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It seems a bit of an oxymoron have to work so hard at taking it easy, but I am having to do just that. Trying to find those thermals to drift upon. That downhill part of the hike, but any hiker will tell you the downhill portions are the killers.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie

Don’t get me started on the search for the gift, that can be a real uphill hike.

Peace out….monos en theos ††† jasL

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #722 – HELTER SKELTER!

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It amazes me how quick our vision of what is going on can all change so quick. A couple of days ago I was on top of the world. Everything seemed crystal clear. Then I awoke with what felt like a plugged up ear. I have this constant high pitched ringing that sounds like a huge industrial fan sitting on my right shoulder. My equalibrium has been thrown out of whack and I have a hard time keeping my balance and have actually fallen a couple of times.

While my vision is as good as it ever gets, I feel very much like this image taken from my chair in the living room.

Trying to get back to center! en theos monos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #641 – HARD BOILED I HOPE?

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I haven’t a clue what the meaning behind this image is. I had this old wrench of my granddads’, a rusty metal sheet that I love to use as a background. And then there is the egg. I wish I had some artsy fartsy lingo to explain away my madness, but I don’t. That is where I fail as an artist, or maybe not. So enjoy it if you like it, otherwise fix yourself some egg salad.

cheers from a goof ball………nada da turbe…jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #564 – How much beauty can you find in His reflection of beauty?

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Who else could place such beauty amongst a field of dead grass.

Who is the author of your story? How did you get here? Do you see the world as nothing more than one big coincidence after another? Did the oceans just tell themselves they could go only so far? Did the sun just appear out of nowhere? What about all the billions of stars in the galaxies or the intricate design of a human life? Is there an answer for all these questions?  Matthew West – The Full Story of Your Life

The Great Stumbling Block of the Creative Mind

“The great stumbling block of the creative mind is the awareness of self from the perspective of others. Self awareness isn’t the enemy, because we are in fact masterworks of God, but rather the overemphasis regarding what others think of us. When we think too much about the opinions of others, we are letting them edit a book God has written.

In his introduction to C.S. Lewis’ sermon The Weight of Glory, Walter Hooper says Lewis was not capable of writing a great work until he converted to Christianity, not because only Christians create great work (obviously) but because his conversion marked an inner change in which he ceased to take much interest in himself.

In an age in which we can project an image and score that image based on immediate Facebook and Twitter feedback, thus making a video game of life and a false-reality composed of lies, what gets lost is a joyful obsession with the work we create from the purest of motives, a sheer joy in the act of creation itself that causes us to lose ourselves in something else, and in a way die to ourselves over the absolute love of a thing we are breathing into life.” Donald Miller – Storyline

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”   Ephesians 2:10 

So who are you allowing to sit in the seat of judgement over your work today? ††† en theos ††† jimwork

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #558 – From the beauty to the beast.

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Well on closer inspection of the intricacies and details it is kind of hard to call this guy a beast. We found this 6 inch diameter creature on our evening walk and just had to bring him to put him under some lights for a proper portrait. I usually see them sort of ambling along, which he was doing until I went to catch him. It could be a close race between the tarantula and the horny toad. They both do the same “serpentine Shell serpentine” type move looking for cover.

I love the tiny eyes and the red highlights to the hairs. In the close up he looks to have 10 legs, but are in reality the two chelicerae. The chelicerae contain the venom glands that vent through the fangs. The fangs are hollow extensions of the chelicerae that inject venom into prey or animals that the tarantula bites in defense, and they are also used to masticate. These fangs are articulated so that they can extend downward and outward in preparation to bite or can fold back toward the chelicerae as a pocket knife blade folds back into its handle. The chelicerae of a tarantula completely contain the venom glands and the muscles that surround them, and can cause the venom to be forcefully injected into prey.

He never moved into a defensive position and we got him home safety. No animal was harmed in the production of this blog and he was returned to the wild to run free

Now, for more than we all really need to know about the Tarantula:

Adaptations

Tarantulas are very sensitive to vibrations in the ground that may indicate the presence of prey or danger. They are equipped with urticating hairs on their abdomen which can be released by kicking with the back legs; these hairs irritate the nose and eyes of would-be attackers.

Habitat

Tarantulas live in dry, well-drained soils in open areas throughout the desert and grassland areas. All North American tarantulas are ground-dwellers although some other species live in trees, cliffs, caves, or in crops like bananas and pineapples.

Range

Tarantulas occur worldwide. Those in North America occur in the southern and southwestern states, with many other species occurring to the south throughout Mexico, Central and South America.

Wild Status

Some tarantula species are endangered because of habitat destruction and over-collection for the pet trade. Our local species is common and is not currently threatened.

Diet

Tarantulas are nocturnal hunters. They feed primarily on insects like grasshoppers, beetles, other small spiders and arthropods, and will sometimes eat small lizards. They will attempt to overcome anything of the right size that moves in their range. Most tarantulas have weak venom.

Predators

Predators of tarantulas include lizards, snakes, spider-eating birds, coyotes and foxes.

Home

The desert tarantula lives in a deep burrow which is lined with silk webbing to prevent its caving in. The hole is enlarged as the spider grows. If suitable soil is not available an occasional individual may hide in cracks or logs.

Life Span

Male tarantulas live 10 to 12 years. Females can live twice as long.

Size

In the Sonoran Desert, tarantulas grow to a length of 3 to 4 inches (70-100 mm).

Extra Fun-facts

  • The Tarantula Hawk, a large spider wasp, searches out tarantulas and attempts to sting them. If successful, the sting paralyzes the spider. The wasp will then lay an egg on it, and seals it up in a burrow. The paralyzed spider provides “fresh meat” for the wasp grub to eat after it hatches from the egg.
  • Most spiders have no teeth with which to chew their food, so they rely on their venom to liquefy their prey. They then use their sucking stomachs to draw in or ‘suck” up the meal.

You may encounter something today that holds a fear or a doubt, look it in the eye and find the beauty that rest in all of God’s creations. ††† en theos ††† jim