DSC_6956 copy copyUnlike most butterflies, gray hairstreaks do not prefer one specific habitat. They are widespread in tropical forests and open, temperate woodland areas. They can also be found in meadows, crop fields, neglected roadsides, and residential parks and yards are often homes of this fascinating butterfly.

Gray hairstreaks can be found in Southern Canada to Central America and Northwestern South America. They occur from coast to coast and in a variety of altitudes ranging from sea level to nine thousand feet

Not to mention they are skittery and fast. Glad to find a butterfly to match my persona. Well not that I am ever any longer thought of as fast, skittery, yes. A wild hair for sure.       monos en theos †† jas L

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So part two of the Metamorphosis thing. The whole process just takes my mind to places I cannot quite put into place. I am sure the caterpillar has less of a thought process than me. But I got to figure when he goes into the cocoon thing, he has to figure this it it, I’m one dead bug. And then after a few days, weeks months whatever it takes, he awakes and emerges a whole new and different creature.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
― Helen Keller

Enjoy both the closed and newly opened doors!   monos en theos †††† jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #900 – The eyes have it

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This cooperative  little beauty sat (do butterflies really sit?) and posed away for me a good fifteen minutes. I was allowed the time to get close and play with my lighting. He was busy preening himself as if trying to make sure to be groomed and presenting his best side.

May we all look so good! monos en theos †† jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #892 – Straight on, Head first, Right on!

DSC_6493 I am always reading about and wanting to see things in a different way. Yet, like most photographers I expect to  see the open wings of a butterfly. I often find myself waiting on a butterfly, thinking, “I wish he would open his wings.” Heck, the butterfly is sitting there almost yelling at me “hey, I got a face too you know!” So in the interest of trying to see things as they come to me, and to not judge by how I want things to be, here is the face side of the afore posted butterfly. Introduce yourself properly and enjoy the view you are presented. Find something nice to say, like “my what a nice shade of purple your eyes are!” monos en theos †††† james L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #891 – A Restful Glow

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It is most alway fruitful when I decide to take a mindful stroll around my small grounds. On a casual glance, I will not see. When I don my macro kit and keep my eyes open it almost always becomes a seek and you shall find proposition.

With the oppressive heat, it is not until around 8:00 pm before the temp drops to a tolerable level. I spied this wonder about a foot higher than eye level. It became obvious that he was at rest for the night. He sat in the same place waiting imperturbably while I found something to elevate myself to his level. I was able to hold one of my lights back behind him to send light through his wings. It gave the heavenly glow to the photo that I felt in my heart.

monos en theos ††† james

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #864- Green Headed Skipper

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

A skipper or skipper butterfly is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. They are named after their quick, darting flight habits. More than 3500 species of skippers are recognized, and they occur worldwide, but with the greatest diversity in the Neotropical regions of Central and South America.

Skippers have the antennae clubs hooked backward like a crochet hook, while the typical butterflies have club-like tips to their antennae, and moth-butterflies have feathered or pectinate (comb-shaped) antennae similar to “moths”. Skippers also have generally stockier bodies and larger compound eyes than the other two groups, with stronger wing muscles in the plump thorax, in this resembling many “moths” more than the other two butterfly lineages do. But unlike, for example, the Arctiidae, their wings are usually small in proportion to their bodies. Some have larger wings, but only rarely as large in proportion to the body as in other butterflies. When at rest, skippers keep their wings usually angled upwards or spread out, and only rarely fold them up completely.

enjoy the beauty in the little things!…†…monos en theos…jim

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