Among The Bracken

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Baby Bracken Fern” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Just below the blanket of last season’s leaves the infrared light of the sum warms the sleepers. They’ve spent the winter curled up into little balls dreaming of the day when they will push back the blanket and reach out for the light. Their line is one of the oldest in the forest. They’ve completed this spring ritual since the day of their creation. They even remember the thunder of the dinosaurs feet. Although they can sprout from spores the braken commonly sprouts from underground runners. The unfurling of the fronds can take on the appearance of ballet when viewed through the magic of time lapse photography. The term “fiddleheads” can refer to any emerging fronds but is most associated with the ostrich fern and it’s edible form. The dense coating of fur on the bracken and the hazard of possibly causing cancer makes the bracken unappealing as an edible. But as part of the landscape it adds just the right amount of a primeval feel to inspire visions of mist covered landscape from long ago. Perhaps even an alien world covered by a dense jungle.

As l look around at the fiddleheads in various stages of unfurling I have to imagine that the first one to finish makes a “Ta-Da!” sound as it does.

I wasn’t able to find the ostrich ferns that I was looking for but I was able to get out and enjoy the fresh air and spend some time in one of my natural sanctuary spots. I took a few minutes to breathe the fresh air and listen to the birds for a while. Finding that moment of peace was the real prize on this trip.

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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Red Maple & Forester’s Trick

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

All along the Kanawha River we are beginning to see the mountains change color. There are light green spots full of tiny new leaves, the pinkish-purple of the redbud bloom and the blood red of the red maple. Tonight’s feature image is actually several years old but it was taken on April 15th. When I was studying forestry in college my instructor taught us that a good timber man could estimate the diversity of a stand of timber by the colors seen in fall and spring without ever climbing the mountain. Brown twigs are sugar maple and red twigs are red maple. He had a color scale in his mind that covered a multitude of hues and variations. He would use this technique to determine which stands of timber were worth a closer look and that way he could avoid wasting time on lower value timber.

I never made it into the timber industry but I have observed that by closely watching the colors of the mountains during the seasonal changes I can not only estimate the mix of trees in the forest but I can judge the progression of the changes. Like all things in life nothing is ever 100 percent but this technique allows me to get relatively accurate guess what nature is about to do. It’s all about the observation of natural time. So as you go about your day take note of the small changes in color and texture of the world around you. It’s God’s creation and you are a part of it.

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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Was Spring Actually Early?

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

On February 2nd Punxsutawney Phil promised an early Spring and was met with the cheers of a nation. I personally jumped for joy and halted my plans for groundhog stew. However, I may have been duped. We may have been duped. I have the sneaking suspension this devious rodent has no idea when Spring is coming. I can imagine this escapee from a Bill Murray film pacing inside his hole. “What am I going to tell them this time?” He asks himself. Finally he closes his eyes and spins the wheel at his desk. The needle lands on early Spring and the prediction is made. What brings me to think that we’re not having an early Spring? The Feature Image. This photo was taken on March 24 2019. It’s the little Bradford Pear in the parking lot of my day job. I have been watching it because I wanted to capture the first open bloom. One of the reasons that I do this is so I can track the metadata. The dates are important to me so that I can predict when the natural events in my area will give me a photo op. Photography is more than just documenting the way something looks. It’s about capturing the passage of time. So imagine how surprised I was to find out that this year’s bloom was about a week or so late!

Picture taken on March 16th 2018

As you can see in the photo above last year’s bloom was not only fully open on March 16th but also fully mature.

So what gives? Was it just the warmer weather last year? Well, yes and no. The warmer soil does have a little bit to do with it but short answer is that plants can see sunlight. (Sort of). It shouldn’t come as a shock that plants have photoreceptors. Chemical proteins that detect the presence of sunlight. They don’t really have a picture of the world like we do but they can tell what wavelengths of light that’s hitting their surface. Certain wavelengths trigger a response in the buds and they begin to grow and mature. The amount of light in combination with a wavelength just happens to coincide with the warmer weather. It all works together to get the timing right. But the original question remains. Was Spring early or late? In the grand scheme of things it was right on time. A few days in one direction or the other makes little difference. The real mystery is why the date that the wavelengths varies from one year to the next? Is the sun broken? No, the sun’s just fine. But it does experience it’s own weather and seasonal changes. That effects on what day the earth’s tilt, rotation and orbit brings us into alignment with those life sustaining rays. I’m sure that I’ve bypassed a lot of hard core science and complex calculations that would boggle the mind. When I think about all the factors that go into making the season change I began to appreciate the job that the poor Groundhog has. I don’t really blame him for resorting to random chance. And, I have those beautiful flowers to enjoy today. It would be a mistake to lose today’s joy by comparingit to yesterday’s happiness or tomorrow’s expectations.

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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Every Frog Has His Day

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

Rainy days and Mondays are not to be desired or so it’s been said. Admittedly, I would have rather spent the day sitting in the sunshine and enjoying the birds singing while watching the ferry diddles play in the trees. But even the rainy day has it’s own joy if you look hard enough. Just beyond the trees and down the hill a piece is a ditch where the water pools. This is the frogs gather and sing for a mate in wet weather. It occurs to me that for a frog rainy days are one of life’s true joys. If it’s a warm sunny day a frog has to stay close to water and in the shadows to keep from drying out. But if it’s a warm rain a frog gets to come out and play. He spends his whole day making up songs that express his appreciation of the clouds. I can picture the scene in my mind. Mr Frog jumps out of the water and gazes skyward. A frog’s smile might be hard to detect but promise you that it’s there. He wiggles his webbed toes in the fresh mud. Then he takes a breath so deep that he blows up like a green balloon. Then he lets out a song like no song has ever been sung before. For a frog it’s the best Monday ever! One for the books! As the rain continues to fall gently the birds gather in the thick evergreen trees and the ferry diddles go to their dens. Everyone sits quietly waiting for rain to stop as they listen to frogs make beautiful music. Eventually I move from the window to the awning on the back of building and listen myself. Suddenly the gray sky doesn’t seem so bad. Monday isn’t so tough when your world is full of music.

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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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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Bright Days In Spring

Hello Friends!Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Purity In Spring” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The magnolia bloom continues open all along the Kanawha River. Some are past their prime already. They’ve been bruised by the recent rain and more is expected to arrive in the morning. But for a brief period when I needed it most the sky turned bright, the clouds rolled back a beauty returned to the gray world. The star magnolia was only the first to open. At this very moment the pink magnolia is beginning to catch up. The blooming seems to ripple out from Smithers. As I’ve travelled the Midland Trail between Gauley Bridge and Charleston I’ve seen the magnolia trees opening one by one. It’s almost like God set them up as dominoes so that we’d be able to enjoy them throughout the season. Not one little detail has been overlooked. The rain may be returning but for now I have delicate white flowers and and bright sky to enjoy.

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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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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The Magnolia Awakens

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Star Of Spring” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

After long months of slumbering in the darkness nature has awoken. The faithful little Star Magnolia stretches in the winds of early March then opens up an smiles at world. Her joyful awakening fills the air with a sweet fragrance as warblers welcome her with a happy song. Daffodils dot the highway and the willow trees unfurl tiny leaflets of bright green. I thank God for the sunshine even if the wind still carries a bitting chill on some days. I have an inclination that the bees will soon be heard buzzing in the hedges as they work tirelessly to replenish their stores but for now the Magnolia’s smile was enough to warm up a winter weary soul.

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 on my website

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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 or use the contact form on my website and 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! 😊

A Quick Update On My Natural Calendar

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Awakening In March” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

I’m the kind of person who is done with ice and snow about 2 days after Christmas. I have been longing for green leaves and a walk down a moss covered path for quite some time now. We still have a little ways to go yet but yesterday’s revelation of the Bradford pear with it’s swollen flower buds was just the boost I needed. So much so that I decided to savor the moment and post the closeup as a second post. I live at a higher elevation and the valley always greens up a few days to a few weeks before it does at my house. In addition to the Bradford pear I’m starting to notice that familiar crimson tinge on the red maple twigs that tells me they are waking up too. The sight of these things reminds me of being challenged to swim from the Battle Run “Beach” to the campground under water. Unless you’re Michael Phelps it’s only possible by occasionally coming up for air a few times. These buds are the fresh breath I need to get through until mid April. In addition I’m thrilled that we reset the clocks to Daylight saving time tonight and that means it’s no longer dark when I get home. ( Can we just move it by 1/2 hour and leave it there?). You might be discouraged to see the snow covering the delicate buds but have no fear. This actually helps them survive the cold! I have been reviewing the metadata on in my archive to judge the dates of my natural calendar. Last year this tree was in full bloom on March 16th. By April 2nd the the Japanese Maple at the shopping center had tiny new leaves. The Redbud was in full bloom on April 14th and on April 23rd the dogwood trees were just starting to open. On April 25th last year I took a picture of a wild mustard plant in full bloom. And by April 27th the blackberries had both bloom and deep green leaves.

In closing, I know that tonight’s post is a little longer than normal and that I didn’t really cover the normal topic of taking time to declutter the mind but I do find encouragement in stepping back and gauging how long it is before the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains reveals itself in it’s milder form.

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 onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

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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 or use the contact form on my website and 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 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! 😊