Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #863-Southern march of the Monarchs

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One of the ruminating rituals of fall is when catching a flash of orange and black of the Southern flight of  monarch. Seeing their serpentining flitter of their constant three steps forward and two steps back journey south.

I seem to be a little east of the main concourse and really only get to see two or three a day on the migratory route. I can remember a time as a child in Odessa TX when we were in the midsts of the main stream of the flight. Monarchs roosted on most every bush and the blaze of color truly had an impact on my wayward mind. Literally thousands of the beautiful creatures gathering in mass surely for no other reason than my delight.

I was not a library kind of kiddo, but I was off to the row off big books for information. I wanting to know where they were going and why. I stared with the wow factor of an image of a man standing high in the Sierra Madres. His arms out stretched and his body entirely engulfed with butterflies. He looking to be a mummy encased in Monarch butterflies. I longed to be in that place. I have always been plagued with the curse of wanting more and thousand of butterflies on a bush in my back yard now seemed small potatoes.

Now as age has calmed just a tad of the always wanting more. I am fully content to have the pleasure of seeing just one winging his way South against the prevailing winds. It is a small gift of bewilderment that I get to catch a photo as they refuel for flight.

Yet, I still long the stand on that Mexico mountain shrouded in such a glorious gift.

monos en theos…†…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #834 – Just plain & outstanding!

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We passed this pretty little creature on our morning walk. I was  blessed to have my macro kit on and he was a great poser. Just cost me a few grass burrs in my socks. A small price to pay for a little urban adventure!…†…monos en theos…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #825 – OPEN YOUR EYES!

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Do you ever think that God made some things harder to see for a reason?

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”…Yogi Berra

“My eyes make pictures when they are shut”.. Confucius

Ah, from Yogi to Confucius, now there’s a leap.

Open yours eyes!…monos en theos…†…jim


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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