Posted on March 9, 2014
Yesterday we posted Locoweed in bloom and today we have a caterpillar working his way around and over a yet to bloom Ocotillo. He didn’t find much to feed on, but he fed my soul with the promise of a sure sign that warmer days are to come.
For sure only a face for mama to love, but would love to see it again after metamorphosis. en theos ††† jim
Posted on March 8, 2014
Locoweed, the common name of a number of different plants that poison sheep, cattle, and horses on the Great Plains. Some, such as the poison larkspur, are poisonous in themselves. Others are poisonous because they concentrate selenium that exists in the soil. Among these are the milk vetch and white locoweed. The poison affects the nervous system, causing an acute or chronic disorder called loco disease.
Loco is the Spanish word for “mad” or “insane.” The symptoms of loco disease include staggering, falling, defective vision, nausea, constipation, and loss of appetite. Affected animals may suddenly jump for no reason, or run into obstacles. The acute form may end fatally in three days. Animals suffering from the chronic form of the disease may waste away for weeks or even for months.
I think I first heard of locoweed from the old TV series Rawhide. Trail boss Gil Favor and ramrod Rowdy Yates (played by Clint Eastwood long before “Make my day” fame) encountered all kinds of pitfalls and challenges driving the herd from San Antonio TX to Sedalia MO.
Little did I know how common locoweed was and I could have inspected the mysterious plant right in my backyard of Odessa TX. I was probably more interested in having a “cool” name like Rowdy, Sheb or Wishbone instead of plain ole Jimmy.
Be aware of all that you have in your backyard. † en theos ††† jim
Posted on March 6, 2014
It was a very windy day in West Texas yesterday. That translates into DUST. We were driving from working in Monahans to Fort Stockton as the sun was setting. There was so much dust hanging in the atmosphere, that the sun could do little but turn into a red ball.
I had this vision of finding a pump jack just sitting alone, looking pretty and striking a mighty pose. But pump jacks and oil are not a clean and neat operation. I was first upset that I could not have what I wanted. I have a history of that. I do like to have gas and oil for my truck. So I allowed all the visual pollution of wires and poles and such to kind of work for me.
Dust, Pump Jacks and Sunset sounds like a song from “the boss”. I’ll take that….en theos ††† jim
Posted on March 2, 2014
I have been on this cycle of rising early. It has not been intentional, just one of those patterns that naturally occurs. It has been nice as the West TX sunrises have been so outstanding. Lots of colors and patterns put up by the Master.
While it is a quiet time, I am never alone. My dogs, Clovis & Grace are always ready to go no matter what time it is. I am also always greeted and joined in company by my cat Muffs. Muffs is the most social of the three strays that occupy our yard. Muffs was deposited as a newborn kitten by his wandering mom a few years ago. He always would take food but had a circle of defense that was about 10-12 feet. When Muffs was about 6 months old, I became determined to make friends with him. I sat on the ground for about 3 hours, tossing little morsels of chow to him. He always had this longing look that he wanted to be touched, but just needed some encouragement. Since that first reluctant behind the ear scratch, he now so enjoys my companionship. I savour his curiosity in my making of photos and I swear, he comes to pose for me.
Enjoy your furry friends and the sunrise. en theos ††† jim
Posted on March 1, 2014
One of the pleasures of having the opportunity to travel and work in the West Texas town of Monahans, is to get to explore the nooks and crannies of a small town. While wandering through the old part of downtown, which like most of small town America, has it’s share of deserted and abandoned buildings. Amongst the dust and tumbleweeds we had the pleasure of wandering into a traditional bookstore.
Through the Pages Bookstore (and candy shop) - www.throughthepages.com - was a real treasure to stumbleupon. At the expense of losing the wonderful feel of a bound book in my hands, I buy most of my books on my Kindle. Oh what we do give up for a little convenience. Entering through the glass door, I was greeted with the wonderful scent of old pages,ink, aging bindings and true words. Some people might notice the warm smells of the fudge, but give me the smell of a bookstore. It made me wish that Yankee Candle would offer an “Old Bookstore” flavored candle.
What pleasure to hold a physical book. The feeling grew when upon checking out, I was offered the pause of a person actually handwriting and recording the sale. More time for a linger and more warmth for the heart.
If you are driving down I-20 in the vastness of West TX. Pull off onto the “blue road” and find the treasures that await you.
Enjoy the things that you have given up. †† en theos ††† jim
Posted on February 27, 2014
We had a foggy drive to do a job yesterday. Then, while we didn’t have the West Texas wind for our two outside shoots, it was only 40 and brought a chill to my old Texas bones. I basked in the warm of the memory of this lovely Monarch taken in Big Bend last summer. Bring on the heat.
en theos ††† jim
Posted on February 26, 2014
“Trees have always fascinated me, They are so confident, so sure of their identity.Feet rooted strong in the ground of their birth, they don’t wander off to find out where they came from. Instead as they grow, their roots go farther into the ground where they are and branches reach up higher to God.” Emily P Freeman from a million little ways
The power of words from the observation of a simple tree. en theos ††† jim
Posted on February 25, 2014
I was up early yesterday morning. Well, early for me, it was before the sun came up. It was so peaceful wandering around my yard in the gloaming.
In the Gloaming
by Meta Orred
In the gloaming*, oh, my darling!
When the lights are dim and low,
And the quiet shadows falling,
Softly come and softly go;
When the winds are sobbing faintly
With a gentle unknown woe,
Will you think of me, and love me,
As you did once long ago?
In the gloaming, oh, my darling!
Think not bitterly of me!
Tho’ I passed away in silence
Left you lonely, set you free;
For my heart was crush’d with longing,
What had been could never be;
It was best to leave you thus, dear,
Best for you, and best for me.
*gloaming is the twilight that occurs at dusk and dawn; I’m reminded of Yeats’s line about “The blue and the dim and the dark cloths/Of night and light and the half-light”
The trick is to not be gloomy in the gloam….en theos ††† jim
Posted on February 24, 2014
We have been blessed with very spring like weather the last few days. It has been shorts and t-shirts the last few days. Hope the trees and plants are a little wiser than me and do not bud too soon. I can remember several Easters where we have had ice and snow.
enjoy it while you got it! en theos ††† jim
Posted on February 23, 2014
It is the annual Cowboy Poets Gathering here in Alpine and this seemed a fitting image. When we first arrived here a little over twenty years ago we attended and tried to enjoy all the local events.
But, I missed the cowboy gene and jeans. I am more a cargo pants kind of guy. I have never owned a horse. I have to admit I wouldn’t know how to saddle one if I had one.
Kind of embarrassing for a guy who grew up in West Tx (Odessa). As a youngster I always dressed like a cowboy, albeit never knowing why. We moved to Dallas when I was in the seventh grade, after one day at Bowie Jr Hi, I came home and announced to my mom that “we had to go shoppin’ “. Cowboy attire was just not for those that couldn’t defend why they dressed that way. My billy the kid & wrangler jeans and snap button cowboy yoked shirts all had to go to Goodwill.
As I friend here in Alpine fittingly told me ” I don’t dress like these people, I don’t look like people,and I don’t think like these people and I never read a Zane Grey novelle” That seemed fitting and I quit trying to be like these people. Hell, I even vote democrat, there I said it.
I do enjoy the views though. I even enjoy the mystic of the old West and try to capture it through the vision of my camera just not my clothes or trying to be something that I am not.
Enjoy who you are! en theos ††† jim