A Day Hike In Fall ( with a nutty encounter)

One by one colors fall from the sky. There’s a rainbow in the wind. The forest takes on a different scent and the sounds change as well. For a moment I paused to take in the change and feel the bite of the oncoming cold weather. There’s a loud thump behind me. Cautiously I turned to face whatever beast stalks me. Emptiness. Only the falling leaves and the bare trunks of the trees. Perhaps it was just a branch that had pruned itself in the breeze. A few more steps down the pathway and this time I definitely hear the dry leaves crunch behind me and move to one side. I stepped behind a large yellow poplar as the crunch moves closer. I peek out from my hiding place and then I see the noisiest creature in the woods. A grey squirrel comes bouncing towards me. How a one pound bushy tailed tree rat manages make more noise than a Sasquatch in a dance off is beyond me. But they do. When I step back out the squirrel realizes that his prankster antics are over and in one last leap he disappeared up his own tree. Amused by the fluffy little rascal as he moved from branch to branch I smile and thank God for the beautiful fall day and the warm thermos of coffee back at my big blue truck. It time to leave the squirrel to finish stashing away his winter supplies.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is from Beartown State Park in West Virginia. Titled “Spilled Colors”

The 38th Annual Arts And Crafts Show Hosted by Edgewood Presbyterian Church Wrap Up.

First and foremost I want to publicly thank everyone who worked so hard to put this show together. It’s folks like you who make it easier to connect the public with artists and crafters. This was the second time I have been a participant and I’ve been blessed by all the good friends that I’ve made at the shows.

To my readers… I would absolutely love to take you on a photo tour of the show. However, the other artists and independent businesses work very hard to create unique products and services sold at these shows.

Photography inside these events is strictly prohibited to prevent their designs from being duplicated.

When you pour your heart and soul into the creation process it’s devastating to have someone come in and take away your uniqueness without compensation. We all have a limited amount of life’s energy in this world. When an artist creates he/she imparts a portion of the spirit into the piece. Therefore, unjust duplication of the work is a theft of the soul. This is the reason why I only have pictures of my own booth. And why I have done my best to protect the work of my fellow artists and crafters.

The day begins with an early morning drive through rain and fog. The big blue truck was loaded the previous day with prints and products to be sold and displayed. I have podcasts and music loaded into my Amazon Kindle to keep me company during the trek across Sewell Mountain.

The straight stretches on our roads are a bit of a rare thing. Above is a section of route 60 heading into Lavista West Virginia. The stretch here has always felt picturesque to me.

Above is a section of Route 60 on Sewell Mountain is a little more typical for our roads. Not far from this spot is the place where in 1988 I spent several hours stranded in two feet of snow with a dead car battery. There was no mobile phones in those days and the signal from my citizens band radio was too weak to be of any help. I was eventually rescued by another driver with a set of jumper cables. Today’s trip however was without any trouble at all and it’s an absolutely beautiful drive during the peak color of Fall. (In just a few short weeks)

About two hours after I left l finally arrived at the fairgrounds. The amount of straps might seem to be a bit excessive at first but trip to get here is like a rollercoaster. Loading and unloading the big blue truck in the rain is just a fact of life. You may be looking at the jumbled parts and wondering what the heck all that junk is. Well, the 4×4 beam is the heavy base for my display. It has holes drilled into it that the EMT conduit slips into and it provides a counterbalance for the wire frame. The wire frame provides a place where I can hang the pictures for the public to see as they walk through.

Setting up is the hardest part of doing a show. But once you get the hang of it the work goes quickly.

Magnets and Keyfobs are always a good supplement to wall hangings. It gives me a low cost option for those who fall in love with an image but don’t have the wall space or the budget for larger prints.

My wife’s books nearly sold out! From left to right they are… Her nonfiction book about her 12 year long but victorious battle with depression, her Christian Western romance trilogy that follows the main character from age 18 to age 90, and the daily devotional book that we wrote together. (The devotional features my photos as well). If you like to read please visit Angela Dempsey books on Amazon.

Above are some more of the magnets.

The largest draw into my booth was the Wading Willows. I sold out of the smaller prints of this one.

Another big hit for this particular show was theMt. Olivet United Methodist Church on Droop Mountain. Built in 1880 the log cabin style church served as a gathering place for 137 years. Sadly, the river of time dictates that nothing is permanent on this earth and in October of 2017 the logs had finally sucome to rot and termites. The building was removed by the Barnwood Builders TV show. I have heard varying reports about the outcome of the building but I understand that the congregation now has a new building on the same lot.

Overall, the show was a wonderful experience. I have made new friends including a very special woodworker in his 90s. His work was absolutely exquisite and his daughter “Mary” was one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met at one of the shows. I truly enjoyed meeting people in crowd and sharing the stories behind each photo.

If you have these shows where you live then please consider coming out to one and buy from a person who truly cares about the product they make by hand. If you’re local to West Virginia these shows pop up all over in the Spring and Fall which are perfect for buying holiday gifts for your loved ones.

I have a few smaller shows that I might try to get into and as I do I’ll try to share the experience as a bonus post.

For now the show is over and it’s time to load up the big blue truck and head home. The quiet road is covered with the velvet darkness and soft purple glow of fading day calls me home.

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. You’re also invited to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

Replenished

The water spills softly over the old stone wall to replenish the pool at the bottom. The pool fills and spills into the Kanawha River. The peaceful flow of the water invokes the memories of a simpler time. A time before the nearby road existed and a weary soul could stop and recharge his spirit in the tranquility of the falls. Just to right of the falls is a cave that was carved out by an earlier flow. Perhaps a cool place to sit down and enjoy a lunch break out of the sun. I imagine the traveler refilling his canteen in the falls as he allows the water to wash over him to remove the dust of the trail. After he is well rested he gathers his personal equipment and continues his journey down river. There’s no pressure to be there by a certain time. He’ll be there when he gets there. His life is full of living and he makes the most of every moment of every day as God intended.

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 would love to hear about your moments of peace. I also want to invite you to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

Red Skies At Night

The rains have fallen steadily all day today. The grey skies are offset only by the occasional hint of yellow and orange in the turning leaves. The drive across Sewell Mountain took a little longer than I had hoped. Unloading a truck in the rain is just an accepted part of the arts and crafts shows in Appalachia. Once the truck is unloaded the rest of the day is spent assembling the displays and trading warm greetings with the other vendors. As I place the last piece in its place I can tell that something special is taking place in the sky by the light spilling into the building. The grey is ending and the rain is nearly over. It’s time to climb back up into the big blue truck and head home to rest. I stepped out of the door and looked up. I was rewarded by the beauty of the last rays of the sun pushing back the clouds. A sense of peace washed over me. The grey has ended with a mix of the deep reds and purples. Red skies at night are the joy of artists and sailors alike.

Hello Friends! If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

If you’re local to Lewisburg West Virginia or passing through and love art of handmade gifts please stop by the West Virginia State Fairgrounds and say hello! 😊

Anticipation Of Game Day

There’s a certain feeling that you get just prior to competition. All of the training and conditioning has been done. It’s game day. You go to the field and prepare mentally. The butterflies in your stomach seem to be not just having a party, but a hard core punk rock slam dance party. You hide it well beneath your cool exterior as you check out the other competitors. The truth is that they have the same butterfly party going on their own stomachs. It’s been a long time since I have been in an athletic competition but I still have to tame those unruly and wild butterflies before every important event.

Eventually I come to the conclusion that I’ve done all that I can do until the they fire the starting gun and it’s time to run. Then all you can do is run the best race you can run. If you lose then lose with dignity and work harder before the next race. If you win then win with grace and congratulate your competitors for a race well run. Sportsmanship is an important life skill. If we can’t learn to be a gracious winner or good loser then our lives become full of turmoil when we fail. It’s a fact of life that failures will happen. When they do it’s not a tragedy, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

As I write this post I’m preparing for my biggest show of the year. The 38th Annual Arts And Crafts Show at The West Virginia State Fairgrounds is one of the biggest events of year. I have the same feeling that I used to get on game day. But I know I’ll do well because I have done everything that can be done to prepare.

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 want to invite everyone local to come out to show and say hi to me in person. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook and as always you can sign up for email alerts on the home page of my website.