Panning For Appalachian Gold (And why I named it so )

The soft rain falls steadily from from the darkened sky. Late fall and early winter in the Appalachian Mountains of my West Virginia home is usually marked by gray skies. Most of fall leaves are now on the ground but a few cling to the branches above. As the world around me swims in cold mists of the season a single leaf drops from the ridge line above and comes to rest in a pool of water near my home. As it floats in the pool against the dark background the mists collect on it’s surface. The leaf is from a Yellow Poplar and so is the seed that floats on the right side of feature image. I was struck by simple beauty of the scene that God created before my very eyes and preserved it forever in my lens.

I have given tonight’s feature image the title “Panning For Appalachian Gold” not just because of the yellow color of the leaf but because of the economic importance of the lumber. Yellow Poplar is a fast growing tree and is used to make plywood for building materials. The logs are peeled in layers on a giant lathe and the resulting sheets are cut to standard sizes. Knots are cut out of sheets and plugs are planted firmly in their place by a hydraulic press. The sheet are then stacked so that the grain of the wood is transverse with the adjoining layer making it very strong. When people think of West Virginia they normally associate our state with the coal industry but the timber industry is also one of our biggest resources. It’s gold that actually grows out of the ground.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Panning For Appalachian Gold” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on mywebsite.(Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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Solitude And Focus

There are times when a person just needs a little solitude. When the world around you is full of flashing signs and blaring music and distractions of every kind. We all have those moments when the mental clutter just needs to be pushed back and space needs to be given for focusing on one thing at a time. We need to just let our minds drift for a little while like a bird on the lake. He’s not trapped in the water. He can leave at time of his choosing. He can paddle around and go to any part of the water or land that he wants. He’s not overtaken by winds or currents but instead he rides them. He works in harmony with creation and achieves what is needed. And he rests when it’s time. He is at peace with his environment as God intended. Solitude isn’t really about being antisocial or introverted. It’s about focus. It’s intended to be a limited time for mental and emotional recharge. We exercise our bodies to grow stronger and have more endurance but any successful athletes will tell you that it’s during the resting cycle that the strength manifests. Our minds and spirits are the same way. We need a resting state to fully benefit from the stimulation we experience in daily life.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Quiet Contemplation” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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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.

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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

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Time Spent On The River Is Not Wasted

As look upstream at the New River the water looks very cold. The green of spring and summer is nothing more than a fond memory in a collection happy summers. The pop of Fall Colors has faded to a reddish brown. I have listened to and read multiple stories of fishing at Fayette Station. Some tell me that they have caught the biggest fish ever in the frigid waters while others say the fish were small but plentiful. After all the fish fish tales I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the real catch was time with loved ones. Parents and children, children and grandparents and all the best friends gather in this spot to try for the one that got away. I suppose that wiley rascal is still out there hiding in some deep eddy of new river taunting fishermen by tugging on lines and stealing bait. That’s it’s purpose in life. To entice us out away from the electronic devices or whatever is on T.V. to cast a line in the water and spend time with someone special.

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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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Upstream” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using theContact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

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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.

Taking The Long Way

If I concentrate on it I can remember a time before Interstate Highways in my area. Every road was the scenic route and every road was the long way home. Oftentimes the road was a single lane and when you met someone coming from the other direction each would have to move one wheel off of the pavement so that there was enough room to pass. Most of the time people would idle in the middle of the road and have a conversation with their windows down. I can remember being late for appointments because two people sat in the middle of the road for several minutes with traffic backed up behind them on either side. Sometimes it lead to an internal conflict of protocol. Is it more rude to block the road or to interrupt the conversation?

Thankfully we now have social media and there’s no need to block traffic for a status update. In the 70s a car was usually large enough to seat 6 adults in relative comfort and quiet drives though the country was a good way to relax.

A slow drive through the mountains was rewarded with grand views of the valley below. If the road was remote enough you could spot wildlife on the edge of the forest. Time was more generous then and the slower pace allowed for one to experience life instead of spend it. We tend to think of an open road as a symbol of freedom but I have to wonder if we miss the point when we’re just reaching the next destination as quickly as possible.

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. 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 “Crossroads In The Gorge” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

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

Sample Portraits

Love Locked

When I said that I love you, I meant that you’re everything to me.

When I said forever, I meant beyond the end of time.

When I said together, I meant nobody else but you.

When I said “I do”, I meant that I’m already committed.

When I said that I remember, I meant that you never left my heart.

Our lives are one, locked in by love.

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. Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being burried 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 the Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Love Locked” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or 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

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

More Thoughts On The Changing Technology And Driving.

Every once in a while I’m transported back in time. I see or hear or smell something that strips away the high tech digital world of the present. On August 4th 2016 I could have sworn that I was passing through some kind of time slip. I have posted about the Shay Reproduction Roadsters before however for those who don’t know these are antique car design with modern modern materials. The Aesthetics of the older vehicles bring to mind thing like the feel of fine leather upholstery and the smell of wood polish. There was a time when people drove for the pleasure of the open road and not just going from point A to point B. There was an age when a person’s time was their own and a craftsman was appreciated for the quality of his work and not just the sheer volume of production. The artistry in the architecture blended with craftsmanship and skilled hand gave life to the machine. Mass production made them affordable but each piece had its own personality. We gave them names and made them members of our families. When the older ones began to break down we learned how to repair the machine and extended it’s lifetime until there was no choice but to let it go. As I look towards the future of the motor car I can see a time when Artificial Intelligence just might have the potential to deepen our connection with the vehicles. I can imagine how smart cameras embedded in car will recognize our faces and the cars will know our names. When it will learn our routine and wish us a good morning as we step out of the house. There will be lots of bells and whistles. There is already cars with Wi-Fi networks to keep us entertained. Advanced warning systems to keep the driver from changing lanes at the wrong time and cars that drive themselves are becoming more and more common. But, in all of the wondrous technology that is on the rise I have to admit that I will miss the simple pleasure climbing behind the wheel just driving.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is available for purchase in sepia, black and white or color. Just message me with the Title “Shay Reproduction Roadsters 2” and let me know what size so I can reply with a quote. You can use the message button on Facebook or the Contact Form on my website.