January’s Crossings 2

Old man winter howls in rage. His icy breath blasts across the three rivers bringing the deep chill that always comes in the last half of January and early portions of February. As I walk up the track towards the perfect spot to get my shot I’m assailed with tiny bits of ice. Somewhere off to my left I can here the panicked call of a female cardinal. She can’t seem to find her mate and she’s very worried. Instinctively I glanced down towards the direction she’s calling just in time to see something bright red drop from a twig in the underbrush. My heart sinks because the river is up and the male has fallen close to the edge. But I can’t see where he landed. The female is really freaking out now and I began to look for a way down. It’s a myth that if you touch a bird that it’s mate will reject it. There was one other time about fifteen years ago when I scooped up a stunned make cardinal out of the street and sat it gently in a safer place. As soon as I stepped away his mate flew too his side until he felt like flying home. I saw them together many times afterwards. I began to head in the direction of the place where this one fell but after just a few steps he burst forth into the sky like a rocket and rejoined his forever beloved. When he appeared the female’s calls seemed to change from panic to cheering. As they sheltered together under the overhang of a roof it occurred to me that sometimes all you need to be strong is someone who believes in you. Once assured that all was well with the cardinals I returned to shot. The old trestle bridge stood there unshaken by old man winter’s morning tantrum. Perhaps it too merely needs someone to believe in its strength in order to stand against the storm.

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A Matter Of Perspective

The Kanawha River is often turbulent in this spot. There’s days when it climbs up out of it’s banks and threatens to wash away everything and we would be powerless to stop it. But every other day it’s calm and peaceful. Most days it’s a great place to sit down and enjoy life. You can fish or if you’re observant you might spot a bald eagle or an Osprey in this spot. In the Spring violets dot the landscape with blues, purples, reds and yellows. The songbirds are abundant here as well. As I look towards the distant shore beyond the falls it’s hard to think about the raging waters that have been here and will come again. It would be easy to look at the little park at Kanawha Falls (or any other body of water) and live in fear of the next stormy day and the rage of nature but then we would miss the beauty on the good days. Life is all about perspectives. We can focus on the good times or the hard times. Both are going to be present. But if we are focused only on the hard times will miss out on beautiful times in between the storms.

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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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 theWelcome Page

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Distant Shore” and is available for purchase by usingthe Contact Form on my website. ( just click on the the bell below)

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Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

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Letting Your Light Show

We all have that person in our lives who seems to light up the room. They never really seen to have a bad day. We tend to think that these people are impervious to life’s problems. Or in some cases you might think that they just don’t really understand how troubling things are. If you think that a positive outlook on life is effortless for that person… well, you’re probably wrong. Even if they don’t know it that person has more than likely spent years if not decades training their mind to react in a positive way. In the martial arts stories are told about the Zen Archers who are required to draw an empty bow thousands of times before they’re given an arrow to nock. This is because the repetition actually strengthens the neural pathways. When they are finally given an arrow the shot is perfect. The same thing goes for our emotional nervous system. If we practice a positive outlook over and over again it will strengthen that response in our neural pathways. Eventually the reflex will strengthen to point that it’s the natural response and you will be that person who’s inner light is undeniable.

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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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 theWelcome Page

Visit My Website

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Tree Of Light” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using theContact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

Changing The Pattern

The cool air blows through mountains. Changing leaves are shaken loose carried to river. They float like tiny rafts racing to the sea. Soon the last leaf will fall and the forest will sleep through the winter. As I look at the single leaf caught in the eddy of the mighty Kanawha River I have to contemplate how it’s all connected. Not a single leaf drops from the forest without God’s knowledge. No life is insignificant. As I continue to watch the circling leaf I see that the pattern repeats and the leaf returns to same spot where it almost breaks free and the current draws it back upstream. What is needed to free the leaf is a disruption. As a child playing near water I learned that if I could make a big enough splash by tossing a rock into the eddy I could disrupt the pattern and free the leaf to continue it’s journey.

As humans, we are creatures of habit. We are trying to get just a little further in our journey down the river of time but we get caught up in life’s eddies. We get to point where we almost break free and the current draws us back towards the past. We need a disruption to break us free. There have been times in my life when I felt like God was tossing rocks into my nice smooth eddy. I was content to ride that eddy until it eventually pulled me under. The loss of a job, a wrecked vehicle or some other personal disaster abruptly changed the pattern. As I look back on my life I realize that these events were not attacks but instead they were opportunities to advance. Sure it’s unsettling to have your nice comfortable pattern shattered and you have to struggle to get above water again but you have to trust that God knows what he’s doing and look for new current that will take you to the next leg of life’s journey.

As we began to enter into the dark days of winter I know that there will be people who struggle emotionally. Life doesn’t seem to be vibrant and joyful. Let me suggest that you might just be craving a change in the pattern. Try something new. Take an alternate route to work. Or, in some cases find a new job altogether. (Be responsible and make sure that it’s not negative impact overall). Go visit an old friend or make a new one. Whatever you choose do something that breaks the routine. Remember that no life is insignificant and even though you may not understand what’s happening that you matter to God.

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. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of my Welcome Page. I would also like to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled ” Sycamore Leaf On A Small Journey ” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

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Keeping A Positive Thought.

Most of us are familiar with The Little Engine That Could. However, it occurs to me that some of my international friends may not have been told the story as a child so here is a summery.

The little train engine was loaded heavy and faced a long stretch of tracks up a steep mountain. The climb was hard but he kept repeating “I think I can. I think I can.” Over and over until he was over the top. It’s a preschool classic tale about the power of positive thinking. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that the Heart’s thoughts forms us into what we are as a person. In other words, how we identify ourselves determines how we behave. Do we see ourselves as the happy one? The fun one? The smart one? Maybe we see ourselves as the one who has a good heart but is always being taken advantage of. Whatever it is it’s that self identity that influences what we will do in any given situation. Even if the choice is being made subconsciously we are still making a choice. What forms that self identity can be pretty complicated but as I understand it we get a lot of this from the opinions of others. I once witnessed one of the cruelest pranks known to mankind when working in a prefab housing factory. The short version is that multiple people who was in on the prank simply asked this person if he was feeling okay. No suggestion of what might have caused the question was to be made. After several inquiries the otherwise healthy young man left early claiming he felt ill. The opinions of the group had so much influence on his opinion of himself that he manifested symptoms of illness. The next day he was told by several people that he looked well and that his recovery was amazing and he had one the most productive days ever! It was all done by manipulating his opinion of himself. And that brings me back to The Little Engine That Could. By repeating to himself that positive thought over and over he brought out the best that was inside himself and overcame the obstacle before him.

I try to keep these two stories in mind when I’m feeling down. One of them I learned as a child and the other I witnessed first hand. The lesson I learned was that positive thoughts can improve my quality of life. Also, with the rise of social media we’re more likely to encounter people like the coworkers who made a person sick simply with the power of suggestion. Keep that in mind when listening to the negative opinions yourself and others that might be floating around out there and never hesitant to give a kind word to someone who might need it to get through the day.

Contrasts In Harmony

This one is the reflection of a cloud on Summersville Lake. I snapped the photo on a whim and it’s one of the first photos I ever took with a quality camera. What I like the most about this particular image is contrast in harmony. The cloud is a symbolic representation of the element of air floating on water. In order to get the image I had to point my lens away from the sky. The photo shows two forms of water in the same place at the same time. The cool blue-green color of the lake belies the near tropical weather we had the day I took the photo.

Nature loves balance. We tend to think of world in terms positive and negative depending on how something impacts our lives. Sometimes I like to think of these situations more in terms of ebb and flow. A balanced life will experience both sides of the equation. The old adage is that “in every life a little rain must fall.” I assure you that Summerville Lake is drained every year and that without a lot of rain there would be no peaceful days floating on that beautiful blue-green water. This is the simple concept that pulls me though the tough times. There will be a wonderful calm after the storm. Balance will eventually bring the nice things back around in my direction.

Course Corrections

A few days ago I wrote about The Unknown Destiny. I indicated that God has a plan for our lives. But that doesn’t mean that I’m a fatalist. I do believe that God gave us the gift and the right of free will. (Which he will not violate but that’s a topic for another day. ) As beings of free will we have a great potential. . . to make mistakes. Now, there’s an endless list of errors and pitfalls that we can examine. They can all be broken down into two groups.

1. Mistakes made due to bad information or a lack of knowledge.

2. Mistakes made due to a failure to accept good information or gaining knowledge.

On my day job I often joke that erroneous was the ancient god of blunders and that any mistake on my paperwork was due to his mischief. But ultimately we all must take responsibility for our own actions.

So if mistakes can be lumped into two main categories then what about resolutions?

I say there’s two types resolutions as well.

1. Immediate & 2. Delayed.

The advantage of the immediate resolution should be obvious. The sooner an error is uncovered the less energy it takes to correct the problem.

The results of the delayed resolution then would mean expending more time and energy to bring things back into balance. But, there’s a compound problem with the delayed resolution. Human nature is , well…lazy. Because of our limited energy we tend to not want to accept a mistake that takes great effort to resolve. We ignore the problem. We misplace blame. We will do anything it takes to avoid expending the energy it takes to break down the error and start over. The whole time these errors gain more energy and momentum and become harder to resolve.

What does that have to with my photo above? Let’s take a second look at it.

It looks as though the road leads to the mountain and the sunbeam in the background. That’s because I created the illusion that it does with forced perspectives. In reality, the road curves off to the right and makes a circle back to place where I am standing with my camera. If we assumed we could follow the road and reach the mountain we would make a bad choice based on a lack of knowledge. But, if we follow the road and refused to accept truth when we reach the curve we would go around in circles until we give up on our goal or collapse from exhaustion. The sooner we accept the need for a course correction the easier it is to get to our goal.