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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

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We headed out to Hagerman once again yesterday. The ground was a flood of Snow Geese. They would at some unknown to me signal to take flight. They seemed to be doing practice flight patterns whereby they would fly in circles and sometimes a gaggle would form a loose “V” formation. Just as quickly they would break up and all slowly without any pattern or plan all land once again. Then repeat the process again in thirty minutes or so.

With the current degree of turmoil in the world, It was majestic and to say the least, peaceful to watch nature’s mystery.

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

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #720 – FIND THE COURAGE TO LIFTOFF!

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“There are powers far beyond us, plans far beyond what we could have ever thought of, visions far more vast than what we can ever see on our own with our own eyes, there are horizons long gone beyond our own horizons. This is courage- to throw away what is our own that is limited and to thrust ourselves into the hands of these higher powers- God and Destiny.To do this is to abide in the realm of the eternal, to walk in the path of the everlasting to follow in the footprints of God and demi-gods. The hardest part for man is the letting go. For some reason, he thinks himself big enough to know and to see what’s good for him. But in the letting go……..is found freedom. In the letting go…….. is found the flight!”
― C. JoyBell C.

http://cjoybellc.com

Oh, to find the courage to fly! ….en theos monos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #556 – White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moths

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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

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #313

Great Egret (Ardea alba) in flight.

The Great Egret is most certainly not the most graceful looking birds when taking off and landing. But let them get up to air speed, pulling that neck into an S to which even my second grade teacher Miss Kelly would give a silent nod of approval. They become a wonder of grace and poetry in motion. So it is a real treat to be in a quiet place yet close enough to hear the power of those wings creating the lift needed to carry their 2 pounds into flight.

Watching their landings, you will likely find the quiet broken with your snort of laughter at seeing a small tree quake under their weight, accompanied by the squawks of their colony as they settle to roost.

May you always walk away from awkward landings on your journey†††nade te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #215

Some-days, it is hard to hold focus. I like to make “in flight” type photo of birds, but at some point, I reach the edge of the envelope in regards to shutter speed vs. f-stop. Throw in trying to maintain the closeness of the birds you find yourself at the edge real quick.

This Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) was taking off from a Desert Willow tree in my yard. I was shooting with my 500mm set at a shutter speed of 1/6400 of a second which put me at f 5 which is close to wide open and it just gets impossible to carry focus much more than an inch or so. Hence nice and sharp legs & feet, but I begin to lose focus on the eyes.

That is what I love about photography, you can find all kinds of parallels to life itself. My father used to anger me to no end by telling me that life is a compromise. I fight that constantly, and have many scars from the battles.

Be careful what you compromise on your journey††††††††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #206

Ah, the Grace of seeing a bird that just looks like a flight experiment gone wrong. That a bird of such ungainly  proportions can not only get  off the ground, it can even appear to do so with balance, control and yes, Grace.

Learn to do things with Grace on your journey†††††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #151

Ah, the beauty of flight. Wings up, wings down, it is flat out magical.

Snow geese (Chen carerulescens), a group of them is rightfully called a “blizzard”, “chevron”, “knot”, “plump” or “string”. During migration they fly so high, that they can barely be seen. Thank our Father that on this day in Bosque Del Apache, NM, they were flying at about eye level with a few thousand of their flock sitting in the field behind them.

Fly at the needed altitude on your journey††nada te turbe†††jim