Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #859…Breakfast of Champions



Mary Howitt


“Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”

Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what shall I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that cannot be;
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see.”

“Sweet creature!” said the spider, “You’re witty and you’re wise!
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing
“Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor; but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.



Okay, so it isn’t a fly, but the moral of the fable remains…monos en theos..†..jim


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As I contently sat surrounded in bluebonnets, it was a time to slow and to really look. There was a whole little world going about it’s business right there in the span of fifty square feet.

This tiniest of  a spider plies his trade amongst the bigger of the little world.  You just had to take the time to slow yourself and find him.

“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you’re hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”   Annie Leibovitz

Slow down, see, enjoy, engage! en theos monos ††† jim



One of the early bloomers here in the desert Southwest is this nickel sized prairie fleabane daisy. It was a challenge trying to catch an in focus image of this possessive little spider in our 35mph wind gust. I was fortunate to have gotten focus during a short lull in the wind. This little bee decided it was a good landing spot as well. The spider said no, and chased the tiny fellow along on his way.

It’s a jungle out there, go take a peak!  en theos monos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #562 – Sometimes it is to your advantage to just blend in!

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I have photographed this little fellow several times. I know were in lives in our lantana. Even knowing where he hangs, it is always an exercise in seeing what is there, yet unseen. He is  maybe is a half inch across including the legs. In addition to being small, he sits almost transparent enough to just blend in as to not get noticed. I am sure it works to his advantage.

Blending in, is it something you do too often or not near enough? Life is a balancing act. ††† en theos ††† jimwork

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #523 – A little skipper in a bit of a bind!

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Having spent most of the previous day out in the damp and doing a lot of macro photography which makes me be in a stooped position most of the day. I woke up this morning with a very sore back and my mobility was painfully limited. So most of my shooting today involved me planting myself by our beds of lantana and just taking a wait and see what I was given.

It happens so often, I “look” at an area and I think that there is nothing here. But as you calm and settle and surrender the thought  that there has to be at a better place. A place with more. It forces you to look. I was amazing at all the life that was there for my feasting. I spotted this small skipper down deep in the plant. I ever so slowly moved in close. Every move was my best photo ninja move. It was working , I got to within an inch of him. I moved my lights moved around, he just stayed here just for me. It was just going too smooth and in  looking at the skipper he just seemed a little out of place,  just kind of wrong, but hey he was being so still and I just figured he was holding on with one or two legs just for me.

I went in to process my images and I saw what was going on. There were two extra green legs holding the skipper in place. He wasn’t being cooperative, he was being eaten.

I went back later this afternoon and found the spider looking for his dessert.

Be careful, it’s a jungle out there and it all doesn’t happen just for you! ††† en theos ††† jim work

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas – #505 – We have baby spiders !

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Arachnophobics beware !!!

I had noticed this spiders egg a few days ago. It was in some Johnson grass in our field next to home. I walked by it a couple times a day. I was really thinking that the mama spider would reappear and pose. I have very few spider images. This morning I found this little dark mass in the web and on closer inspection, I discovered we had a hundred or more baby spiders crawling about. The egg is about a 1/4 inch in diameter and in the second photo you can see the hole in the egg from which they had hatched.

I was fortunate that I photographed them when I saw them. A couple hours later they were all dispersed doing whatwver little spiders do to survive.

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
Arthur Conan Doyle 

Stop and admire something small today ††† en theos †††jim work

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #339

Black widow encounter round 2.

Well, I was packing for our upcoming trip to New Mexico, and I had moved my folding lawn chairs to the yard to do a hosing off. Earlier this week I had found a black widow in one of the same chairs. That one did a disappearing act before I got a chance to do but one image. I found another one in the chair as I unfolded it. This one was twice the size of the first one and she had two eggs to watch after. She placed her body over her eggs in a motherly fashion. She was one of the largest specimen I’ve seen. The bulbous body was about 3/8 of an inch in diameter.

The brown object appeared to be a freshly killed cockroach. I watched her and made photos for about 30 minutes. At one point she appeared to become agitated and unable to figure out what was going on with the flashes and large object invading her space . She attacked the cockroach and looked to sink her fangs into it as if she thought it might be the cause of the commotion. Glad she didn’t find the true culprit.

My muse thought she looked creepy and I have to admit to a shiver or two while processing the images

Believe in second chances on your journey…nada te turbe…jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #337


This was not the photo that I had hoped for of this black widow. They are fairly common here in West TX and I was actually excited to find one with a web built in a portable chair in my back yard. I used a little stick to kind of guide her down where I could see her a little better. I had vision of this great spider photo, some how being able to see the red hour glass on her belly.

My muse shouted a motherly “be careful”, but I did a quiet snort like what can happen I am just making her image. I wasn’t like wrestling alligators. I got my 105mm micro lens and set up pretty close to her, I was like 6-8 inches away. I got this one exposure of her and was planning a second when she literally leaped, jumped, sprang, whatever like straight up and out of frame and sight. I quickly checked my arms, head, clothes and camera and I could not find her. She had vaporized, gone, not to be found.

I went in and changed clothes, even took a shower, but all day I had this imaginative itch that I could not get away from.

Be careful in whatever jungle you find yourself in on your journey!!!nada te turbe…jim

Prayers for all the families in Aurora Co. Life if both precious and fleeting and can change in the briefest of a blink  Fitting words from the beautifuldue ….peace out

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #294

The Incy Wincy Spider went up the water spout.

Well in this case, he was going down the blade of reed grass growing by a small pond. He was “incy”, only about an inch in length including those seemingly long legs. As I watched him he seemed to be working at trimming off a small thread like portion of the reed. He repeated this pattern several times letting the threads fall to the ground.

Is it just me? These little observation of behavior just lends itself to the wonder of it all. What was he doing, what is the purpose of his collecting?

Allow yourself to fall into the mysteries that arise on your journey.††††††nada te †††jim