick with the scent of the moss as I approach the the steep hillside. I have come to this spot on the edge of my property to look for signs of the seasonal progression. A leaf that seems pushed up a little or a mushroom starting to form.

The ground here is almost vertical. In fact it’s so steep that have been tempted to carve a set of stairs directly into the earth to allow for better access to the little bench above. The soil depth is almost nonexistent in this spot. Just below the moss is mineral earth. There’s no duff because the steep ground allows the rainwater to run down and carry the soil nutrients with it. But the moss seems to require very little from the soil. I have recently learned that science is interested in how this works and has found that there’s a special relationship between the moss and bacteria that might be feeding it. The nuts and bolts of how this happening is a little beyond my ability to go into but it allows the moss to colonize places where other plants can’t go. The moss builds a thick layer and the ferns come. They colonize the moss and I’m willing to bet that they are also being fed by the same bacteria. At some point there’s a fungal mat that connects it all together and allows the plants to actually communicate chemically. The really amazing thing is that the cutting edge research is said to indicate that the connections allow this team of colonists to co-opt disease causing bactira and force them to work to the benefit of the plants. The researchers also say that when artificial fertilizer is introduced into the system that this delicate balance is disrupted and the disease causing bactira is no longer able to be co-opted by the colony and goes back to being a disease. The implications are that the very thing we have been taught to do to make crops healthy could be causing crops to fail. I have to do more research on the subject and I’ve given a very simplified version of the story. But if it’s something that you’re interested in my source is The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast.

But here in the forest everything seems to be working the way it did when God set the world in motion. The bacteria, moss, fungus and ferns along with other plants are turning bare ground into rich forests. It seems to happening fairly quickly too. I stripped this very spot a couple years ago when I needed the moss for a project. Now I can barely tell that the cycle had ever been disturbed.

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

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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=238248269630914251Lastly, 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!❤