Tracking People And Making Decisions

Not that long ago I was fascinated with Tom Brown Jr and his books on tracking. His reputation in the wilderness survival community is unparalleled. He’s actually been a consultant for several Hollywood Movies and it’s been said that he can track your footsteps across a bare concrete floor and tell you what kind of mood you was in when you passed through. I was never anywhere near that good but even today I have a tendency to notice footprints and try to figure out what was happening when the tracks were made. People will often say that they talk with their hands meaning that they gesture a lot but believe it or not we also talk with our feet too. It’s a little more subtle but it’s there in one degree or another. For example, a person deep in thought might have a tendency to move his/her feet in semi-circles as if mapping out their options. As a lefthander I normally take longer strides with my left leg than I do my right. There’s a whole discipline of forensics dedicated footprints.

On a more philosophical note, I sometimes wonder what I would learn about myself if I look into the past and read my own tracks at key moments in my life. Especially those moments when I “built experience” ( AKA made the wrong decision). I’m willing to bet that I would see evidence of talking myself out of what I knew was the right choices. Search & Rescue trackers will often comment that they could tell that a person paused for an extended period facing the right path before turning and heading into danger. We can only see so far into the past but we can be active observers in the present. I don’t think it’s essential to base our decisions on our foot placement but if I catch myself hesitating towards a particular choice I know that I should probably investigate that choice a little closer before walking away from it. And of course ask myself if I’m just trying to take the easy way out for the wrong reasons.

The footprints in the feature image are not mine. They belong to a young lady who I stumbled upon just enjoying Cane Branch that feeds Cathedral Falls in Gauley Bridge. What do I think that her footprints say? They say “This a great place to enjoy life!”

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Wanderingand is available forpurchase by using the Contact Form onmy website. ( justclick on the the bell below)

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8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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Seeking A Sign, My Natural Calendar

Today cold winter weather has me longing for green trees, brightly colored flowers and a warm breeze. If I concentrate hard enough I can almost smell the honeysuckle. As usual, the second week of January finds me done with winter. Santa Claus has come and gone, the festive lights are put away for another year and Christmas candy has all been eaten. What’s a person to do in the digital age other than pull out some photos that warm the soul even if the body still feels the chilly air. This is time I begin to watch the buds on the trees. It’s really early to see any sign of change. Normally it won’t be until March before the trees start to wake up from the long slumber that began in late October. But, like a schoolboy waiting for the last bell to ring I wil watch the clock. The deep frost is the first sign of change. That began today. The next phase is the deep snow. Usually that comes between the last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February. Between Valentine’s Day and the end of March it’s a little random but the March winds mean that the season is changing. Next we start noticing less of a need for heavy jackets in the last week of March but don’t be fooled, that’s just a setup for the Easter snow. My guess is that there will be bunny tracks in a powdery dusting of winters last hoorah this year. Historically speaking, that’s it. Then the warmth comes back to the mountains and the honeysuckle blooms for real. I really don’t have much to base this on other than recollection and gut feeling but it helps me look for the next goal as the snow falls outside of my window.

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 “Black Swallowtail And Honeysuckle 1 and is available forpurchase by using the ContactForm on my website. ( justclick on the the bell below)

(Note, I do not share or sell 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.

To Go A Wandering

We’ll go a wandering, that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll find a path that’s straight, beneath a sky that’s blue.

We’ll take our time, we’ll do it right.

We’ll wander all day and into the night.

We’ll pass beyond the hills and into the dale. We’ll find everyday treasures and tales to tell.

We’ll have stars for diamonds and the moon for a pearl.

And the dawn will bring gold at the new day’s unfurl.

We’ll wander and wander and continue to roam, till path that we wander brings us home.

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 “Straight Into Morning” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sell 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.

I Dare You (part 2)

If you have not read part 1 of I Dare You please click here.

We both stifle a giggle as the black cat stops several yards away looking confused with our reaction to being stalked. We also swear never to let others know how scared we were. The trail twists and turns through the forest. The vine covered stumps of long dead trees dot the edge of the pathway. As you sweep your light ahead of us the stumps cast shadows that occasionally look like people sneaking through the forest. As we tease each other about the sneaking shadows there’s a noise that makes our blood run cold. Was that a scream in the distance? A gust of wind rustles the leaves close by and we both freeze in our tracks. Listen… was it the wind or something else? I swear it sounds like footfalls. Then the screaming again. We look around but there’s nothing there. Then the trilling starts. It wasn’t a scream. It was the screech of an owl in some distant tree. Okay. I have to confess that I’m not feeling as cocky as I was when I dared you to walk the trail. After all, Old Man Redburn is said to have spotted the creeper in these woods. What’s the creeper? It’s supposed to be the result of a science experiment gone wrong. A tree that came to life and walks around. As I begin describing how a scientist accidentally fused his DNA with tree and gave rise to an eight foot tall moss covered monster that stomps on people you sweep the woods again with your light. Only this time, one of the shadows moves the wrong direction…

To be continued on part 3

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 prefer to Follow the blog without Facebook then at the bottom of my Welcome page you can sign up for email alerts.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Superstition 1” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

Current price list is

4×6 -$5.00

5×7 – $10.00

8×10- $15.00

Larger prints will vary

Community Efforts

There’s a reason why the Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State is one of the most photographed spots in West Virginia. No matter what time of year it is the old Mill never fails to please. I was to meet a very special client here a few days ago for portraits and I knew that I had to make the effort to be there early and capture a few shots for my blog. We’re very close to the Peak Color weeks of Fall. The landscape of Appalachia swims in warm colors. The rustic construction of the mill fits perfectly into the mountains. The texture of the cut stone and rough oak beams and planks are artfully assembled using techniques that are centuries old. Every stone tells a story about how gentle taps with a hammer and chisel free the blocks from the stone quarry. How they are shaped by the same hands who lovingly tap away. I was blessed to have met a man at art show a couple of weeks ago who told me about how his father cut some of the oak that was used to make the chute that carries the water which turns the wheel to grind the flour. As I look at the mill and imagine how in the days before store bought bread how many hands were needed to feed a community. Hands that worked the stone. Hands that cut the lumber. Hands that built the wheel. Hands that put it all together. Hands that grew the grain. Hands that milled the flour and hands that baked the bread. It’s very fitting that these same hands would come together to break that bread on special occasions. Even in the old days nobody had all the skills needed to thrive on their own. Places like the mill were community effort and a community is an extension of family.

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 would also like to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of my Welcome Page on my website.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Glade Creek Grist Mill in Fall 1”. The feature image is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

5X7- $10.00

8X10- $15.00

( may require some cropping )

The Tree Of Dreams

There are places on this earth that just seem to call out to you when you are passing through. Sometimes it’s a rock. Sometimes an abandoned house or a barn offers to whisper secrets to your imagination. For me, it’s usually a big old tree that says it’s someone’s special place. A place where games were played and families bonded. A place where children climbed up into the branches and and looked out with wonderful dreams of all that they could see. Maybe later in life young love blossomed under a summer’s night sky while a couple sat on the tailgate of an old farm truck and counted the stars as they planned where the home would be built. A house with a view of that very special tree. They would watch their own children play and grow up under its branches. Afterwards, the same couple and that same old farm truck under a different constellation embrace in the cool of the evening and reminisce about the good old days when they had nothing but love, a rusty old truck and a special place. A place where their dreams came true, beneath the silent witness to the dreams of many generations.

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 would like to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. Or, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on the bottom of my Welcome Page on my website. Tonight’s image is titled “Tree Of Dream” available for purchase by contacting me either through Facebook or via the Contact Form on my website.

4X6 – $5.00

5X7- $10.00

8X10 – $15.00

The 38th Annual Arts And Crafts Show Hosted by Edgewood Presbyterian Church Wrap Up.

First and foremost I want to publicly thank everyone who worked so hard to put this show together. It’s folks like you who make it easier to connect the public with artists and crafters. This was the second time I have been a participant and I’ve been blessed by all the good friends that I’ve made at the shows.

To my readers… I would absolutely love to take you on a photo tour of the show. However, the other artists and independent businesses work very hard to create unique products and services sold at these shows.

Photography inside these events is strictly prohibited to prevent their designs from being duplicated.

When you pour your heart and soul into the creation process it’s devastating to have someone come in and take away your uniqueness without compensation. We all have a limited amount of life’s energy in this world. When an artist creates he/she imparts a portion of the spirit into the piece. Therefore, unjust duplication of the work is a theft of the soul. This is the reason why I only have pictures of my own booth. And why I have done my best to protect the work of my fellow artists and crafters.

The day begins with an early morning drive through rain and fog. The big blue truck was loaded the previous day with prints and products to be sold and displayed. I have podcasts and music loaded into my Amazon Kindle to keep me company during the trek across Sewell Mountain.

The straight stretches on our roads are a bit of a rare thing. Above is a section of route 60 heading into Lavista West Virginia. The stretch here has always felt picturesque to me.

Above is a section of Route 60 on Sewell Mountain is a little more typical for our roads. Not far from this spot is the place where in 1988 I spent several hours stranded in two feet of snow with a dead car battery. There was no mobile phones in those days and the signal from my citizens band radio was too weak to be of any help. I was eventually rescued by another driver with a set of jumper cables. Today’s trip however was without any trouble at all and it’s an absolutely beautiful drive during the peak color of Fall. (In just a few short weeks)

About two hours after I left l finally arrived at the fairgrounds. The amount of straps might seem to be a bit excessive at first but trip to get here is like a rollercoaster. Loading and unloading the big blue truck in the rain is just a fact of life. You may be looking at the jumbled parts and wondering what the heck all that junk is. Well, the 4×4 beam is the heavy base for my display. It has holes drilled into it that the EMT conduit slips into and it provides a counterbalance for the wire frame. The wire frame provides a place where I can hang the pictures for the public to see as they walk through.

Setting up is the hardest part of doing a show. But once you get the hang of it the work goes quickly.

Magnets and Keyfobs are always a good supplement to wall hangings. It gives me a low cost option for those who fall in love with an image but don’t have the wall space or the budget for larger prints.

My wife’s books nearly sold out! From left to right they are… Her nonfiction book about her 12 year long but victorious battle with depression, her Christian Western romance trilogy that follows the main character from age 18 to age 90, and the daily devotional book that we wrote together. (The devotional features my photos as well). If you like to read please visit Angela Dempsey books on Amazon.

Above are some more of the magnets.

The largest draw into my booth was the Wading Willows. I sold out of the smaller prints of this one.

Another big hit for this particular show was theMt. Olivet United Methodist Church on Droop Mountain. Built in 1880 the log cabin style church served as a gathering place for 137 years. Sadly, the river of time dictates that nothing is permanent on this earth and in October of 2017 the logs had finally sucome to rot and termites. The building was removed by the Barnwood Builders TV show. I have heard varying reports about the outcome of the building but I understand that the congregation now has a new building on the same lot.

Overall, the show was a wonderful experience. I have made new friends including a very special woodworker in his 90s. His work was absolutely exquisite and his daughter “Mary” was one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met at one of the shows. I truly enjoyed meeting people in crowd and sharing the stories behind each photo.

If you have these shows where you live then please consider coming out to one and buy from a person who truly cares about the product they make by hand. If you’re local to West Virginia these shows pop up all over in the Spring and Fall which are perfect for buying holiday gifts for your loved ones.

I have a few smaller shows that I might try to get into and as I do I’ll try to share the experience as a bonus post.

For now the show is over and it’s time to load up the big blue truck and head home. The quiet road is covered with the velvet darkness and soft purple glow of fading day calls me home.

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. You’re also invited to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.