Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #849…Missing the wide openness of West TX (just a bit)

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I grew up in West Texas. My family up and moved to the Dallas area when I was thirteen. I can remember this feeling that came over me of feeling a bit closed in. When you grow up with the open skies of West TX, it can be just a mite claustrophobic with all the trees and hills. You throw in a few days of solid cloud cover, with rain mixed in and well…I guess it is something that only someone from the vastness of open skies can relate to.

So, under wet and grey clouds, I had to pull up an old West Texas sunset to brighten the day…monos en theos…†…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #805 – The rails run both ways

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Across the street from yesterdays “Sunset Motel”, and looking west instead of east, there was a whole different view.

The rails do run both ways. Just be sure to remember to look both ways before crossing!

monos en theos…†…jim

 

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #752 – IT IS MEMORIAL DAY, NOT VETERAN’S DAY

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Many of us think of Memorial Day as a federal holiday where most people have a day off to barbeque, go to the beach or travel, but in fact there’s a great deal of historical significance attached to the day.

Celebrated annually in May, Memorial Day is an occasion for remembering those who died while serving their country in the United States armed forces. It’s not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, an annual holiday in November that honors everyone who served in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day was first observed in 1868, when it was called Decoration Day, a day set aside to honor the 600,000 U.S. men and women who died in the Civil War. Millions more have served since, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

To commemorate the holiday, here are 14 Memorial Day quotes said by influential people.

“The average American is nothing if not patriotic.” -Herbert Croly

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” -Mark Twain

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” -Bob Marley

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” -Dan Rather

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” -Minot J. Savage

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -Joseph Campbell

“I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.” -Bill Cosby

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” -John F. Kennedy

“What’s right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity – intellect and resources – to do something about them.” -Henry Ford

“There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens can not cure.” -Dwight David Eisenhower

“I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” –Bob Riley

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.” –Wallace Bruce

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” –Thomas Campbell

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” –Aaron Kilbourn

From the commercials I see on television, to various blogs speaking of how once you have worn camo it is in your blood and it defines who you are. I get that. I respect that. This is not Veterans day and not about what color of uniform covers a man or woman. But this day is about those that bled red until they had no more to give for my freedom.

Hats off, flags lowered, prayers given for those that have given without question, doubt, or care for themselves, but for us……monos en theos…..jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #714 – THE VISTAS OF NEW MEXICO RIVAL WEST TEXAS

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The Black Range mountains in the Gila National Forest west of Truth or Consequences NM at sundown. A beautiful place to be.

enjoy each day and catch as many sunsets as you can! en theos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #710 – SOMETIMES THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOUR EYES DON’T SEE!

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As I photographer, I have most often looked forward to making images during that “golden hour”. That thirty minutes before and after sunrise & sunset. Recently I have been introduced to “light painting”, which pretty much means bringing my camera out after dark and using flashlights and such to light things that are otherwise unseen.  Last night I was outside looking at the almost full moon and just for the heck of it brought my camera out, cranked up the ISO to 1600 and set about to just see what was out there that my eyes did not see.

Both of these images are not manipulated in photoshop other than some exposure adjustments and running them through some noise reduction software. I was amazed at what there is unseen out there.

It reminded me of laying on my back at night in the back yard as a youngster and staring in wonder at the depth of the West Texas sky. I always wondered where does it all end. Some sixty years later, I still ponder that question, but the answer comes that it never ends,

Enjoy life, see what you never stop to see! en theos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #699 – ANOTHER PURPLE SUNRISE.

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I have been on this cycle of rising early. It has not been intentional, just one of those patterns that naturally occurs. It has been nice as the West TX sunrises have been so outstanding. Lots of colors and patterns put up by the Master.

While it is a quiet time, I am never alone. My dogs, Clovis & Grace are always ready to go no matter what time it is. I am also always greeted and joined in company by my cat Muffs. Muffs is the most social of the three strays that occupy our yard. Muffs was deposited as a newborn kitten by his wandering mom a few years ago. He always would take food but had a circle of defense that was about 10-12 feet. When Muffs was about 6 months old, I became determined to make friends with him. I sat on the ground for about 3 hours, tossing little morsels of chow to him. He always had this longing look that he wanted to be touched, but just needed some encouragement. Since that first reluctant behind the ear scratch, he now so enjoys my companionship. I savour  his curiosity in my making of photos and I swear, he comes to pose for me.

Enjoy your furry friends and the sunrise.   en theos ††† jim