A Little Bird Told Me…

Stepping softly on the edge of forest trail I came to large patch of bramble briars. The smell of the oak and hickory mingled with the scent of a fireplace warning the cabin in the valley below. It was hunting season and I had been in the woods since dawn. I found a fallen log and laid my rifle across my lap as I sat down for lunch. I was down to the crust of my sandwich when a noticed a tiny set eyes watching me from inside the bramble. I carefully observed the tiny spectator as he started fluttered from cane to cane searching for insects. I whispered to him that today wasn’t a good hunt for anyone and tossed the crust of bread on the forest floor at the root of the bramble. He paused for a moment and flew away with the bread. A few minutes later he returned with his mate. They landed at my feet and to my surprise they spoke. “Your kindness in sharing your meal has given us food for the day. So as a way of saying thank you we will share the secrets that we learned while flying to and fro”.

And here’s a few things that I learned from them.

1. The easiest lie to believe is the one that you want to be true. Nobody baits a snare with stones.

2. You’re free to fly to wherever you want to go but be sure that it’s a place where you want to be.

3. Take the opportunity to sing and spread joy every chance you get because the blessings you give come back to you in the end.

4. Anyone who loves you is family.

5. The early bird gets the worm but he has to scratch for it.

6. You’ll never learn to fly until you stop being afraid to fall.

7. Gossip and News are two different things. Learn how to tell the difference.

8. You can’t un-tweet. (See number 7 )

9. Some things just don’t belong in the nest. Get rid of anything harmful.

10. Birds of a feather will flock together so spend time with friends .

And then they just flew back into the bramble bush and disappeared. I never saw them again. However, ever since that day when I hear the birds singing in the morning there are two who seem to chirp a little happier than the rest.

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Tonight’s Feature Images (Titled the love birds ) are available for purchase as either individuals or as a set. Just message me for details about how to purchase.

To Share The Same Sky

The September sky was crystal blue and the time of the Equinox signaled an end to Summer’s warm carefree days. The sun hangs low on the horizon. She meets him by the boat launch as her father and brother packs the camp. The last weekend is nearly over. This is last hour of their summer romance. Here on the edge of the fading lake they embrace beneath the sun and moon. Like the celestial bodies above they can only share the same sky for a short season. The lake boy looks deep into her eyes which are the same color blue as the sky. She noticed how the summer sun has left it’s golden tone on his skin. They continue stare silently into each other. Memorizing every line of the other’s face. Every freckle on his face and every colorful fleck in her eyes. The summer was a time when two worlds met and joined as one. But like the sun and moon the forces of nature will only allow the sharing of the sky for so long. As the embrace for summer’s last kiss, he reaches into the pocket of his shorts and pulls out a small box. “Close your eyes” he whispers. She’s a little bit nervous about what comes next but she trusts him and does as he asks. He places a golden chain around her neck. Suspended from it was a locket. It was small but elegant. Inside was the picture of the two of them on the local fishing pier. Her brother had taken the snapshot when they wasn’t looking. “Don’t let me be forgotten” he whispered once more as he clasped the necklace about her neck. A single tear rolls down her cheek and she thanked him for the gift. By now her family waits patiently in the packed car. “I’ll be waiting here for you next summer” she replied with her voice cracking. “True love is faithful no matter how long and cold the nights to come will be.” She added. With no way to delay their parting any longer the young lake boy stepped aboard his day cruiser and drifting off of the shore. He watched with anguish as she got in the car and went home for the school year. Throughout the coming months they would call, text and even attend prom together. The following summer they met again in the same spot by the boat launch. And never parted ways again.

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Change Is In The Air

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks summer will be over. The pop of color from the wildflowers will be replaced by the reds and yellows of the fall leaves. The soft feeling of the the cool green grass on bare feet will give way to the dry crunch of fallen leaves beneath my favorite pair of boots.

I spent a few minutes outside of my office at my day job and there was a familiar crisp scent in the air. The wind blew a little cooler and I knew that this was the prelude to the change of seasons. The Appalachian Mountains in fall are one of the most beautiful sights your eyes can behold. The vast forests give us a grand finale with a symphony of color just before the trees take their winter slumber. The days are still warm enough to enjoy without the jungle like humidity. For a brief time the trilling song of the tree frogs will change over to the chirps of katydid. The bucks will begin to rub away the velvet from their antlers and establish their territory with epic wrestling matches. The bears are now fat and looking for a nice quiet den to sleep in. Country gardens are in harvest and those who still live off of the land are busy with canning. The wonderful aromas of stews, jellies and jams are coming from every hill and holler in the backcountry. So breathe in the last few moments of summer and get ready for the grand finale of Fall.

Visiting A Monarch In The Fading Sun

Softly the brightly colored wings float in on the warm breeze. The sweet smell of water mints mingles with the Virginia Bonset and Goldenrod. The sun is low in the marbled sky and I let my big blue truck drift to a halt. The Monarch Butterfly has been playing on edge of the parking lot all day. Gently it flutters from flower to flower sipping the nectar. I roll the window down and raise my camera into the ready position. The Monarch teases me as it feeds by fluttering it’s wings quickly. Further up into the bush a mockingbird gives it’s long song. The shutter snaps at just the right moment as the Monarch pauses. A peaceful feeling washes over me as I preserve the mountain beauty in my lens. Soon the sweet scent of all the bloom will fade and the warm breeze will be chilled by the changing seasons. But, I will have this moment to warm my heart and this beauty to sooth my eyes against the coming grey. With my task complete I start the motor and turn my big blue truck towards home.

Falling In Love With Twins

The gently babbling water flows over the rocks. In the shallow pools small fish dart under cover as my shadow crosses in front of them. Dragonflies and Damselflies zip around and occasionally hover. A small crayfish crawls from one pool to another. Somewhere behind me the distinct sounds of a woodpecker hammering away at an old snag echoes through the mountains.

I step carefully as I approached the spot where I will place my tripod. I am in a public park but the copperheads don’t understand that everyone is welcomed here and I’d rather not suffer another bite. Satisfied that I’m not disturbing a sleeping serpent, I begin to set up my camera. The twin falls of Glade Creek are one of our most popular places. They’re certainly not the highest falls in West Virginia but there’s something about the perfect symmetry that’s irresistible. The sun is high in sky and I want the water to come out nice and silky so I make the appropriate adjustments and set the timer hoping that the children playing nearby can stay out frame for just a few more seconds. This was ten years ago and it was one of my first with a real camera. The result is still one of my favorite images today.

Images of Oak Island North Carolina 2018

I have just finished editing my images of Oak Island North Carolina. At almost 50 years old I prefer the quiet beaches and small town feel as opposed to the large commercialized beaches. This area is teeming with wildlife. The brown pelicans make regular patrols up and down the beachfront as they foraged. I wasn’t really able to dedicate as much time to setting up photos as I wanted to so most of the images are shot from the hip during our daily walks along the shore or from the balcony of the condominium. (I highly recommend South Shores Villa, they were awesome!) I hope you enjoy the slideshow. I plan to use the images individually in the future.

Lloyds Lens Photography: Images of Oak Island North Carolina

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Lloyds Lens Slideshow.

I have been working on a short Slideshow today. I have a client who wanted to look over a selection of my photos so she can place an order. I really couldn’t find any reason not to share it here as well. 🙂

The Feature image was taken on the way to my day job and this spot is part of my daily life.