Escape

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The High Road ” and was taken on Fayette Station Road. Tonight’s bonus Image is titled “Up Up And Away” and was taken in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I think most people resist confinement. In my area winter keeps me inside most of the time and by February I’m feeling claustrophobic. I feel the need to escape up some mountain pass well away from the noise of civilization. I could load up the Big Blue Truck and drive until the road ends and then drive a little more. But once I reach the top of the mountain then what? I could park on the ridge and hitch a ride in a hot air balloon!

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It’s really all about finding some peace of mind in a world that places constant demands on your attention. However, turning myself into a real life Phileas Fogg does have a certain amount of appeal. I can imagine myself floating high above the mountains and snapping beautiful aerial landscapes as I pass. I could write notes to my friends and fold them into paper airplanes and drop them as I pass by. And, because Amazon delivers by drone I could resupply without landing. The two biggest problems about this kind of escape from the noisy world would be plumbing and drive through windows. Dealing with a drive through window could be resolved by simply lowering a bucket by rope. Plumbing on the other hand might take a little more creativity. Of course one would have to land occasionally. What good is being able to freely travel the world if you don’t land and fully experience new places? Perhaps I can design my balloon with a bay for my big blue truck. I could land in a open field and drive into the city long enough to enjoy a show and have a meal. Then as soon as I’ve had my fill of civilization I could return to the blue wilderness among the clouds. But eventually even the most ardent adventurer gets homesick. No matter how much you enjoy going wherever the wind takes you that longing for the green forests and blue mountains of home. Perhaps my balloon would have a propeller and a rudder for the specific purpose of returning to the Allegheny plateau and the people that I love.

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Blackwater Falls Through Old And New Eyes

The cold weather if late Fall and early Winter always draws my imagination to the Pleistocene era. I can imagine how the lone hunter must have seen his pristine world. He walks through a land untamed by clocks and unnatural restrictions. As he steps out of a thicket his eyes behold the falls for the first time. He is at one with the rhythm of nature as he approaches the edge of the water. He sees the fluid movement of the shadows as they dart around beneath the falls. His feet are in tune with the earth as he raises his Atlatl spear and slowly gets into position. As he casts his stone tipped dart towards the target his eyes never lose focus. There’s no splash as the dart penetrates the fish below the water’s surface. His skills with the weapon are so deft that the rest of the fish are undisturbed until he wades into freezing water to retrieve his meal.

Today Blackwater Falls is a popular tourist attraction in West Virginia. A paved path leads to the wooden staircase and there are platforms for taking in the view. However, it’s still easy to imagine that you’re a wild human roaming the wilderness in the distant past as you look down into the Falls.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blackwater Falls 1” 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)

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Autumn Love In The Dreamworld

He woke up at the foot of the mountain near the river. As the mists cleared from in front of his eyes he knew that he was once more drawn into the dreamworld. He could hear her name in the wind as it laid the leaves down across the bridge like breadcrumbs. Instinctively he follows the trail onto the wooden deck. Each leaf was imprinted with a symbol that represented a quality of his true love. Beauty, loyalty, passion, intelligence, creativity and joy and more. As walked further across the bridge collecting the leaves the symbols kept adding new traits to the list. As he reached the center he looked up from the last leaf. She looked back at him with her own basket of leaves in her arms. The mountain mists rolled between them as the real world pulled them from the bridge. Each awoke in their own bed with memory of the other’s perfect eyes looking into their own.
Later that same morning as he was driving to his new job he came to the crossing. His foggy memory of previous night’s dream was still fresh in his mind but he couldn’t recall the details. The fog obscured all but the bridge’s threshold as he stopped his truck in the middle of the quiet country road and stepped out. Just as he was beginning to recognize the structure a single leaf drops from the forest and disappears into the fog. Curious about what was happening he starts walking across. Before he takes his second step she emerges holding the single leaf. It was only when their eyes met that they recalled the dream.

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 the Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Dream At Fayette Station” 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.)

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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.

Go Jump Off A Bridge (Bridge Day 2018)

Since before history mankind has dreamed of living flight. Even long before the aircraft Leonardo Da Vinci invented a parachute designed with the idea of base jumping in mind. At this point I’ll need to leave the finer points of that history to the real experts and leap straight into Bridge Day. Celebrated annually in Fayetteville West Virginia Bridge Day marks the crossing of our most challenging natural barrier. Namely, the New River Gorge. Today was the first time I attended Bridge Day in a long time and the first time ever as a photographer. I also want to give a Shout out to Adventures On The Gorge for the courtesy bus ride and free parking. As well as to “Mama Dee” (I’m hoping I got the name right) for being a very entertaining bus driver. I’m also going to keep the writing shortened to brief description tonight and let the photos do most of the talking.

Walking into the event from where the bus dropped us off.

As I look down into the New River Gorge the fog is sticking around a longer than normal today.

The objective is to hit the bullseye and not the tree. ( He made it just fine)

Looking at the event from one of the overlooks.

It’s a long way down!

The wind seemed to carry him along rather quickly but he makes the bullseye.

Back up on the bridge the crowd gathers to watch the jumping.

Second thoughts? Not on your life. He’s just testing the wind.

Catching the catapult in operation was harder than I thought. Even with countdown. Apparently, throwing your friends from the highest single arch bridge in North America is a great way to pass the time.

It’s a bit late for second thoughts now.

“CANNONBALL!!!!”

These guys are going to do a tandem jump.

I’m not sure what he was saying but it looked like a prayer to me. He stood there for several minutes with his hand stretched out over the river.

This guy was going for the high dive.

“I BELIEVE I CAN FLY!”

This guy did several flips on the way down.

A still from the GIF above.

Another one goes off the high dive.

I decided to pull back from the jumpers and give the rest of the crowd space to get in a few shots. Perhaps the next time I’ll make it down to the Landing Zone and get some shots as they come in. The dark sky and lack of rain gear was my motivation to head home and do my editing.

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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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Overcoming Produces Beauty

I’ve said it before about how much I love twisted and crooked, gnarly trees. The curls sweeps of the wood speak of challenges that were overcome to survive. I’m not sure what caused the arabesque in the trunk of this one but the moment I saw the double curve I fell in love with the tree. No doubt that it had to have carried the weight of at least one or maybe two larger trees as it grew. I also have no doubt that it’s unique shape prevented it from being harvested at some point in its history.

Sometimes God allows us to go through struggles that we don’t understand. We might wonder how much longer a situation will last. We might think that the burden we carry will pull us down. But if we just keep going and we don’t give up we can make it. Sure, there’s going to be scars and we may not stand as tall as some of our contemporaries. But, that doesn’t make us any less beautiful. It makes us overcomers and it makes us unique.

As I looked around at the surrounding forest there were hundreds of trees that were straight and tall. Some of trunks were so thick that you and your best friend couldn’t reach all the way around them by joining hands. But they all faded into the background. The only one that stood out and begged to be photographed was the one who was unique. One day this tree will fall just like the rest of them. As a woodworker I can imagine some bent wood furniture being made from crooked trunk. If it ever happens it will be a centerpiece in someone’s home where the others couldn’t compete with the graceful curves produced by overcoming the struggle. Don’t ever give up. Bend and adapt to overcome and you’ll grow into something special.

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