Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #895 –The cry of summer’s heat- The Cicada

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Ah yes, along with the oppressive heat comes the ear piercing cry of the cicada. More info than you probably want or need:

Although only males produce the cicadas’ distinctive sound, both sexes have tympana, membranous structures by which they detect sounds. They are the cicadas’ equivalent of ears. Males disable their own tympana while calling, thereby preventing damage to their hearing this is necessary partly because some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 dB (SPL), among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds. The song is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans should the cicada sing just outside the listener’s ear. In contrast, some small species have songs so high in pitch that the noise is inaudible to humans

To the human ear, it often is difficult to tell where a cicada song is coming from; the pitch is nearly constant, the song sounds continuous to the human ear, and cicadas sing in scattered groups. If a singing male becomes alarmed on the approach of a possible enemy, it softens its song so that the attention of the listener gets distracted to neighbouring louder singers, creating a confusing ventriloqual effect.

In addition to the mating song, many species have a distinct distress call, usually a broken and erratic sound that the insect emits when seized or panicked; at the same time it is likely to squirt waste liquid from the sap that it had been sucking, possibly distracting certain classes of attacker. Some species also have courtship songs, generally quieter, and produced after a female has been drawn by the calling song. Males also produce encounter calls, whether in courtship or to maintain personal space within choruses.

A pray for cool and quiet!  monos en theos†††jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #894 – A Rose of Sharon is a Rosasharn is a Rose of Sharyn!

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Rose of Sharon is a common name, a biblical name, that has been applied to several different species of flowering plants that are valued in different parts of the world. The name’s colloquial application has been used as an example of the lack of precision of common names, which can potentially cause confusion. “Rose of Sharon” has also become a frequently used catch phrase in lyrics and verse.

  • In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Rose of Sharon (often called “Rosasharn”) is a major character, the eldest daughter of the Joad family and the sister of the protagonist Tom Joad. In nature the Rose of Sharon was found to survive the adverse conditions of the Dust Bowl just like Steinbeck’s character.
  • The Rose of Sharon is referenced in the Killswitch Engage song “Rose of Sharyn” from their 2004 album The End of Heartache.

Things are what they are!  monos en theos ††††† jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #890 – Magenta Daisy

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“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

A lovely store-bought magenta daisy. I try to buy my wife a bouquet of flowers every Monday. It warms her heart, makes me feel like a man and it gives me a photo subject that always poses nicely in the cool of our home.

I applied an oil paint effect to this image. It is such fun to play in PS and pretend I can draw or paint. I can’t even draw a straight line, but who in the hell would want to anyway!

monos en theos †††† james L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #889 – Trying to find ways to work in the Heat

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The East Texas heat has been, well it has been oppressive to say the least. Nonetheless, it can drive one to feeling a lesser man when I pass road construction crews on the way to starbucks for an iced coffee, and I try not to complain of the repetious hammering of roofing crews disrupting the beat in my earphones. So I really busted my arse to do some photo work with some fresh flowers (in a vase, in the air conditioned house) to produce (play) with an image in photoshop. It was fun but my pleather recliner did make me sweat a tad, but at least I found a way to work in the heat. Maybe I should wear a tool belt for all my photoshop tools, they are so hard to find and carry about. Can a hard hat be far behind. One needs to be cautious of those stray falling petals. Life can be so hard…….monos en theos †† james

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #885 – The Heart is on the Vine !

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I am stuck on a leaf kick. But hey you work with what falls on your heart.

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”    Helen Keller

Wear your heart where it grows! Monos en theos †† james

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #883 – The simple pleasure of a leaf !

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“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”      Henry David Thoreau

I am still getting used to the color green that dominates our landscape. I have just been in Denison TX for a little over a year. In that span of one year we have darn near had as much rain as I saw in 20 years of  West Texas.
 It brightened my day when I found some leaves that sported a bit of a warmer color.
 It is pouring again today. My rain gauge shows 2″ so far. Somedays I do so miss the desert.
monos en theos † james

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #877 – Ah, Two steps forward three back

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And so it goes. I thought I was back to producing images. I was mentally ready, but the physical body, not so much. I was having a lot of pain just lifting a camera to my eye. So a trip to the rheumatologist for a cortisone injection. I have had them before and they always gave immediate relief, but this time, not a bit of relief. So off to an orthopaedic surgeon who found a large tear in my rotator cuff. Long story short, I now go in for surgery this Friday and will not be lifting my camera for six to eight weeks.

So, a time for reflection, reading and watching the grass grow. We will see ya when I am back in the saddle.

en theos ††† jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #875 – Iris in Bloom

 

150418jwflower©_6032Well I am back, at least partially. I finally got my Nikon back out. With all the rain, there is a bounty of blooms about.

The rain is a mixed blessing. I really did not totally think of the effects of moving to a damp area. It has reaped havoc on my arthritic joints.  I am still sore from crawling around after this bloom. Then I also had a little back surgery to remove a tennis ball and golf ball size growths (yes, benign)  from my spine. I don’t know why we alway use a sports ball as a comparison for growths and hailstones, but we do. Maybe it sounds more manly.

May not be posting new every day, just have to see what develops …..en theos…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #871- Just floating along

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“Love the things you’ve got until one day you realize that the life you have is the life you want.”

Kirsten Hawkins, age 15

I am still trying to adjust to the time change. I am sleeping later and the golden hour seems so short. I just feel like I am just floating along. Then I read the temp is dropping into the twenties tomorrow. Not sure I am at all winterized yet.

enjoy what you got…†…monos en theos…jim