Quest For A Golden Dragon

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

The morning sun is already started to burn hot as I enter the marsh. I have heard a tale that somewhere in the maze of cattails lives a golden dragon who guards a jewel of great value. The crisp aromas of water mint fills the humid air. Rustling noises on the other side of the thick mat of leaves tells me that the birds are on the hunt. Silvery flashes dart through the water as I make my way towards the goal. Something moves just outside of my field of vision. I turned around but saw nothing. There’s a buzzing sound with a rattling that sounds a little like paper caught in a fan. I moved slowly in the direction of the noise and it moved away. I paused to give the sound a chance to settle. When the sound of papery wings ceased I gently moved the foliage aside and searched the lush green leaves underneath. And there I saw the legend was true. A golden dragon rested on a leaf guarding diamond sphere. I marveled at the shiny body and gossamer wings. Unlike the questing knights of tales told long ago I came not a sword and lance but a lens to capture my quarry. This tiny dragon breathes no fire. No smoke encircled it’s lair. The sun will soon reclaim it’s guarded treasure but it’s legend is forever preserved in my lens.

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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.

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!❤

Daily Duties

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

The soft morning rain slowed to a gentle mist as the big blue truck eased to side of the road. The green landscape is peppered with little blue pops of chicory bloom. The marshland bustles with hidden life. The ducks are navigating the current just beyond that sea of cattails. Within the cattail red-winged blackbirds continue to call as they gather twigs to refresh their nests. The next sounds that I hear is the deep droning of bumblebees playing in the Swamp Rose. We’re getting close to then of their season and the bees are frantically trying to collect the last of the rose pollen. Then I noticed movement in the nearby chicory blossoms. Sometimes very small. Something that looks like a flying gemstone. The metallic green colors and pollen packs on its legs told me it’s a mason bee. Sadly, the pollen it collects does not become honey. Instead of honey the mason bee makes little pollen cakes.

I’m pretty new to mason bees. I knew that they existed and that in some parts of the world they are the main pollinators. I also knew that they are among the most gentle bees in the world. Only the female mason bee has a stinger and even then you pretty much have to force them to sting.

Unlike honey bees the mason bees do not live in a hive. They will form colonies but they don’t have a collective. Instead they are solitary.

Mason bees nest in tubes and cap each cell of the tube with a mud brick. This of course is how they got their name. Similar to the mud dauber wasps nests each cell in the tube will contain a single egg and a pollen cake. The young will have to break out of the cell in order to survive. But unlike the mud dauber wasps the mason bee does not construct it’s own tube. Instead it’s opportunistic. It will take advantage of the holes left behind by wood boring beetles or a crevice in the rocks and so forth. In cultures that traditionally rely on the mason bee for crop production blocks of wood are drilled with several holes to give them a place to nest. A quick search on Pinterest show just how artistic and diverse the mason bee habits are created. They are also a wide variety of mason bee subspecies and I am honestly unsure of which kind is in the feature image. I do know that prior to European honeybees being brought into North America that major amount Native American horticulture would have relied on bumblebees and Mason bees. ( contrary to the movies Native Americans in pre-columbian times were not strictly hunter gatherers. )

During the colony collapse disorder a few years ago I noticed a sharp rise in native bees pollinating the wildflowers near my home.

I followed the little green bee from flower to flower snapping photos and trying to catch her in just the right spot. When she finally allowed herself to be caught in the lens I moved off and gave her space to complete her daily duty of making pollen cakes for her babies.

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!❤

Swamp Rose

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Swamp Rose 62919A” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My big blue truck rolls down the quiet country road in Nicholas County West Virginia. I have come to check out what might be happening in the marshland of Muddelty Creek. As the dust from the road thins into breeze I can hear the Red-winged Blackbirds. The calls seem to come from everywhere. I look out among the cattails and bullrush in search of one of the singers. The landscape is full of pink dots all throughout the delta.

A red-winged blackbird perched in a sea of Swamp Rose.

The pink dots are one of the simple beauties of the marshland. They are the native Swamp Rose. Swamp Rose is native to the Appalachian Mountains. Knowing that roses in general have many traditional uses for food and medicine I’m sure that they were important to Native Americans. In my imagination I can see a birch bark canoe silently glide through the marsh as one of the occupants casts tobacco leaves onto the surface in payment for the rose products collected.

It’s not hard to imagine that a native canoe is gliding through the water.

The beautiful and serene setting is one that I could visit on a daily basis if life’s circumstances allowed. And in truth I have wished that there was a public boardwalk that one could take to reach deeper into the landscape.

This little marsh is kinda rare in my mountains. In most places the landscape is not level enough to form this kind of delta. At one point this would have been the home of whooping cranes and herons. The herons are occasionally spotted but I haven’t seen or heard a whopping crane since the early 1970s. However that unique call may once again echoe through the Appalachian Mountains. If we can preserve the wetland areas that they rely on.

Earlier this year I captured a photo that while beautiful represents a danger to the ecology of this marsh.

The Yellow Flag is a warning that native species are in danger of being crowded out.

The color of the invasive Iris is the same color of a warning flag. In fact this European plant is commonly call “Yellow Flags”. As I researched the plant it became painfully obvious that it’s beauty is it’s only desirable quality. In spite of a posts stating that it’s been used as a medical plant the warnings were so numerous and dire that I have no plans to ever even touch the plant. And that’s in fact one of the warnings is that it can cause a severe rash in some people. But the biggest problem is that it completely overwhelms everything else in the swamp. Once established it grows so thick that you can stand on it. It’s thick enough to prevent native species from germinating and thus plants like the native Swamp Rose are choked out. The seeds are prolific and spread for miles because they float downstream. In some cases herbicides are used to control the spread but I’m dubious as to the safety of that action towards the aquatic life. Normally what’s required is physical labor to chop out and remove the whole plant along with the soil it’s growing in. It’s also likely to be a plan that has to be repeated occasionally because they come back from any piece of root left behind. And as they spread they clog the waterways and block migration of fish.

What is needed is a conservation club that can go into these areas and restore the environment under the guidance of a qualified expert. Perhaps the DNR would be needed because of the impact of such drastic measures.

I walked back to my big blue truck as these things weigh on mind. The Yellow Flag was brought here by people who wanted to add something beautiful to their landscapes. I took a second glance at wild Swamp Rose with it’s pink pedals and edible fruit and I can’t help but wonder why it was overlooked by those people.

It’s a much better idea to work with native species in landscapes.

Working with native species in landscapes can be rewarding. Using plants like the Swamp Rose or Cattail not only yields a beautiful landscape but also a food source. Rose hips were made into jams in Victorian times. The flowers are strong scented and in bloom for six weeks while the Iris flowers last three weeks on the average and produce no food.

Turning the key brings the big blue truck to life and I drift slowly back to the main road on my way towards the next photo and the next adventure.

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!❤

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.

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

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

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

The Old Barn On Muddlety Creek, November 2018

I had a few minutes to spare on my last trip to town a few days ago and decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite subjects. Namely, the old barn on Muddelty Creek. The past few years has not been kind to this majestic old barn. More of the roof has been stripped away by the wind. The framework is sagging more than the last time I was there as well. I have learned a little more about the history of the barn and how it came to be left derelict and neglected. It was and still is tied up in legal issues. As I stand on the quiet country road doing my work with the lens the damp air grows more chilled and a light snow starts to fall. I can’t help but to imagine the old barn in happier times. Children would have been playing games in and around the barn as livestock grazes in the background. A young boy and his sister poke their heads out from the loft door and look for shapes in the clouds. A young mother watches with safety concerns from a kitchen window as her husband reassures her that the kids will be just fine. He pauses for moment and suggests that perhaps he should go and look for the farriers rasp that he lost in the barn last week. She knows that she saw that rasp hanging next to the horse’s stall. Right where it’s always been since the day they were married. Soon after he enters the barn the children exit and go off to play a different game.

I’m roused from my daydreaming by a large snowflake that lands right in my ear. I’ll take a few more shots from a couple of different angles and wish the old barn well as I climb in the big blue truck and run my errands. What the future holds for the old barn is unclear but for as long as it offers it’s beauty and inspiration I’ll continue to come to this spot for a daydream and photos.

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 “Forgotten Harvest” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information. 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.

Forging Yesterday

It’s said that photographers work with two main elements. Light and Time. I suppose that’s why so many of my writings emphasizes the observation of time. Tonight I’m looking at another version of my favorite old barn and I began to think about how quickly all of our tomorrows become yesterdays. It seems that I was just blogging about how much I was looking forward to Springtime and this morning I saw the leaves falling on my lawn. When I was a kid summer seemed to last a lifetime and today I blink my eyes and it’s almost gone. Sure we’ve had some unseasonably warm weather but the light is fading fast. A few years ago I was in a gym and one of the other men in the locker room made the same observation about how fast the summer went by. His friend answered that when they were only six years old summer was 1/6 of their lives. Now they’re sixty years old and summer was only 1/60 of their lives. The passage of time was relative to the age of the observer.

We live in the moment but moments pass so quickly and we are left with a collection of yesterdays. We can plan what we want tomorrow to become but we only have now to bend time and forge the now into a yesterday worth collecting. Mistakes will be made. It’s inevitable. Many of us are trying so hard to go back and fix the errors that we are losing the now and the opportunity for a new and better yesterday. You see, the old cliche about building a better tomorrow is just that. A cliche. All we can really do is use our now in the best way possible and hope that when we are finished with it that it matures into a better yesterday. A yesterday that is captured by the lens of memory and added to a fine collection which can be shared with those we love.

Hangups,Errors a And Blunders. The Mistakes We Are Trained To Make.

Nobody is born being an expert. We might all have different aptitudes for various skills but it’s practice that makes perfect. Even if we achieve the skill level of “expert” that doesn’t mean that we are free from simple human error. Suddenly being faced with the undeniable truth that you’ve made a royal screwup is God’s way of keeping us humble. In other words, oopsies are the great leveling force of the universe. Remember, it was experts that built the Titanic and amateurs that built the Ark.

When I saw the collection of lost fishing tackle snagged in the overhead power lines my first thought was that someone’s kids had been on their first fishing trip. This inspired the meme below.

But after some thought I began to consider the phenomenon of “muscle memory”. If you are trained to cast a line with a high arc you might not think to adjust your cast while standing under the power lines. Your reflexes would kick in and your body would react out of pure instinct. You would do the right thing but at the wrong time. This kind of mistake happens to all of us and it happens more often than we care to admit. It also happens during the thought process and when reacting to something that someone else has said or done. I think that’s why it’s important to be quick to forgive. Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone. While there’s different interpretations of what was being implied in this statement I believe that at least in part Jesus was pointing out that errors in actions often include errors in judgment and nobody is immune from this. The experts in the law were reacting out of reflex without examining the circumstances. It’s the same kind of mistake we all make every day.