Some Days Are For The Birds

Recently the warm weather allowed me to get out for a few minutes and visit the bird feeder at my dad’s house. Dad goes all out for his little feathered friends. The TV is on but he has his binoculars pressed to his face looking out the window at all the activity in the chestnut trees on the edge of the yard. The term “yard” is kinda used loosely at dad’s place. In general it’s any place where you mow plus just under the trees where the woods begin. As we observe the feeding dad recounts the events at the feeder over the past few days. He hasn’t actually named these birds out loud but he knows all of the species and individuals who frequently visit his yard. He tells me that the Common Flicker in tonight’s feature image is the boss of the yard and how he even challenges and keeps at bay the murder of crows that are larger and outnumber him. He talks about the covey of mourning doves and how one always lands on the feeder and tosses food down to the ground for the rest of them. A Pileated Woodpecker swoops in as dad talks and lands on a dead limb of a hickory tree. He hits the dead wood like a jackhammer and sends wood chips flying everywhere in his search for insects living in the wood. ( I tried to get a nice shot of the Pileated Woodpecker but he’s far too camera shy and took flight as soon as I stepped outside.) Dad has one mortal enemy at his bird feeder and surprisingly it’s not the squirrels. It’s a mob of Common Grackles that have run the bluebirds out of his yard and have even overwhelmed the Flicker on occasion. The former Marine came out in dad’s eyes when he postulated on how to defend his songbirds from the Grackles. A few minutes later he softened a little and said that God had a place for the Grackles too. Most of shots from the window didn’t really turn out well and so I put my wilderness stalking skills to work and began to ease myself closer to the feeder. Most of the birds scattered at first but soon the chickadees returned. Small and agile the chickadees figure they can be gone with a mouthful of food before the human can react. I remained as motionless as a stone until they began to ignore me. As soon as the others saw that I wasn’t chasing after the chickadees they also returned. Then finally the Flicker decided that it was time to let me know that this was his feeder. The others gave way to him as he came in for a landing. He dug into the seed mix and found the one he wanted. Then he flew directly at the camera so fast that I couldn’t adjust the focus. He pulled up at the last moment and landed on the branch above me. Few a few minutes he seemed to play peekaboo by popping out from the tree with the nut in his beak. Finally he tucked it into his hiding spot on an upper branch.

Common Flicker hiding a nut in a tree branch

I watched him repeat this stunt a few times before I went back inside to visit with dad some more and share the photos with him. I’ve been told that some days are for the birds but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I want to encourage you to spend some time birding. The songbirds not only bring much needed beauty to the dull winter climate but also share their beautiful songs and impart a little peace to your morning.

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A Few Minutes Of Peace In A Natural Sanctuary

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sanctuary” and is available for purchase by using the contact instructions at the bottom of the page. This image is also available in black and white.

The cove of Cathedral Falls is quiet. The only sounds are the peaceful songs of the birds and the trickling of the water cascading down the rocks. Ripples emanate across the pool at the base of the cascade. Crayfish scoot about in pool and hide among the painted sandstone rocks. I take in the moment breathe in the oxygenated air at the bottom of the falls. Looking up towards the break in the canopy I notice the butterflies who seem to float down on a sunbeam and come to rest on a clump of moss for a drink. It’s a warm day and I take off my sandals and clip them to the snap link on my belt. The stone bed of the creek is worn smooth by the flowing water and a few crayfish dart out as I wade in. The water is only ankle deep but is a little cold at first. A glimmer catches my eye as I wade through. Bending over for a better look, I discover a shiny new penny. And it’s even heads up. I started to reach for it but had the second thought that maybe it’s a wish penny tossed into the pool by a child. I’m not superstitious but I suddenly felt like I was betraying the hopes of someone who made the wish and moved on leaving the penny where it landed. I’ve no need for any extra luck today anyway. All I really needed was a few minutes of peace in this natural Cathedral to seek some inspiration.

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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I am available for portrait sessions by appointment by appointment. To schedule a session please go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/

I am working on a new distribution channel for prints and products that will allow me to provide a better buyer experience but for now please continue to use the information below.

All Images used by this blog are the original work of Lloyd’s Lens Photography and may not be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer. To purchase a copy or request a license please contact me using either of links below.

The contact form on my website is found athttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/

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A Conversation Between Friends

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled ” Friendship & Sunshine”. If you would like to purchase a copy please use the contact info at the bottom of page.

There’s something special about having a day with nothing to do but sit by the river with a friend. I look at the ducks in tonight’s feature image and I have to imagine that they’ve been best friends since the day they met. As they stood there on their rock looking out over the Kanawha River they seemed to quack to each other in a hushed tone and this could only mean that were gossiping. Which makes me wonder what ducks would gossip about?Perhaps they are having a conversation about Gertrude. “Gertrude thinks she’s in charge of everything but she’s just a silly old goose.” Or maybe they are talking about what an old crow Joe is. Of course it might not be gossip at all. They could be quizzing each other on the lecture given by the wise old owl last night. So that when he asks who they’ll be the first with the right answer. Perhaps they are discussing the sermon that the cardinal gave last week or the upcoming drake concert. I can almost hear one say to the other that “The hummingbirds are going to open for him!”. They could be commenting on how tall young Mr Crane is or Mrs Dove is so pleasant. It’s also entirely possible that one of them is saying that “There’s some guy sneaking up behind us with a camera.” Of course it doesn’t matter what the conversation is about. All that’s really important to them is spending time with a best friend.

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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Blood,Sweat And Steel

Hello Friends! Tonight’s image is titled “Curves In Repetition” and if you want to purchase a copy please see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

When I think about workers laying down the tracks the image in my mind is of burly men with sledgehammers driving the steel. I can hear the hammer ring and feel the sweat of hard labor in the afternoon sun. The air is humid and thick with the smell of the creosote on the heavy wooden crossties. A civil engineer maintains a careful eye on the transit. Being off by a few inches now would mean missing the mark later. The crew works as single unit. Each takes his turn with the hammer in sequence with perfect timing. Somewhere along the way another team welds the sections together into a perfectly seamless pair of ribbons. Everything they do comes at price of aching muscles and stiff backs. The result is a web of steel, wood and concrete that stretches through mountains and valleys and across rivers in a way that adds romantic beauty to the landscape. They are artists and their medium is blood, sweat and steel.

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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I am available for portrait sessions by appointment by appointment. To schedule a session please go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/

All images are my original work and are available as prints. You can request a print by using the Contact Form on my website athttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/or via Facebook Message athttps://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

The Girl Next Door

Hello Friends! Tonight’s image is titled “Surprise Visitor” for the bumblebee hiding under the flower and really has little to do with the story. However, if you want to purchase a copy please see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

He sat down somewhere between his yesterdays and his tomorrows. Something has changed and he was trying to figure it out. Before today she was just the bratty girl next door. The one who made mud pies and climbed trees. The girl who just last summer beat him in a wrestling match and made him say uncle before she would let him up. But today when she walked by in the school cafeteria she didn’t smell like mud pies and she didn’t move like a wrestler. She smelled like strawberries and seemed to float as she stepped. Things would be different from now on. A few days later he swallowed the lump in his throat and asked her to the dance. The first dance was awkward but eventually they moved as one. Sometime later that night she gave him his first kiss beneath the tree that they used to play in. It was just a little peck on the cheek but it made him feel like superman. That night he took his pocket knife and carved their initials into the tree. The heart shape wasn’t perfect but it was there. As time passed she would wear his spare jersey as she cheered for him at the high school football games. She maintained the yellow ribbon around their tree the whole time he was in the army and every day she touched their initials inside the misshapen heart and paid attention to the “4 ever” just inside the V of the heart. “A promise is a promise she whispers. One day when she came home from work and went out to check the yellow ribbon she found an engagement ring threaded through it. She heard his voice voice from the back door say “A promise is a promise “. After that day they were never separated again. By the next Spring they were married beneath that same oak and raised a family.

The little girl sat at the picnic table beneath the large lower branches looking at the odd somewhat heart shaped scar on the trunk. Her grandmother came out and sat next her. Looking up with her big blue eyes she asked about the Valentine carved into tree as her brother bounded from a branch. The grandmother smiled and said “Why don’t I tell you while we make a mud pie for your grandfather”.

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 opportunity for Valentine’s Day Merchandise has expired but All Occasion Cards are coming soon!

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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I am available for portrait sessions by appointment by appointment. To schedule a session please go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/

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All images are my original work and are available as prints. You can request a print by using the Contact Form on my website at https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/or via Facebook Message at https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/