The Jewelweed behind my house moves like the wind is blowing but there’s no wind in any other part of my yard. I decided to step outside to see what was going on and the hum could be heard at a distance. I knew at once that it was the swarm. The flowers teeming with thousands of little wings darting to and fro with ” saddlebags” full of pollen. At one point in my life this would have been a terrifying experience but since facing up to my fears and learning more about these little ladies it’s a joy to see them. It was almost miraculous to see such a large number of honeybees because this photo was taken when colony collapse disorder was in all the headlines. You see, almost all life on earth depends on the honeybees to pollinate flowers and grow food. Even the predators depend on the herbivores who depend on the propagation of the plants. Since gaining my confidence around the honeybees I’ve found that they react to my presence differently as well. They no longer dive bomb me in an effort to bluff me into leaving. Instead they either ignore me completely or on some occasions they seem to be trying to figure out who I am. One time last year a honeybee followed me into the house, buzzed around the living room and then waited by the door like a puppy waiting to go outside.
I’ve discovered that standing back a bit with a long lens that photographing bees in flight was a good way to practice action shots. They only slow down when they land and they never really stop. Instead of causing anxiety it now brings a strange sense of peace to watch them working.
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One of the true pleasures of the Appalachian Fall is the whitetail deer. We’re at the point where they have begun to shift their travel patterns just prior to the rut (mating season). This little guy in the feature image frequents the property around my day job with his mother and twin brother. He’s not quite a year old and as only recently lost his spots. He and his family decided to join us for lunch over the past few days. Being a city deer he’s reasonably comfortable with his human neighbors and didn’t seem to mind posing for a few pictures in front of the beautiful fall foliage. Deer are actually fairly curious creatures. As I knelt down to get different angles he pretend to eat the sweet clover on the lawn while inching nervously closer until his mother decided that he was close enough and stepped between us. She gently herded her children back to forest edge and to a comfortable range. I’ve seen the buck whom I believe is the father of twins. I expect that he’s a ten or a twelve point this year. The buck normally keeps his distance from us. This time of year he’s busy defending his territory from rivals. The ritual combat of the bucks is really nothing more than a wrestling match. They lock horns shove each other until one of them gives up. I’ll be watching the edges of the property for next few weeks hoping to get a good shot of the bucks as they contest each other for dominance.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Yearling Buck 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 contact information. EVER)
4X6 is $5.00
5X7 is $10.00
8X10 is $15.00
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With Halloween right around the corner there are masks everywhere. Creepy masks, funny masks and superhero masks. There’s also a few bad guy masks. So with this being the season of the masks I thought that I would share a my best masked model so far. All summer long she would come to our office to find a huge mess near the entrance. Someone was throwing trash all over the recreational area. It wasn’t long before we spotted the culprit sporting her own bandit mask. The North America Raccoon. Although they’re pretty cute they can be not only troublesome but eventually they get dangerous. The one pictured here (or one of her sisters) had to be removed because it jumped up on the lunch table and took a sandwich out of someone’s hands. But what else can we expect from someone who wears a bandit mask 24/7?
On the subject of masks, I believe that I promised my friend Enni that I would tell the story of “False Face”.
The version that I was told says that the Creator and False Face had a contest to determine who was most powerful. False Face liked to brag and was cruel to the people by making them sick with his magic. The winner of the contest would determine the fate of the people. To show his power False Face strained with all his power and moved a mountain into the sea. Satisfied with his might he turned around to brag about his power and crashed into the same mountain which the Creator had moved between them effortlessly. As a punishment for his troublemaker ways the Creator cursed False Face to be subject to the command of the medicine men and must undo all of sickness he caused. Those medicine men became the False Face Society and while healing the sick they wear a mask with a crooked nose in honor of the Creator’s victory.
I’ve probably left a few details out of the story and there’s different versions but the basics are there. I know it’s really kinda odd but when I see a raccoon I think of masks and when I think of masks I think of False Face even though the raccoon has nothing to do with the legend.
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. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of Welcome Page.
Prints of tonight’s Feature Image have not been placed on sale. However, in place of the print option I want to let you know that I am available for portrait sessions by appointment. For details you can message me on Facebook or use the Contact Form on my website. Rates will vary depending on the type of portrait and number of people involved.
The rays of the warm sun dance in the ripples along the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River. She watches close as her children play in sunbeams. The look of total contentment on the little hen’s face is infectious as I watched her through the lens. Taking care not to disturb her moment of total bliss I stay back and take advantage of the zoom. I believe that she is living in her purpose. She finds her fulfillment in the joy and well being of the flock. She is a part of her world as opposed to passing through it. I watched as the others pass by her rock one by as if inviting her to join in with the aquatic parade as they gather into a cluster. Eventually she gives in and they all swim single file upstream and disappear behind the rocks. I returned my lens to its case as I set out to find my next subject and the next moment of peace to preserve. This image now hangs above my bed to remind me that I’m also a part of God’s creation. And, that I’m at my happiest when I’m living in my purpose.
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.
Tonight’s Feature Image is available for purchase by contacting me via the Contact Form on my website or through the Message button on Facebook. I will need to know what size so I can reply with a quote. 😊
The late summer sun beams down into an abandoned pasture. The Ironweed is tall and tipped with bright purple flowers that seem to resemble a fireworks display frozen in mid burst. The plants sway back and forth as if the breeze is shaking them but there’s no wind today. As I step closer I can hear the constant hum of thousands of tiny winged workers. The bees are too busy collecting the pollen to bother with chasing the photographer. However, I don’t to encroach to far into their workspace. I walked up to the closest flower and the huge carpenter bee doesn’t really react to lens hovering just above her head. She checks each bloom one at a time mentally keeping notes about which ones will be ready tomorrow. Unlike the honeybees she is a solitary bee. She loves her neighbors but avoids the hustle and bustle of a hive. She has only her own brood to care for and she likes it that way. As she gave the flowers one last double check she moved into the right position for me to snap the shutter. I take a few more shots so that I can choose the best ones to keep. Then it’s time to let this working girl get back to business and I take my big blue truck to the next destination.
Don’t you just hate to be blamed for something that you didn’t do? I’m not even talking about having an an accident and feeling that it was unpreventable. I’m talking about being in the wrong place at the wrong time and having nothing to do with what happened but still taking the blame. Such is the life of goldenrod. It beautiful yellow spikes are easy to spot and in late summer when eyes are itchy and nobody can seem to shake the light coughing that lasts for weeks goldenrod takes the heat for it. The real culprit is the ragweed but we don’t really have to talk about that riff-raff. Goldenrod on the other hand continues to be a giver. The plant is not only beautiful but has an array of medicinal qualities. (Always check out multiple sources when researching medical plants). The dried stems are used to start friction fire and make string by survivalists. I’m sure that if I sat and thought about it I could enumerate more gifts that goldenrod provides freely in spite of the reputation that it didn’t earn.
As I explore the little nooks and crannies of my Appalachian Mountains in late summer my eyes are bathed in wondrous beauty. The simple Black Eyed Susan abounds on the roadsides. Everywhere I look leaves me with the sense that setting sun left a piece of itself behind as it passed by. Or maybe that magical golden hue simply fell as part of the rain and took root as it soaked into the earth. However they got started, they bloomed and spread across the mountains like a living flame. Soon that fire will spread to the trees as summer ends in its grand finale of colors. For now, I have little drops of sunshine popping up everywhere.