Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #769 – ODE TO A TOAD


Ode To A Toad

“Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad
He has bumpy skin that looks like a gravel road
When he puffs his cheeks out he looks like he’ll explode
Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad

Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad
A little mound of mud is his humble abode
With his sticky tongue he can catch bugs by the load
Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad

Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad
Though he’s always wet he never will corrode
Be sure to drive around him if he’s hopping down the road
Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad

Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad
As a tadpole he lived where the river flowed
His funny tail vanished as his legs were growed
Here’s an ode here’s an ode to a toad”       Jason Ringenberg


I found this little fellow in my backyard last night as I was moving some old boards. At last a subject that moves about the same speed as me. He sat so pretty and posed so nicely – warts and all. Oh that we could do the same.   monos en theos…†…jim


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There was a bevy of moths and butterflies around the yard yesterday. We had three of these hummingbird moths show up to feed on our lantana. They are a real challenge to photograph, as they are fast and they never hover in one place for too long.

I spent a peaceful two -three hours (how long is that in sphinx moth years?) capturing and watching them dart in fluid motion that certainly rivals the movement of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds at least perch for a breather every now and then. These guys appear to be in perpetual motion and you gotta love the pink and brown coloring –  two of my wife Susan’s favorite color combos.

“Sphinx Moth larvae change underground into adult moths, who then dig their way to the surface. Mating occurs shortly thereafter, with females laying as many as 1,000 eggs on the underside of food plants. Eggs hatch within a few days. In the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, there may be 2 broods, one in the Spring and another in the Summer. In the colder Great Basin Desert, only one brood is produced. Males and females die after they have completed their roles in the reproductive process.

Sphinx Moths emerge at dusk from their hiding places and begin feeding on the nectar of flowers. Their size, combined with their rapid wing beats, allows them to hover and feed in the manner of hummingbirds, for which they are sometimes mistaken.

This manner of flight requires a great deal of energy and creates a good deal of heat in the moth’s body. For these reasons, moths feed exclusively on nectar and seek flowers which produce large amounts of this water source which also contain high amounts of sugar. Such is the case with the Evening Primrose (Onagraceae) Family, and particularly the Dune Evening Primrose, which the White-lined Sphinx Moth is responsible for pollinating.”— A.R. Royo

Lay down your labors for the the day, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matt 11:30 ††† en theos †††jimwork

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #525 – Another woodsy moth looking like a mammoth in the desert.

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We were just finishing up our morning walk and were greeted at our back gate by our neighbor Priscilla. She excitedly told me of this huge and beautiful moth she had found in her backyard.

I grabbed my Nikon and headed on over. I was not disappointed. This creature was the size of my hand and was finished off on the front in with these massive feather like antenna and complete with a bright red touch on the rear of his upper wing.

He was filling the bottom of an ice tea pitcher. I turned and gently moved him about to make some images of his detailed features.

Priscilla enjoyed him for the day and phoned at sunset to let us know she was releasing him. It gave me a warm feeling thinking of him being free. Slowly, more and more I move to become the bug guy.

“Life is a frail moth flying Caught in the web of the years that pass.”- Sara Teasdale

enjoy your freedom ††† en theos ††† jim

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #524 – You like your leaf-hoppers in green or brown ?

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“When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the grasshopper’s–he takes the lead In summer luxury–he has never done With his delights, for when tired out with fun, He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.” John Keats

I just really never really took the time to appreciate the lowly grasshopper. They are intricate, interesting and a feast for the eyes. ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #518 – Lovely palm sized wood textured moth!



It the midst of a hot afternoon, I donned my macro gear and went to search my yard. I could find little and assumed the insects were holed up as I had been. At the almost giving up point, I found this woody looking moth holed up behind a planter. I slowly moved the planter to give me an area to work. He seemed a little dazed by the heat and laid there still frozen by the heat. His wingspan  was 3 – 3 1/2 inches and his body was just about the size of my pinky finger.

He stayed stationary while I focused on him from various angles. He remained there most of the afternoon and when I checked at bedtime, he had gone to chase his flame.

“Between our birth and death we may touch understanding, As a moth brushes a window with its wing” Christopher Fry- English writer 1907 -2005

Rest until you are drawn to your flame! ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #516 – Beauty within Beauty

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The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.  ~Auguste Rodin

Ah, to find the beauty within, something we all search for! ††† en theos ††† jim work

Photos on the journey #499-Extremely Small Brown Butterfly Struts It’s Stuff

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I went out in the heat of the day determined to find something to capture. It always amazes me what you can find if you take the time to still and truly see.

This good looking fellow was very cooperative. He sat on the same small dime sized bloom and allowed me to lay on my belly along side him as he did a slow 360 pose off for me. All the while I was working with my 60mm macro with a PK-13 extension tube. I was about 3-4″ from him with two flashes and he just sat there. I love the silver metallic looking spots!

Take time to find what is around you. ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #100

It is not so much that I don’t like the weather, the temp is very nice. But, I do dislike the drabness and brown of winter. Just a few weeks ago I felt surrounded by life and now I have to fight the urge to go into hibernation. I know it’s part of the cycle buts Bears might have the right idea……..enjoy†††nada te turbe†††jim

California Dreamin’
Written by John and Michelle Phillips, © 1966
All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin’
On such a winter’s day

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #81

Okay, so I am always looking for those great looking highly colored butterflies. God keeps giving me these little, seemingly bland and boring looking specimens. I finally got it today when I looked at this guy. Sometimes you find what your looking for in things (& people) that at first seem to not have much to offer. Heck even the scraggly weed he was sitting on looks like a piece of finely finished wood. It is such a wonderful opportunity for us to stop and see what we have right in front of us and see the beauty in the common things and places…..enjoy…nada te turbe…..jim†