Tending Fences

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Rustic Fence Post 7319″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

There’s definitely something about weathered wood and barbed wire that soothes the country soul. Especially when the post is covered with lichen such as the one in tonight’s feature image. The image brings back the memories of walking the fences with my grandfather. He kept his pockets full of hemp twine saved from a bale of hay so that any time we found a place where the fence sagged he could tie on another hemp lashing. He also kept a Barlow Hawkbilled folding knife in his other pocket. The hook of the knife was perfect for pruning off weeds that might be grounding out the fence. The work was easy enough. He didn’t really need help but he always came and picked me up to help him out. He just wanted to spend more time with his grandson. The conversations that took place was where I learned the most about history, religion, ethics botany and life in general. The conversations were always more important than the topics. It was the time that was important. I think that is why he always used the temporary solution if the salvaged twine to hold the fence together. He kept regular fencing tools and supplies behind the seat of his pickup truck but seldom used them. A permanent solution to the sagging fence meant that there was no excuse to walk line together. What he knew and what it took me far too long to figure out was that busy hands are happy hands and that doing work together is an expression of love.

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Stonework And The Return Of Nature

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Nature Returns 52619a

Many people have the opinion that the age of megaliths was when mankind truly began to conquer nature. We literally built a world made from the bones of the earth. As a child I found a book in my grandfather’s library that was all about ancient mysteries. All of articles in the book were about megalithic cities and artifacts like Stonehenge. I didn’t just wonder about how the stones were cut an moved but I dreamed about what it must have been like to live in those structures. I would imagine what the city sounded like with the music of ancient instruments echoing off of the stones. At a time when every meal was cooked over an open fire. In the days before the internet I would spend hours leafing through dusty old books and learning about stone cutting and leverage. I was convinced that I could build my own megalith o e day. But hey, I was ten years old and anything was possible and rocks were free so they fit into a ten year old’s budget.

Needless to say that as an adult I still have an affinity for stonework. I pass by the wall in tonight’s feature image every day and look at the large blocks of stone. I don’t really know the history of this retaining wall. It stands just a few feet off of the highway and in the winter when there’s no foliage I can read the lay of the land well enough to know that a structure of some kind once stood above the wall. Not far from this spot is the foundation of church that no longer stands and a forgotten graveyard that I have not had a chance to investigate.

But what has really caught my eye lately us the roses that cascade down the stone. They are mixed in with at least four other wild vines. My mind was taken back to my grandfather’s library and the pictures of ancient ruins in South America. Those pictures of vine covered temples and trees growing in the hallowed halls. The broken idols that once symbolized human mastery over nature are now the hunts of serpents and birds. Mankind’s victory over the forces of nature is temporary. The masterfully crafted stone blocks now tumble as the mountain rejects it’s constraints. Rain washes out the mortar and trees push away the stones until one day the wall topples like a child’s toy.

“Nature Returns 52619b” The trees are beginning to topple the old stone wall.

Perhaps if the world stands long enough a young boy will enter his grandfather’s library and whatever form the books will take will feature images of cut stone in Appalachia. Perhaps the boy will marvel at the ancestors skill in shaping the bones of the earth and read about our lives and wonder what must have been like to live in such a marvelous time when stone cutters and code writers worked side by side to tame the land.

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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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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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Take Time To Grow

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Hickory Seedling 43019″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

It’s not how you start out but where you end up that’s important. Growing as hard as it can this little hickory tree is barely a foot tall. But if it lives long enough it could end up being one hundred and twenty feet tall. But that’s not going to happen overnight. It’s likely to take hundreds of years of hot summers and icy winters. It will have to survive multiple windstorms and seasons of drought before it can be a giant.

In our age of technological wizardry when you can fix a hot meal and download your favorite feature length film in less than five minutes we have come to expect instant success. We want the “cheat codes” of life. But then what? You can’t cheat life without cheating yourself out of the reasons why winning is awesome. A one hundred and twenty feet tall tree that has never weathered the storms will be doomed to crashing down in the first gust of wind. Like our own bodies, a tree has to develop its strength and flexibility by being exposed to the harsh conditions. It takes time to develop that kind of strength. It’s a battle that often leaves scars inside the wood. Not every tree reaches its full height. In fact, the average hickory tree is only sixtyfive feet tall. About half of its potential. And still we sit beneath it’s branches in awe of its size not considering that at one point in its life it was just another plant growing in a ditch. Most of us would have mistaken it for a weed.

A hickory seedling looks like just another weed

We shouldn’t measure our lives by where we are now. We need to consider that reaching our potential means weathering many storms and taking the time to develop those strong roots that hold us fast.

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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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!❤

Catch The Moment

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

Soft clouds skim the mountains and the scent of the pending rain fills the air. The birds have settled down in the thick underbrush to take cover from the change in weather. During a lull in the wind I ventured out with my camera to see what I might find before the rain begins. The first thing I spotted was my Azalea that was planted by the previous owner. The delicate white flowers bruise very easily and if I’m going to get a shot before they are battered by the storm and turn brown now is the time.

As I’m admiring the bloom from different angles I can’t help think about how pure they look. The white flowers on the field of white felt very fresh and clean. I spent all winter hoping for a chance to capture something with this same feeling of purity but the mild winter here means mostly rain and mud. But the Azalea more than made up for the lost opportunity.

With the rain scent in the air and the white flowers I was feeling very renewed. Soon I heard the lonely cry of a Mourning Dove and I knew that my opportunity for photographing the unspoiled flowers wouldn’t last much longer. Before I knew it I was feeling the sprinkles of the rain hitting the back of my neck. The flowers will be here for a few more days but they will be bruised and my best opportunity has come to a close.

I put my lens cap back on and hovered over the camera body to keep it dry as I stepped back into the house. The lesson that I learned from this experience was to appreciate the moments as they come. The flowers are mine and they bloom every year but I’m not always able to catch them before the hard rains come and the moment is lost. My generation came up with Carpe Diem, Seize The Day and the phrase is now well known. But what is unsaid is that a day is made up of a collection of moments. If we could really seize the moment as it comes then the day will be ours.

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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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://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.

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! 😊

On The Edge Of The Storm

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “On The Edge Of The Storm” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The sun hangs low in the sky and a cold damp chill sweeps through the Appalachian Mountains. In the distance I hear the frogs singing as they prepare to invade the newly formed puddles that sprawl across the old logging trails. It’s rained off and on most of day but the nightfall brings a downpour. We’re on the edge of a storm. I have been running about ten minutes ahead of front and that has kept me out of the high winds. Behind me the sky hangs in ragged tatters as the gathering clouds are ripped apart by the oncoming surge.

A quick snapshot of the oncoming storm as seen through my windshield

Yet in spite of the ominous signs of a major weather event the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains brings you sense of peace. Perhaps it’s the expectations that the mountains provide a degree of shelter. Or maybe it’s knowing that God has a way of working things out regardless of the storms.

I always feel more at ease once I pass by the old trestle bridge in Gauley Bridge. Not only does it mark the point where I’m almost home but it’s also the point where I enter the most sheltered terrain. We’ve had some bad storms in my area. In 2012 a straight line wind came through and did a lot of damage. Then there was the flooding in 2012. But through it all God took care of us. He never really promised that there wouldn’t be storms. He did promise that it would be okay.

As the big blue truck carried me deeper into the hills and mountains the storms were nipping at my heels. As I stepped into the house the rain finally caught up with me and the wind howled in the trees on the ridge line above. There will be the dead and broken branches in the yard to clean up and the odd piece of trim to replace but I thank God for the shelter of my mountains and that we’re all safe and warm.

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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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/

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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 onFacebook or use the contact form

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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! 😊

Defining The Question

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

Tonight’s post examines the concept of a false dichotomy.

I was once asked “which is more important, the journey or the destination?” It’s one of those questions that’s supposed to bring perspective to life. It’s supposed help us see if we’re goal oriented or if we’re process oriented. The question doesn’t really have a right or a wrong answer. It just helps see certain aspects of ourselves. Or so I was told. But, the question is a little misleading. The way we’re expected to answer is intended to define us. There’s one problem with this kind of thinking. It built on a false premise that a person has to be one or the other. Goal oriented or process oriented. As if you can’t be goal oriented but still enjoy or even savor the process. Imagine that I have given you an ice cream cone in your favorite flavor. Most people will split the difference between consuming the ice cream before it melts and holding onto the cone for way too long. The question of eating the ice cream or keeping it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies that you must choose one extreme or the other. Now I know that there’s some creative person out the who thinks they’ve solved both sides of the issue with the idea of placing the cone in a freezer burried under a glacier at the north pole. That way you haven’t eaten it and it doesn’t melt. Even if you decided to put the cone in a deep freeze and keep it forever you have abandoned the goal because you’re not enjoying it forever and it’s not being eaten. If we’re honest about ourselves we’ll admit that most people would enjoy the cone for as long as possible.

Okay, I’ve shown you a picture of train tracks and I’m talking about ice cream so let me bring it back around to tonight’s feature image. In most of my posts I use tracks and roads to symbolize the idea that life is a journey. The original question was which is more important, the destination or the journey? Even though there’s not supposed to be wrong or right answers I have to consider if there are wrong and right questions. The right questions change perspective tremendously so let’s rephrase the question a bit. Is the journey independent of the destination? The answer for most of us is no. The destination is the ultimate goal but it’s the journey that gets us there. As I stared down the train tracks that pass through town I began to understand that even though the tracks end somewhere that pass through many places along the way. And that it’s possible to visit those places without giving up the goal of reaching then end of the tracks. It’s enjoying the process without giving up the goal.

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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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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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 onFacebook or use the contact form

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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.

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Squirrel Corn..(continued from Dutchman’s Breeches)

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

A couple of weeks after the Dutchman’s Breeches bloom the Squirrel Corn comes out. The two species are closely related but Squirrel Corn bloom has more of a waxy texture and is often tinged with pinks, reds or purple as seen in the feature image. If Dutchman’s Breeches resemble a fairy’s pants then Squirrel Corn would make a fancy hat.

If you compare tonight’s feature image with last night’s the first thing that stands out to me is the lack of bright yellow on the tips and the more rounded shape of the lobes at the top. The leaves are so similar to each other that I can’t really tell the difference without a bloom. And for those who wish to have native landscaping they can be planted together in order to extend the blooming season. A third relative is bleeding heart. I have yet to spot bleeding heart in the wild myself but I would imagine it could be intermixed with the first two for more color.

Both Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn are pollinated by queen bumblebees so if you have these plants then you have bumblebees close by.

Because I’ve been writing about wild edible plants I need emphasize that none of plants mentioned in this article are edible. To the best of my knowledge all three are toxic and best used for aesthetic purposes only. I feel blessed to have them wild near my home when they just seem to appear like magic and being beauty to my world.

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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the contact form

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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! 😊