IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #696 – OKAY, I’M READY FOR SPRING.

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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

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #561 – The bedraggled & pretty share the bounty

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We planted some new butterfly bushes to give us another area to attract some of the lovelies.  I had hardly put the shovel away and these two kindred spirits were sharing the nectar of the new additions. Albeit the passion butterfly was a bit more road weary than the monarch.

But hey, share your flower with one who needs it more than you. ††† en theos ††† jimwork

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #559 – The passion butterfly or Gulf Fritillary

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At first I thought that it was appropriate and even a little fetching that this gorgeous specimen should be called a “passion butterfly”. But after thinking about it, either all butterflies could have this moniker, or it is a misuse of the word passion.  Unless I am missing something, this a the common error we all make, that of confusing beauty with passion.

Passion (from the Latin verb patī meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.

The sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death

The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject. It is particularly used in the context of romance or sexual desire though it generally implies a deeper or more encompassing emotion than that implied by the term lust.

All that being said, I was indeed passionate about trying to record this good looking butterfly. I was passionate in my quest and was rewarded with the last image of these which shows it just taking flight after taking of nectar from our lantana.
Find  passion with your heart, not in your eyes. ††† en theos ††† jimwork

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #555 – A cellophane winged moth hidden amongst the dry bones.

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I was searching my way through our bed of lantana hoping to find my big praying mantis. Not that I need to add to my collection of images of him, he is just so darn interesting to watch. I could see  evidence of his having been around. At the floor of the lantana there were such a pile of various little wings and bug parts that I felt just a bit like Ezekiel in the valley  of dry bones.

Amongst the carnage, clinging to the underside of a leaf, I spied the smallest of a pair of ball like eyes. This was such a small specimen with a 1/2 to 3/4 inch wingspan. He was hunkered so deep in the plant that he was difficult to get at.  I set a couple of small flash units to light him, and eased my way down to within 3-4 inches the staring eyes. The flashes caused him to stir and move just enough as to show his top side.

He had the appearance  of having been constructed of cellophane. Semi transparent with an assemblage of supporting veins. I crawled and wrangled as to afford a decent full view of it’s beauty. I lay there in this twisted upside down position for as long as my own dry bones would allow. I sit early this morning on an ice bag trying to numb the life back into my hips.

But it was certainly worth the view and to experience and ponder more of the true unexplained purpose and cause of such beauty.

Watch for a little glimpse of the beauty that lies in wait all around you. ††† en theos ††† jimwork

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #528 – Ode to a surviving skipper

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I figured that being as the little skippers had led me to a couple of encounters with their demise and the opportunity to capture their end. I had one gone to a spider and most recently another to a praying mantis. I owed a photo of an alive and well one. Albeit not the most moving of images it was what I was following when I was taken down other paths. You just never know where following the beauty of nature will take you.

“She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.” 
― Lisa Genova, Still Alice 

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #519 – Playing in the sprinkler with a Papilionidae, what fun!

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Yesterday morning before it got too hot, I did a quick mow of our little grass. With our heat the grass was looking in need of water. So, right before the dog walk, I put out the sprinkler. Almost instantly this healthy looking swallow tail showed up to gather some water. I enjoyed watching him. I savored and recorded the moment in my internal hard drive of golden moments and we left for our walk.

When we got back about forty five minutes later, the swallow-tail was still “playing” in the sprinkler and soaking up the water. I decided to join him. I went and got my Nikon D800 with  105mm macro and two flash rig. I cautiously approached and laid down on my stomach to crawl through the sprinklers spray, goatheads, muck and mud. I was blessed enough to creep within a few inches shy of him drinking and enjoying the moisture.

I got the additional treat of enjoying the cooling rotation of the sprinkler slowing soaking us both with each oscillation of spray. It was a heartwarming childlike thirty minute slice of  time. These moment come around not often enough for my aging soul.

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”  ~Rabindranath Tagore

Find yourself a half hour sized slice of life today, it is fleeting! ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #515 – Golden Moth on yellow lantana, hope you like yellow!

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“All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.” J R R TOLKIEN

It sure makes me feel good that I am not lost amongst all my wandering.

I love Tolkien, imagine the conversations that he and C S Lewis had. Talk about wanderers not lost!

Hope you find some gold today ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #507- A little green caterpillar eating his way and waiting on metamorphoses.

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I could not say this any better:

The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.”

― George Carlin

I can only imagine what it must feel like to wake up and be totally changed. Oh wait, I have that opportunity every morning!

Think about it! ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas – #506 –

DSC_6671 copyA DSC_6663 copyA DSC_6653 copyA I figured if I did spiders yesterday that I should follow with some beauty today. This most cooperative one I found roosting in a small mesquite bush. This is the same subject that is in my header. She hopped from one branch to another, but never moving more than a couple of inches, letting me get to within an inch or two. Never once did she take off in flight. What a fantastic moment of true mindfulness. “A power of Butterfly must be – The Aptitude to fly Meadows of Majesty concedes And easy Sweeps of Sky -” ― Emily Dickinson May you enjoy the smallest of a lovely vision today. It might be bigger than you first imagine ††† en theos †††† jim work

Photos on the journey #494 – A great resting place!

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It was a very restful day in our little burg, Alpine TX. We went to a late lunch at La Casita, an old establishment here, and before we got to our seats received 7 hugs from old friends that were there eating. It was just so nice to get to see friends that otherwise we wouldn’t have taken the time to go & see.

This big swallow-tail butterfly greeting us on our return. He feasted and entertained us until we retired for a siesta. Ah, the beauty of that small town life.

Peaceout ††† en theos ††† jlawrence