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Crossing back to Texas

A late afternoon crossing of the Red River into Texas via Carpenters Bluff bridge.

Thought it very fitting to have and orange truck show up!

Sorry for the delay in posting. Same old fighting nagging health problems. Cross my fingers I am feeling better and am getting around a bit better. Last series of injections in my back were slow to provide relief, but the drugs seems to have finally found the right area.

Peace out, a special blessing to all our fighting men & women providing for our freedom. Not an advocate of war, but these folks are doing work I didn’t have to do and I thank them for my safe and warm sleep…….monos en theos†††jasL


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Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Those pesky thoughts. As life goes on, everyday, memories are made. Focus on the good ones. Nothing good comes from focusing on negative stuff. Give nothing and no one power enough to ruin your day!

We battled snow & getting to where we are and now we will be doing the same on our return. Focus on the good while staying focused on the present…en theos ††† jim


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At every turn in every day we are presented with angels in a thousand guises, each calling us to follow their song. There is no right or wrong way to go, and only your heart can find the appointments you are born to keep. It’s hard to take this risk, but meeting each uncertainty with an open heart will lead us to an authentic tomorrow.”      ©Mark Nepo

So, what’s up for your tomorrow? ††† en theos ††† jim


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“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

I  like the flag and the creative things that people style out of it. I have seen, boots, shirts, ties, t-shirts, glasses, mugs, beer huggies, gloves, sox,blanket, sheets, hats, coats, even undergarments, but I think this was my first truck††† en theos ††† jimwork



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One of the best looking painted flags I have found.

I guess sometimes things work better with fewer strips and less stars!

The Texas Flag Code assigns the following symbolism to the colors of the Texas flag: blue stands for loyalty, white for purity, and red for bravery. The code also states that single (lone) star “represents ALL of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, State, and Country.” The “lone star” is, in fact, an older symbol predating the flag which was used to symbolize Texans’ solidarity in declaring independence from Mexico. It is still seen today as a symbol of Texas’ independent spirit, and gave rise to the state’s official nickname “The Lone Star State”.

Long may we get it all together………en theos…..jim

Photos on the journey #483. Horny Toad looking @ breakfast!


We have an over abundance of the fun Texas iconic creature the Horny Toad. We see two or three of them on most every walk here in the desert southwest. This despite their declining numbers. One never tires of finding them and I never miss a chance to catch everyone of them. I give them a good once over while they remind me of younger days. I then release them after giving them a good belly rub while they feint sleep in my hand.

The short-horned lizard is often referred to as a “horned toad” or “horny toad” because its squat, flattened shape and short, blunt snout give it a toad-ish look. There are over a dozen recognized species found in the deserts and semi-arid environments of North and Central America, from southern Canada to Guatemala.

Despite their spiky features, short-horned lizards are preyed upon by a number of creatures, including hawks, roadrunners, snakes, lizards, dogs, wolves, and coyotes. Consequently, beyond their natural camouflage, they have adapted a pair of remarkable talents. In order to ward off hungry predators, short-horned lizards are capable of inflating their bodies up to twice their size, resembling a spiny balloon. And if this proves insufficient, some species employ one of the animal kingdom’s most bizarre defensive mechanisms: They shoot blood from their eyes.

PEACEOUT ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photos on the journey #389


We spent the last six days camping in our trailer at Seminole State Park, TX.

We had cloudy, cold, windy and rainy days, but all in all it was a great trip. We grabbed a little sunshine and managed to hike a total of 20 miles over 3 of the days that we were given.

Live is about taking what you get, not always about what you want…….en theos……….j lawrence

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #316

Growing up in West TX, these were as common as pick-up trucks and oil wells. We called them “Horny Toads”. Texas Christian University has them as their mascot and call them “Horned Frogs”. Neither name is technically correct, they are properly called Horned Lizards and they also serve as the official Texas State reptile.

In 1967, the Texas legislature passed laws prohibiting collection, exportation, and sale of Phrynosoma cornutum. Prior to this legislation, tens of thousands of Horned Toads were exported (dead and alive) from Texas every summer by tourists, would-be pet owners, and others, leading to the death of many a horned toad. Today, all Texas Horned Toad populations continue to decline.
In the wild, the main diet of the Texas Horned Toad is about 69 percent harvester ants, with the remainder mostly being a mixture of termites, beetles, grubs, and various insects.

They are fairly tame, slow and easily caught by young boys and old men (obviously, I caught this one this morning). Texas Horned Toads, when alarmed, may puff up and squirt blood out of the corner of the eye as a defense. How could a young boy not be attracted to any thing that might spit blood out it’s eyes. I can still hear my mom yelling the dreaded “JAMES LAWRENCE” when she found one in the pocket of my Billy the Kid jeans as she did her pre-laundry check of my clothes.

May you see at least one Horny Toad on your journey†††††nada te turbe††††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #300

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.”

We drove past this Texas size dust-devil near Valentine, TX. We had watched several of them whirling across the desert and I finally had to stop and make an image. I got off 4 frames and it was gone, evaporated, dissolved, flew away. Quite magical!

Believe in the magic of nature on your journey†††††††nada te turbe††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #247

This lovely lady jumped onto my foot while I was cooking outside at Rio Grande Campground in Big Bend National Park. I had my lovely lady keep a flashlight on her (it was after sunset) while I mounted up my 105 micro and 3 flash units. I had to follow her around for a 1/2 an hour waited for the right postion and pose. My wife held the flashlight so I could see to focus. While gearing down my kit, I noticed that I had left my D800 on Program, and my exposure was a shallow f 4. I would have liked a bit  more depth of field, but……

The Texas toad (Bufo speciosus) is one of nine species of “true” toads that occur in Texas, and it is arguably the most commonly seen species in backyard gardens and around building structures. It can be observed in all but the eastern one-quarter of the state and the far northwestern corner of the Panhandle. It also occurs in the adjacent states of Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well as being found as far south as the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

The habitats that this toad prefers to occupy vary from open woodland areas, prairies, and grasslands, although it can also thrive in open range, mesquite-filled pastures, and creosote flats. Basically, this species can live anywhere that has loose enough soil where it can bury itself deep enough to escape the heat and drought conditions.

Show yourself, warts and all on your journey††††nada te turbe††††jim