I’ve Seen The Signs

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Thunderhead 7519″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The humid summer air made the mountain forests feel like a jungle as I stepped out of the house this morning. On my way to the big blue truck I paused to check the grass. No dew this morning. As I placed my pack in the front seat I double checked the outside pocket to make sure that I had some rain gear with me. My poncho was snuggly rolled up in it’s place. As I made my way around to the driver’s side the lonely cry of a Mourning Dove confirmed my suspicion that rain was on the way.

It wasn’t really that long ago that the weather report wasn’t really as easy as checking your phone or smart watch. The prognosticators would study their instruments and give their best guess. There was no Doppler radar or 3D modeling to aid them but still they managed to be right. Well, sometimes. Before that the real old timers would read the signs in nature. Guessing the weather predictions was as much of an art as it was a science so tonight I wanted to share a few of the weather signs that I know with you.

Red skies at night. Sailor’s delight is probably the most well-known weather sign in the western world.

The photo on the right shows the red sky above my home. There’s a bunch of complicated science that explains why the sky turns red but what it meant to the old timers was that fair weather was on its way. This was of particular interest to those at sea. I have forgotten most of spectrum but there’s a whole range of colors that are old time weather indicators. The system takes into account the time of day and the season to fortell the type of weather.

Dew on the grass means that weather will be dry.

Farmers and outdoorsman would check the grass in morning to see if was wet with dew. The Bible says that in the days before Noah a mist rose from the ground and watered the soil. I have found it to accurate that a wet lawn in morning means no rain. And that when there’s no dew the rain will happen within a couple of days of not a few hours.

The Mourning Dove is also a pretty useful weather sign. Like the frogs they always seem to sing the most prior to rain. I have no explanation for how they know what the weather will be but I suspect that at least part of it has to do with their ability to sense magnet fields. I downloaded a scientific sensor app for my phone and one of things that I like to pay attention to is the ambient magnetic fields. There always seems to be a spike before a storm. One of really strange things is how livestock seems to understand the intensity and length of the storm. If the cattle huddle together under cover then the rain storm tends to be short but if the they continue graze during the rain storm then it will last all day.

Is it possible that cattle are masters of meteorology?

A few miscellaneous indicators of are aches and pains in joints, condensation on drinks and pipes, moon dogs ( a halo around the moon ), the number chirps of crickets and where I live the leaves of the trees turn upside down.

I’m sure that if I thought about it for a while I could come up with a pretty extensive list but I want to hear about your weather signs. What do you look for other than technology to know what it’s going to be in your area?

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Into The Storm

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

Angry clouds gather above my head once again. The wind batters the abandoned strip mine in bursts as the songbirds huddle together in the thickest part of the underbrush as they seek shelter from nature’s wrath. Somewhere else in the forest a box tortoise closes his shell as tightly as he can and the deer bed down on the leeward side of the mountain. The instinct to avoid a storm is one of the strongest forces in nature.

But there are those who have a different mindset. Some people run into the storm. For those people the raw power that God placed in elements of nature is irresistible, for some it’s scientific curiosity, and for others it’s the knowledge that after the storm passes someone will need help. I’ve found that the majority of the people who run into the storm do so because they themselves were touched by the aftermath of a storm in some way.

There’s definitely a Superman complex to one degree or another going on in the minds of most people. That’s okay as long as it comes with an equal measure humility. As humans we have a drive to make a difference and there’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with helping a stranger that will never see or hear from you again. But I think that there’s more than social instincts happening. I think that helping to set things right makes us feel like we’ve got some measure of power over the storm. We may not be able to stop the storms but the storms can’t stop us either. The scientists who chase storms do so to provide earlier warnings and stronger shelters. The rescuers do so to bring as many people to safety as possible. The rebuilders take up where the rescuers and scientists left off. Everyone does their part and the whole benefits.

But this phenomenon isn’t limited to weather. We extend this behavior into all aspects of life. A person who is terrified of a natural storm may not think twice about rushing in to aid someone who is in the middle of emotional distress. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of those who would take on the natural storm will steer clear of the emotional storm. We all have a purpose and a place in such things. In fact for a lot of people the “storm” comes in the form of loneliness and what’s called for is a person who is just willing to ask them about their day.

As the storm moves in closer to my position I can see the thick bands of rain cascading down and a second wave of thunder begins the countdown to when I need to have my camera and myself someplace warm and dry. Fortunately the big blue truck is just a few steps away from where I’m set up. This particular storm isn’t really expected to cause damage. Sometimes all it turns out to be is a few gusts of wind, an isolated shower and a lot of noise. That’s great for a dramatic photograph but not really dangerous enough to warrant sticking around long enough to get wet.

With my lens tucked away safely in its dry case the big blue truck rolls back onto the pavement and I move on to the next opportunity.

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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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

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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.

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Race Against The Storm

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

Late Spring and early Summer is storm season in my Appalachian Mountains. The heavy dark clouds rake across the ridges and the sky takes on that ominous hue. I have been watching the tulip poplar all day. Just before a storm they turn the underside of their leaves outwards and begin to shake and sway. Once as a child I heard my paternal grandmother make reference to the poplars doing a rain dance. “Thems trees are gonna make thunder”. She said in her old time mountain dialect. She was from Jodi which is the little village on the right side of the river in tonight’s feature image. But I digress.

I knew that the view from the Gauley River always offered a spectacular image during inclement weather. Having just come from the west I estimated that had just enough time to jog out to the middle of the bridge before my gear and I was soaked. By the time I got to just the right spot the sky was really getting dark. Small birds were darting around in a flurry taking advantage of the disoriented insects that were caught in the breeze. Just a few minutes later the flight of the birds was replaced by the leaves that were blown down from the mountain. I had to work quickly if I wanted to be dry when I made it back to my big blue truck. I was able to get a few exposures before the sound of approaching rain began to echo up from down river. It was time to move and move fast. I could hear the stormfront gaining on me as I stretched out my stride in order to pick up speed. I dared not look back while I fumbled with the fob and repeatedly pressed the unlock button. As the door slammed shut the large globular drops impacted the windshield. I raced back onto the highway and straitened a few curves in an effort to beat the storm to my home. I managed to get there just as the storm caught up with me. In it’s final act of wrath the storm managed to keep me in the truck for a few minutes but as it was drawing it’s second breath I slipped out of the garage. In my final act of defiance I closed the door to the house. I suppose that this time my race against the storm ended in a draw.

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 on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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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!❤

Approaching Thunder Shakes Loose A Childhood Memory

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

I stepped out of the big blue truck and walked just beyond the gate. The scent of the impending rain hangs heavy in the air. The local songbirds are all huddled under the bushes for shelter as thunder rolls across the ridge. The empty roads beckons me to come & explore but the Darkening sky forbids me to walk too far. As I gaze down the road I allow my imagination to wander beneath the approaching thunderheads. My thoughts are interrupted by a different thunder. Its the sound of four large engines turning propellers on the tarmac in the distance. It has the be the 130th Airlift Wing warming up a C-130. The massive aircraft is often seen floating above the Kanawha Valley. It’s truly an awesome sight to see them emerge from the thick clouds on days like today.

When I was 11 years old my Civil Air Patrol group was transported to the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Station by the 130th AW ( the aircraft is a C-130 & the Air National Guard Group that is stationed her happens to also be the 130th group. ) My impression of the C-130 was that it’s the aeronautical version of a four wheel drive SUV. The seating for troop transport in the late 70s & early 80s was an adventure all of it’s own for a farm-boy of my age. Imagine that you’re locked into a tube with woven web lawn chairs hanging from the interior of the tube. They strap you in and taxi to the runway. The 130 is an STOL aircraft. That stands for Short Take Off & Landing which means that its angle on take off is really steep. The woven basket that you’re seated in swings like a pendulum as the plane jumps into the air. The sky on that day was really cloudy like you see in the feature image and it was turbulent. I suppose the resulting ride reminded me of sliding around on a muddy jeep trail which is what makes me think of them in the frame of a four wheel drive. Or, maybe the pilot was just adding a little extra adventure for a cargo load of wide eyed kids but it was like an amusement ride. Once we had reached a certain altitude we were allowed to get up and walk around a bit. everyone rushed towards the windows. For may of us it was first time off the ground. land was also an experience because they reverse the engines to land and its not like a passenger jet. There’s little or no soundproofing in the big green birds and when the propellers start the other direction its quite a racket.

I relive that trip several times a day now when they fly over the office at my day job. They fly really close to this road & if I can ever time it right I should be able to get some good shots of them. Today however, the combination of rain & limited time forced me to climb back into the truck before the C-130 made its appearance. As I rolled the big blue truck back onto the hardtop the large drops of water made contact with the windshield and I knew that today wasn’t the day. That’s okay. It’s an event that occurs on this road every day and I’ll get the shot eventually. It’s just a matter of timing. I do have a decent shot from an earlier flyover to share but I’ll continue to watch the sky for that perfect shot.

psx_20190424_235418-01_1556167837401146147836.jpg
C-130 Hurcules flyover on April 24th 2019

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 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. 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=238248269630914251Lastly, 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

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

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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.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

A Light To Guide You

Summersville Lake is unique in West Virginia in that we have the only lighthouse in the state. Standing on private land the lighthouse overlooks both the lake and the Route 19. The lighthouse is recent addition but when I was a kid there was a beacon light from the local airport. In stormy weather we would see the flash from the airport and think that there was a lighthouse that only lit up in storms. We couldn’t see the actual tower. Just the beam reflected off of the clouds into the window of our bedroom. It would light up the bedroom as we slept and we knew that somewhere out there it wasn’t so dark.

It’s good to have a guiding light when times are dark and dreary. We need a fixed point to center ourselves and a light to sweep away the darkness no matter if you’re on dark foggy water, traveling on a four lane highway or snuggled up under the covers on a stormy night.

The Cheylan Railyard

Tonight’s image is the railyard at Cheylan West Virginia. If you look closely at the background you can see one of our coal tipples. The coal comes down the river in huge barges and is offloaded to the tipple where it’s moved by conveyor belt into the train. It’s some of the most dangerous work in the mining industry. My whole life I’ve heard stories about workers stepping between two rail cars at the wrong moment. The large piles of coal have been known to collapse and bury men alive. I know that coal energy is controversial in the world today but it is our main energy source in a large portion of the world. Here in West Virginia coal lights our homes, cooks our meals and powers our internet connection. It even powers our electric vehicles. Through the paychecks paid to the miners coal feeds families whose members have never set foot in a mine. (Every mining job supports between 3 and 5 others. ) It all centers on hubs like you see here and the workers who risk it all to pull light out of darkness.