Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #904 – Holding on in the wind!


We have been waiting (somewhat patiently) for Hagerman Wildlife Refuge to reopen. They were hit pretty hard with the Lake Texoma flooding from a couple of months back. The amount of damage was still evident and the folks have been working hard to get things back to normal, but it is a long haul.

We spent the afternoon there, whiling away the day with the company of many butterflies, waterfowl and other flying and crawling creatures. The butterfly garden was a real treat and we basked in the beauty that only He can put together, What fun.

These two dragonflies were part of a gaggle of twenty or so all hanging on to the barest of little stalks. These two were taken from the same angle as I was on the ground and it was impossible to hold focus on the both of them. They were about a foot or so apart. So I made two separate photos with both in focus and then stacked them together in photoshop. What fun !

monos en theos…….jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #825 – OPEN YOUR EYES!

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Do you ever think that God made some things harder to see for a reason?

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”…Yogi Berra

“My eyes make pictures when they are shut”.. Confucius

Ah, from Yogi to Confucius, now there’s a leap.

Open yours eyes!…monos en theos…†…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #772 – THE CICADAS ARE COMING -THE CICADAS ARE COMING



While not as pretty as a sunset, it’s still part of nature. You got to take both the beauty and the beast. My dog Grace alerting me to this one emerging from ground. Read on, John the baptist would have seen it as a snack to go with the honey.

Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 centimetres (0.98 ft) down to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft). The nymphs feed on xylem sap from roots and have strong front legs for digging.

In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The exuvia, or abandoned exoskeleton, remains, still clinging to the bark of trees.

Cicadas (/sɪˈkɑːdə/ or /sɪˈkdə/), alternatively spelled as cicala or cicale, are insects in the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid suborder Homoptera). Cicadas are in the superfamily Cicadoidea. Their eyes are prominent, though not especially large, and set wide apart on the anterior lateral corners of the frons. The wings are well-developed, with conspicuous veins; in some species the wing membranes are wholly transparent, whereas in many others the proximal parts of the wings are clouded or opaque and some have no significantly clear areas on their wings at all. About 2,500 species of cicada have been described, and many remain to be described. Cicadas live in temperate-to-tropical climates where they are among the most-widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts, although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are various species of swarming grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas.  They are known to have been eaten in Ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo.]Female cicadas are prized for being meatier. Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.

For those of us who suffer from tinnitus, the sound will seem normal (1click for sound)…†… monos en theos……jim

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #509 – The splender of the small under morning dew.

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“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.” -A. C. Benson

…”seek and ye shall find”… Matthew 7:7

May you find peace, beauty and comfort everywhere you seek ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas – #504 – Furry yellow bloom with leaves just as furry

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I was spending way too much time researching to give you this furry little creation it’s fansy proper name. To put a couple of Latin words that I could not even pronounce . When I realized the beauty is not in the name. I didn’t pause in my path because I saw some fansy name and had to stop and say hello. I stopped because of it’s beauty and uniqueness, just as we should for the people we encounter.

“Who can estimate the elevating and refining influences and moral value of flowers with all their graceful forms, bewitching shades and combinations of colors and exquisitely varied perfumes?  These silent influences are unconsciously felt even by those who do not appreciate them consciously and thus with better and still better fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables and flowers, will the earth be transformed, man’s thought refined, and turned from the base destructive forces into nobler production.  One which will lift him to high planes of action toward the happy day when the Creator of all this beautiful work is more acknowledged and loved, and where man shall offer his brother man, not bullets and bayonets, but richer grains, better fruit and fairer flowers from the bounty of this earth.”
–  Father George Schoener (1864 -1941)

Stop and say hello to something or somebody that catches your eye.

Peace ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photographs from Southwest Texas #501- learning the way of the ant that carries a heavy load.


I found this red ant on our back driveway. There was a several of them carting home their booty of cat chow. Each one stumbled and wobbled  the 50 yards they had to go to get to the mound. Much more labor than I’ve done in a while.

King Soloman had some wise words from observing the ant.

“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!” Proverbs 6:6 ESV

A majority of the bible versions make use of a different pronoun. Most interpretations  have it worded as “consider HER ways, and be wise.” It seems that  the more recent renderings have  followed the trend to de-gender our world. I don’t know if that is necessarily a wise thing.

King Solomon certainly had plenty of opportunities to observe the female. He had close to a “bed” (pardon the pun) of them within his own home. According to the Bible, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. I only have two women in my life, my wife Susan and my mother in-law Melva. Between the two of them, I most assuredly have become a wiser man from observing their ways. I can only imagine how wise one might be from watching a herd of them. Alas, this sluggard would get an even greater lesson from Susan if she caught me “observing” that many women.

Observe and learn from all that you encounter. ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

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

Photos on the journey #493 – Feeling like a voyeur of the small world!

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We always hear about the “birds & the bees”, but these 2 lovely beetles seem to have it all figured out. Ah, nature, what it will show you is most always a surprise !

Peaceout ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photos on the journey #491 – It is a small world!


I just got a new Nikon PK-13 extension tube so I could get a bit closer to the small world. Of course, I would have one of the windiest days to try and explore this new world. I was almost getting seasick trying to follow this little bloom ( it is about the size of a dime) as it swayed it the breeze. Then, like magic, the wind paused, the tiniest speck of a red fly landed while I was in focus from about 3 inches away. The small world is an amazing journey.

Peaceout ††† en theos ††† jlawrence