IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #677 – & The frost is on the punkin errrr cacti!

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When the frost is on the punkin’ cacti, okay, I didn’t have any punkins, fodder or kyouck to work with.

When the Frost is on the Punkin


When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock….

Go with what comes along † en theos ††jim

IMAGES OF SMALL – THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #656 – Cholla at dusk with moon on the rise



Cholla are native to northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

Cholla are known for their barbed spines that tenaciously attach to skin, fur, and clothing.

Stands of cholla are called ‘chollas gardens’ or ‘cholla forests’. Individuals within these colonies often exhibit the same DNA as they were formerly tubercles of an original plant.

Don’t confuse Cholla with Chola….but either one will stick ya! ††† en theos ††† jim


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Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.  – Voltaire

Sometimes it a thorn that sticks in our heart and other times it is a thorn from our heart that does the most damage.

 “Work diligently the soil while you may. Break up your fallow with the plough. Cast away the stones from your field, and dig out the thorns. Be unwilling to have a ‘hard heart’…St. Augustine

Receive thorns with forgiveness, and try to not allow them to grow from your heart. ††† en theos ††† jimwork


Photos on the journey #497 – Prickly Pear-The beauty side that sticks with you not in you.

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Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus (see below), is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae.

Currently, only prickly pears are included in this genus of about 200 species distributed throughout most of the Americas. Chollas are now separated into the genus Cylindropuntia, which some still consider a subgenus of OpuntiaAustrocylindropuntiaCorynopuntia and Micropuntia are also often included in the present genus, but like Cylindropuntia they seem rather well distinct. Brasiliopuntia andMiqueliopuntia are closer relatives of Opuntia.

The most commonly culinary species is the Indian Fig Opuntia (O. ficusindica). Most culinary uses of the term “prickly pear” refer to this species. Prickly pears are also known as “tuna”, “nopal” or nopales, from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus.

The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew which could be propagated by rooting its leaves.

Enjoy the beauty and avoid the thorns today, it might just stick to ya! ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photos on the journey #481-Horse Crippler, Devil’s Head, Candy Cactus, Devil’s Pincushion, Manacaballo, Monco Caballo, Viznaga

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A cactus of many names, most of them negative sounding. But it produces a fruit that is attractive to deer, rabbits, and other small rodents. My dogs always go a little crazy trying to follow all the scent trails that lead from these lovely low-lying beauties.

The horse crippler cactus is broader than it is long. Normally it is 1–2 inches above the ground and up to 12 inches across. It is difficult to see, and many horses have been crippled from stepping on it. It usually has only 1 stem, occasionally 2 or 3. If injured at the tip, it may produce a cluster of small heads on top of the old one. The surface of the plant is dark green. It has about 14 spines at each areole, with a central spine that is longer and stronger than the others, 2– 3 inches long and straight to slightly-curved downward. The inverted bell-shaped flowers are 1– 2 3/4 inches across and about as tall. The outer petals are salmon-red, the inner ones salmon-pink with streaks of red. The edge of the petals has a feathery appearance. Anthers are pinkish to red, and the pistil is yellow to pink. The flower is somewhat fragrant.

Watch where you step! Peace@U ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photos on the journey #389


We spent the last six days camping in our trailer at Seminole State Park, TX.

We had cloudy, cold, windy and rainy days, but all in all it was a great trip. We grabbed a little sunshine and managed to hike a total of 20 miles over 3 of the days that we were given.

Live is about taking what you get, not always about what you want…….en theos……….j lawrence

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #269

Well, after 2-3 days of rains, our sun reappeared and at last we were able to get back out on our walks. The dogs were very happy with male dog Clovis proudly splashing through every standing puddle that sweet female Grace would disdain, avoid and give Clovis the disgusting look that only a girl can give.

After almost a year long drought, I expected the desert to just miraculously repair itself and to come into full bloom. Good things never seem to happen as quickly as you want. The already prolific hardy weeds were blooming in abundance, but the only out of the ordinary plant we found was this small beaver tail prickly pear cactus with one swirling scarlet bloom.

Allow things the time needed to repair on your journey†††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #258

The prickly pear cactus is in full bloom in our desert. This hardy plant fends well in hard and good times. How  an otherwise troublesome plant produces such a bloom of beauty will remain a mystery and an unexplained gift from God.

I did not realize it is a true native American plant and that it has been a pain underfoot and it’s paradoxical nature was noticed long before.

No sod, no sign, no cross nor stone,
But at his side a cactus green
Upheld its lances long and keen;
It stood in sacred sands alone,
Flat-palmed and fierce with lifted spears;
One bloom of crimson crowned its head,
A drop of blood, so bright, so red,
Yet redolent as roses’ tears.

— From “At the Grave of Walker”
by Joaquin Miller (1837?-1913)

Prosaic Prickly Pear

bew poets have yet been inspired by a cactus. Not that one or two haven’t tried, such as the eccentric American “Poet of the Sierras,” Joaquin Miller. Walt Whitman gave the plant a brief nostalgic nod in his reflective “Longings for Home,” from Leaves of Grass. But Joyce Kilmer never claimed to have seen a poem as lovely as a pricklypear. The ancient bards didn’t even have a chance at it, for all members of the large family of plants now known as Cactaceæ (kak-TAY-see-eye) are native strictly to the Americas, and had never been seen in any other part of the world until Columbus returned to Portugal with some samples after his second voyage to the West Indies. Soon thereafter, explorers and other travelers began to nurse more specimens of the prickley curiosity across the Atlantic to Euro-pean gardeners who had the patience to learn how to keep them alive in a cooler and wetter climate.

Nature’s Prickly Paradox

although Meriwether Lewis had nothing good to say about either the mosquito or the eye-gnat, he cheerfully recognized one of nature’s supreme paradoxes: the delicate flower that is all the more pleasing to behold because of its incongruous berth amid the defensive armament of a cactus. For Lewis it was a symbolic juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, of delight and repulsion. “The prickly pear is now in full blume,” he wrote on a mild early-summer day in 1805, “and forms one of the beauties as well as the greatest pests of the plains.”

Otherwise, the nearly three dozen journal references to prickly pear consist mainly of complaints, now and then providing some insights into the measure of the plant’s pest-factor. Lewis, while making his first reconnaissance up Maria’s River on 4 June 1805, found the prickly pears “so numerous that it required one half of the traveler’s attention to avoid them.” Above the big Gates of the Mountains on 18 July of that year, Sgt. Ordway observed that “the prickley pears are So thick we scarsely could find room to camp without being on them.” While proceeding overland west of the Missouri in a premature hope of meeting some Shoshone Indians, Clark complained that besides the “musqutors” being “verry troublsom,” his feet were “constantly Stuck full Prickley pear thorns” despite having double-soled his moccasins. That night by the light of his campfire he pulled out 17 of those “bryers.” which prompted Lewis to try another expedient: “I have guarded or reather fortifyed my feet against them by soaling my mockersons with the hide of the buffaloe in parchment.”

Enjoy the paradoxes that God presents on your journey†††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #156

So shoot me. I am bored and experimenting with my stuff and saw this easy Photoshop recipe that puts on an effect of twisting, twirling and inter-twining of colors and shapes. This image was of a desert cactus bloom.

I have to admit, I have never been a purest, even back in analog days, I carried a slew of filters that I used as tools.  I look at Photoshop the same way. It gives me a bunch of filters that I don’t have to carry with me into the field.

I would never  self proclaim any of my work as art. I am a paradox I guess. I am old school enough as I think of an artist as someone from a calling of painting, drawing and even writing. Photography has always been fun for me, and the digital age has done nothing if not returning the fun of photography to me.

Here is a link to how to create this effect:

For His sake (and yours) have fun on your journey††nada te turbe†††† jim