Monthly Archives of: August 2014

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Walking on water…

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Plenitude of insight exists with (and “as”) direct and simple clarity (beyond mere symbols).

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[There’s some simple clarity here!  These aren’t skydivers dropping down to earth… they’re the insects known as Water Striders; they “walk” on water!  Water Striders use their forelegs to grab insects trapped by the water’s surface tension and also to make ripples to communicate with each other.  (We use sound waves when we talk/communicate!) They use their middle legs for rowing and their hindlegs for steering. There is a living clam to the lower left.]

Having the time of their lives! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Having the time of their lives! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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When you’ve been out in nature photographing over the years so long that the insects come and land on you… maybe it’s time — like so many do — to…

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When you’ve been out in nature photographing over the years so long that the insects come and land on you… maybe it’s time — like so many do — to stay indoors!    😉

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[This is a Red Admiral Butterfly.  When the insects come to you… doing macro photography is a whole lot easier!  🙂 ]

Another six-legged friend! (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Another six-legged friend! (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Another six-legged friend! (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Another six-legged friend! (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Unfolding out of the folds…

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The universe is expanding and unfolding — like a beautiful flower — and we (especially when we are open and caring) are part of the blossoming.

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[This is a photo of a lily flower blossoming.  In the flower, you can see the pistil and the various (topped in yellow) stamen.  It is also a photo of the universe unfolding out of the folds.  😉 ]

Unfolding out of the folds.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Unfolding out of the folds. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. — Aristotle

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Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.      — Aristotle

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[This is a Southern Cloudy Wing Skipper.  They prefer wooded margins, especially near clover and other legumes upon which the larvae feed.]

Favorite resting place.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Favorite resting place. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Establish value in orderly, direct perception… not in limited patterns of…

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Establish value in orderly, direct perception… not in limited patterns of the standard,  (rather mediocre) norm.

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[This insect is an adult Green Stink Bug.  They can, when disturbed,  emit copious amounts of foul-smelling fluid.  Both adults and nymphs (a nymph was photographed not long ago) possess large stink glands on the undersurface, opening through conspicuous slits.]

Watching me!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Watching me! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Peace among friends…

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Nonviolence, like love and  true meditation, is not a mere practice.  One can’t practice what is alive, heartfelt, and beyond gross methodology.

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[Male Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly with a flying visitor.  These butterflies have approximately a one inch wingspan.  These butterflies often feed on seeds and flowers of a wide variety of plants in the pea family, including clovers, beans, and wild peas.]

Peaceful friends.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Peaceful friends. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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A great ride is a healthy ride…

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Many of us take immaculate care of our overly fancy cars — filling them with top quality fuels and oils — while we guzzle sugar, starch, wine, and fatty foods like there’s no tomorrow.  We must change! 

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[Many flowers — like this one — are superb and healthy places for insects to get needed nourishment; there’s plenty of protein and vitamins from pollen and energy from nectar; plus the view, while eating, is often spectacular! (They don’t have to put flowers on their dining tables!)]

A beautiful and healthy place to eat!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A beautiful and healthy place to eat! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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In a rotten society, don’t be a mere pawn; act beyond the rigidity, the…

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In a rotten society, don’t be a mere pawn; act beyond the rigidity, the cold indifference, and beyond the crass mediocrity.

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[This caterpillar is a Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar.  Although they are decidedly hairy, the hairs are not as dense or as stiff as those found in Woollybear larvae.The farmers in the area will tell you what all that extra fuzziness means… it means we are in for a terrible and harsh winter!  Prepare! 😉 ]

Get ready for a long, harsh winter!  ;)  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Get ready for a long, harsh winter! 😉 Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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It’s easy to belong to a group, a gang, or a herd; but to stand alone and…

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It’s easy to belong to a group, a gang, or a herd; but to stand alone and think and feel for yourself is arduous!

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[This is, of course, a Praying Mantis; it is a Chinese Mantid.   I will often, when I find them, pick them up and let them climb on my hands. At first, they bite viciously and don’t like it; but most, after around a minute or so, tame down and don’t want to leave your hand; apparently, it’s too much fun for them… the equivalent of a carnival ride or something!  They love traveling from hand to hand on your fingers!  At least that’s how they behave around here.   I only encountered one that persistently didn’t want anything to do with me.  Their long front “arms” are used as spike-vices to capture and subdue prey.  Often, they will “sway” back and forth with their entire body before striking something, simulating a twig or branch in the breeze!  They actively hunt or – often – they simply wait for something to come along.  (Alien-like for sure!)]

There are aliens among us!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

There are aliens among us! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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The keyhole to unlocking life’s mysteries and wisdom’s treasures lies in…

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The keyhole to unlocking life’s mysteries and wisdom’s treasures lies in silent awareness and magnanimous existence.  Love is the key.

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[These are dwarf tropical catfish of the species known as Corydoras trilineatus.   (In Latin, Corydoras means helmeted, and trilineatus means three-striped or three-lined.)  They only get around an inch and a half long.  These are one of the species of dwarf catfish that I keep as pets and that I occasionally get babies from.  All Corydoras species are extremely peaceful and non-combative.  Each species has a tank all to themselves.  I really like the patterns that this particular species has, once mature.]

Small bottom dwellers.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Small bottom dwellers. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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One can look young on the outside and be stale and old on the inside. One can be young on the inside and…

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One can look young on the outside and be stale and old on the inside.  One can be young on the inside and appear elderly on the outside.

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[This is an Acorn Weevil.  They use their long snouts to drill and burrow into acorns.  This one was photographed adjacent to a large oak tree.  The adult female weevil bores a tiny hole in the immature acorn to lay her eggs, which then hatch into legless grubs. In the fall, the grubs bore holes through the shells from the inside to emerge into the soil where they may live for a year or two before maturing into adults.  So these insects are frequently boring… like a lot of politicians these days!]

Boring like our politicians!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Boring like our politicians! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Internal disarray and disorder projects out as…

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Internal disarray and disorder projects out as external disorderliness and chaos.  Be orderly and stable.

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[This butterfly is a Black Swallowtail.  Some males have very little blue on the hindwing.  These butterflies frequent clover and garden flowers, usually flying very near to the ground.]

Beautiful and pristine!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Beautiful and pristine! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Let’s take the overpass…

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Avoid the pitfalls in life if you are lucky… and relax and grow with nature!

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[Trees that have enmeshed themselves upon this planet.  In the foreground is lots of poison ivy.  Just being near it sometimes gives me rashes.  Poison ivy seems to have an endless vendetta against vegetarians, such as myself!  This year, it caused my arthroscopic knee surgery to be delayed by two weeks. Enjoy the photo!]

Let's take the overpass!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Let’s take the overpass! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Even one little drop of deep, heartfelt love can conquer vast darkness and begin to warm this planet!

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Even one little drop of deep, heartfelt love can conquer vast darkness and begin to warm this planet!

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[Raindrop on a flower petal which holds the illuminating heart of love. (No special techniques were used to alter the natural imagery of this photograph.)]

Heartfelt drop of passion.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Heartfelt drop of passion. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Real learning is often an ongoing unlearning… a true and fresh reexamination!

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Real learning is often an ongoing unlearning… a true and fresh reexamination!

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[This is an annual Cicada.  They are the loud noise-makers high up in the trees.  Larvae of annual Cicadas take only five years to reach maturity; there are new batches, however, which emerge every year.  The periodical Cicadas emerge once every 17 or 13 years.]

Singer of songs... an annual Cicada.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Singer of songs… an annual Cicada. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** The silence that naturally — without practice — occurs between two sets of thoughts…

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The silence that naturally — without practice — occurs between two sets of thoughts… can be the beginning of profound wisdom and deep insight.

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[This insect is a Broad-winged Katydid.  Note (in the second photo) the openings on its front legs.  Those openings are its ears!  When one is a rather “narrow” insect… what better way is there to have true stereophonic hearing than to have your ears located precisely where your broad legs are?!]

Katy did... but I didn't! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Katy did… but I didn’t! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Those sexy legs have ears!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Those sexy legs have ears! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Real perception is direct and present… not second-hand and hand-me-down.

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Real perception is direct and present… not second-hand and hand-me-down.

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[This insect is a Burying Beetle. These beetles bury the carcass of a small bird or mammal in a shallow pit.  Their larvae hatch and feed on the carcass; adults feed on carrion and fly larvae. Eating fly larvae gets rid of your competition while providing you with lots of needed protein.]

Stealing some sweets. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Stealing some sweets. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Stealing some sweets (2).  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Stealing some sweets (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** This is not a grasshopper.

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This is not a grasshopper.

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[There is that very famous painting, entitled “The Treachery of Images” (1928-1929), by the late Belgian painter, Rene Magritte.  (He is one of my favorite painters, by the way!) The painting has the words, in French, stating: “This is not a pipe.”  This is so very true.  It’s an image of a pipe and is not (at all) a real pipe.  So many of us think, using symbols (which all thoughts and mental images are) without ever really looking directly without all the imagery and thought.  We look through (and “as”) the screen of thought and rarely (if ever) see directly (without the imagery).  Both paintings and thoughts are (in a big way) virtual. Real intelligence can go beyond that. What most of us see, unfortunately, is often just an empty shell of what really is.

The following picture is not a grasshopper.  Even if it were a macro photograph of a live grasshopper… it would still not truly be a grasshopper.  It is not a dead grasshopper.  It is a photograph of a grasshopper’s exoskeleton… the outer shell of an insect which insects shed from time to time as they grow and enlarge.  But it really is not a grasshopper’s exoskeleton… and what you see is often what you were taught, and what you were taught is often what you see.  ;)]

This is not a grasshopper.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

This is not a grasshopper. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

The Treachery of Images... by Rene Magritte

The Treachery of Images… by Rene Magritte

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A deceitful, twisted, distorted mind, unfortunately, does not perceive the truth. An honest, direct, undistorted mind…

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A deceitful, twisted, distorted mind, unfortunately, does not perceive the truth.  An honest, direct, undistorted mind runs parallel with the truth.

[Wild Fox Grape vine; this particular plant is dazed and confused!]

Foolish and confused!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Foolish and confused! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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To habitually take refuge in old fashioned beliefs may be like…

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To habitually take refuge in old fashioned beliefs may be like finding protection in a violent rainstorm by depending on an old metal umbrella.

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[This is a moth and is a Bilobed Looper Moth.  They feed on alfalfa, clover, and an assortment of other plants.  It hibernates as a pupa in a thin cocoon.]

Just another vegetarian!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Just another vegetarian! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The gravity of living with awareness and kindheartedness far outweighs the minuscule misery of mindlessness.

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The gravity of living with awareness and kindheartedness far outweighs the minuscule misery of mindlessness.

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[This butterfly is a Red-spotted Purple.  The mature caterpillar of this butterfly resembles a bird dropping; it is cream-colored with dark mottling and a saddlelike patch on the back.  It’s a very defensive and effective way of avoiding predators; look like a pile of crap and your enemies will not even notice you!  Tomorrow morning, I don’t think I’ll comb my hair!  😉 ]

Pride of the river bank!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Pride of the river bank! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Don’t be a second-hand copy… inquire about the whole of life independently.

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Don’t be a second-hand copy… inquire about the whole of life independently.

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[Close-up of a Widow Dragonfly resting.  The young nymphs reside underwater and feed on small aquatic insects and fish.  Adults like to hang on grasses and twigs of pondside shrubbery.]

Widow Dragonfly (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Widow Dragonfly (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Widow Dragonfly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Widow Dragonfly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Widow Dragonfly (3). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Widow Dragonfly (3). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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(Multi-photo)*** Perhaps, in a quantum oriented, holistic cosmos…

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Perhaps, in a quantum oriented, holistic cosmos… the web of time need not always be based merely on limited, standard patterns based on sequential cause and effect occurrences. 

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[An Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly resting by a lake.  (It’s impossible for a spider — fossilized and trapped in Baltic Amber for 50 million years — to traverse the web of time to an amber dragonfly in this day and age.)]

Touched by amber!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Touched by amber! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Affixed in timeless amber!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Affixed in timeless amber! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Grace is enjoying life and not harming it.

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Grace is enjoying life and not harming it.

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[This is a pair of adult, fully grown Large Milkweed Bugs; another similar species is the one consisting of the Small Milkweed Bugs.  Their food consists of Milkweed plants and their seeds. They sometimes sip nectar from the flowers of other plants in gardens and crop fields but seem to do no significant damage.]

Two together as one! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Two together as one! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Clothes and costumes (and external pretense) don’t make the man. Compassion and integrity make the man!

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Clothes and costumes (and external pretense) don’t make the man.  Compassion and integrity make the man!

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[Pearl Crescent Butterfly (light variety).  The Crescent Butterflies are named for the pale crescent on the outer margin of the hindwing, beneath.]

Well dressed by any standard.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Well dressed by any standard. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Most merely look – all their lives – through a screen of learned patterns; and guess what they exclusively see: patterns!

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Most merely look – all their lives – through a screen of learned patterns; and guess what they exclusively see:    patterns!

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[White Mushroom along a river bank.  Nature’s parasol!  Likely Chlorophyllum molybdites; you don’t want to eat this parasol… unless you like getting lots of vomiting and nausea!]

Garden Umbrella! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Garden Umbrella! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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(Multi-photo)*** Don’t merely try to run from your fears; they are not separate from what you are.

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Don’t merely try to run from your fears; they are not separate from what you are.

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[This spider (full of stereoscopic eyes that see all around it) is a Fishing Spider (resting along a river bank).  This is one of my favorites.  I think they are incredible!  If you dislike them or are afraid of them, please (like the late, wonderful naturalist Steve Irwin used to suggest) look at them and be appreciative of them without “learned hatred” and try to see them without prejudice.  They don’t make webbing (except for a silken nursery to protect their young).  They actively hunt (and roam) along the river for small creatures to eat.  They are lightning fast!  I also photographed a super big one carrying its huge egg sac up our gazebo near the river.  The size of that one was rather shocking!  I’ll post photos of that mama later on some time.]

Enough eyes to see all around it!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Enough eyes to see all around it! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Fast as lightning! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Fast as lightning! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Photographing out in nature is so exhilarating and joyful for me that…

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Photographing out in nature is so exhilarating and joyful for me… that I oftentimes feel the equivalent of being at Disney World (minus the mosquitoes and poison ivy, of course)!  There, it truly seems to me, actually are so many splendid miracles of nature that – even if Tinker Bell miraculously showed up – there couldn’t be much more of an explosion of real miracles!  When I was in kindergarten and grade school, they’d say: “Tom’s not here… he’s outdoors looking for bugs and small creatures.”  Retired and in my sixties, they say: “Tom’s not here… he’s outdoors looking for bugs and small creatures.”

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[This is a Swallowtail mimic… a magnificent butterfly in its own right,  a brushfooted butterfly known as the Red-spotted Purple, resting on some Queen Anne’s Lace.  They like to hang around rivers.  This one was in a wooded area along a river.  Around it are flying little Midge flies (some of which have a rather Tinker Bell appearance).  Unlike at Disney World, one did not have to pay any entrance fees or stand in long lines.]

Happiness is a nice day with nature. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Happiness is a nice day with nature. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Don't neglect the real beauty in life!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Don’t neglect the real beauty in life! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

That's part of an abandoned old farm tractor to the right. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

That’s part of an abandoned old farm tractor to the right. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Instead of amplifying another’s faults (and pointing them out)… tell them what it is they are doing orderly and well that is what you admire about them.

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Instead of amplifying another’s faults (and pointing them out)… tell them what it is they are doing orderly and well that is what you admire about them.

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***This is especially important regarding the way parents interact with their children.  Far too many parents say things like: “Joe, you didn’t clean your room; stop being such a slob and clean your room.”  Well, in psychology, there is a thing called “The Labeling Theory”; that principle maintains that people (especially “youth”) may incorporate the labels placed on them and (subsequently) use those labels as “self images.”  So, if parents tend to call their child a “slob” enough times… there is a good chance that such labeling may contribute to the child becoming more lazy and indifferent… due to an internal mechanism of being (and fulfilling) what was implanted as a self-image.  Please… refrain from the negative labels… and whenever they do the smallest good, tell them how caring, helpful, and considerate they are!***

[A green Katydid of the genus Scudderia, moving through the labyrinth of life, helpfully carrying pollen along the way.]

You tread well among the lilies!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

You tread well among the lilies! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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If you happen to have a handicap, don’t “feel handicapped” or feel ashamed; everyone is handicapped!

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If you happen to have a handicap, don’t “feel handicapped” or feel ashamed; everyone is handicapped! 

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[This is not a bee!  Many people mistakenly think that they are bees.  This is a Hover Fly… a Drone Fly.  Like bees, they can get pollen and nectar from flowers… but they have no stingers… nor do they have the sophisticated social networks like bees have.]

A non-bee!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A non-bee! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The intensity of wisdom is in the insightful, (compassionate) moment of now!

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The intensity of wisdom is in the insightful, (compassionate) moment of now!

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[This is the beautiful Orchard Orbweaver Spider.  They are very beneficial, as they eat many insect pests, such as flies and grasshoppers.  They are harmless… their bite cannot penetrate human skin.  Sometimes they undergo parasitism by a wasp larva which attaches externally at the junction of the cephalothorax and the abdomen. These spiders are excellent weavers of intricate webs!]

Orchard Spider... master weaver of webs (Photo 1) taken by Thomas Peace 2014

Orchard Spider… master weaver of webs (Photo 1) taken by Thomas Peace 2014

Orchard Spider... master weaver of webs.  (Photo 2) taken by Thomas Peace 2014

Orchard Spider… master weaver of webs. (Photo 2) taken by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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When looking at, and smelling, a red rose (without those mundane, learned separations)… one’s consciousness is red and full of life’s fragrance.

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When looking at, and smelling, a red rose (without those mundane, learned separations)… one’s consciousness is red and full of life’s fragrance.

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[Sweat Bee, Subfamily Nomiinae, exploring rose flowers.]

Growing together as one.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Growing together as one. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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It’s dangerous to perceive life directly and to observe without false (though supposedly secure) images; but it’s even more dangerous to…

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It’s dangerous to perceive life directly and to observe without false (though supposedly secure) images; but it’s even more dangerous to wander as one who is secondhand, unperceptive, and blind!

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[Illinois wildflower seedpods… Japanese Lanterns…]

Festival time in the prairies! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Festival time in the prairies! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Life involves suffering that all of us share and are engaged in (as one); curtail it – don’t increase it – in others.

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Life involves suffering that all of us share and are engaged in (as one); curtail it – don’t increase it – in others.

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[This insect is a Japanese Beetle.  They are known for destroying a lot of food crops and garden foliage.  Farmers and gardeners tend to deeply despise them.  They were particularly bad a few years ago.  Back then, there were so many in our area that — even while driving your car for a short while — dozens of them would splatter onto your windshield! They are becoming less of a nuisance due to pesticides and an increase in the types of birds that eat them.  The one photographed looks rather impressive… for such a despised nuisance!]

Beautiful Pest!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Beautiful Pest! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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When the thoughts of ego seem to sever themselves off from the other thoughts (and from the whole of life) then…

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When the thoughts of ego seem to sever themselves off from the other thoughts (and from the whole of life) then illusory conflict and limited space begins.

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[This butterfly is a Red Admiral.  It is using its proboscis to suck nourishing nectar from the pink Cone Flower.  Butterflies can only suck up fluids. They do have salivary glands. They don’t have saliva tubes in the proboscis but they can eject a drop of saliva to help dissolve more solid food.]

A  probing and effective proboscis! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A probing and effective proboscis! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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An insect’s priorities don’t include understanding the whole. Go beyond an arthropodan mentality!

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An insect’s priorities don’t include understanding the whole.  Go beyond an arthropodan mentality!

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[This butterfly is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a Buttonbush tree.  Buttonbush flowers attract many nectar loving insects.  Eating sweet nectar is one of their priorities.]

A Tiger among in the dense jungle!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A Tiger among in the dense jungle! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Perception sees the details and the whole.

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Perception sees the details and the whole.

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[A reddish grasshopper on some tall wild grass.  Grasshopper feet are definitely goat-like!  Look (now, before reading on) carefully at the photograph.  Do you see anything unusual about the grasshopper?   Look very closely… note that on the hopper’s right hind leg there is a tiny hitchhiker… (a parasitic tick); the leg joint is a spot where the hitchhiker can get through the “armor.”  (Though grasshopper invaders wouldn’t want a human, I’m glad I used repellent!)]    😉

Reddish Grasshopper... Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Reddish Grasshopper… Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Excellence in perception expresses itself as heartfelt compassion.

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Excellence in perception expresses itself as heartfelt compassion.

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[This small butterfly is a Tawny-edged Skipper.  It’s a male.  The caterpillars of these butterflies are speckled with maroon, brown, or tan.  They feed on grasses.]

Tawny-edged Skipper contemplating his next move.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Tawny-edged Skipper contemplating his next move. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** In a big way, no thoughts and feelings are merely yours; they are of all life and humanity. Use them but not for domination over the weak.

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In a big way, no thoughts and feelings are merely yours; they are of all life and humanity. Use them but not for domination over the weak.

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[This is a Crab Spider with its victim… a Drone Fly.  Crab Spiders, as you can see, are aptly named!  They are very crab-like in appearance!  They have the chameleon-like ability to change to the color of the flower that they are in; then they patiently wait for the prey to arrive.  (Earlier posts of mine show yellow ones in yellow flowers.)  Once I saw one in a white flower that was colored yellow and brown… and thought: “Wow… this little guy has it all wrong.”  Upon closer examination, it was observed to be in the process of pursuing and eating Leather-wing insects that were mating and that happened to be yellow and brown in coloration!  So, instead of the flower… the spider turned itself into the color of the insects during their mating season!  Naturally, a mating Leather-wing will seek out another Leather-wing to mate with; the Crab Spider was not foolish after all!]

Like a lion with her kill.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Like a lion with her kill. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Before you pick garden flowers and place them in an indoor vase... look closely to be sure that no Crab Spiders reside in them!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Before you pick garden flowers and place them in an indoor vase… look closely to be sure that no Crab Spiders reside in them! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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True joy is living each moment afresh and psychologically dying to the old, dead past.

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True joy is living each moment afresh and psychologically dying to the old, dead past.

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[This moth is a Chickweed Moth. Because the larvae of this moth feed primarily on chickweed, which most people consider undesirable, this species should be considered “beneficial.” So, the caterpillars are herbivores that graze on vegetation. The adults may serve a role in pollination.]

Winged night flyer.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Winged night flyer. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** The highest intelligence goes beyond the triviality of the ego… beyond a “central I” or “central me”!

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The highest intelligence goes beyond the triviality of the ego… beyond a “central I” or “central me”!

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[Grasshoppers prefer to eat grasses, leaves and cereal crops, but many species of grasshoppers are omnivorous.  There are 11,000 valid species described to date and many undescribed species exist.  This particular one is resting upon a colorful, red lily flower.]

Dennis Hopper (close-up). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Dennis Hopper (close-up). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

In a beautiful place. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

In a beautiful place. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Don’t be afraid about being labelled with the stigma that you are different. Be different; even a…

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Don’t be afraid about being labelled with the stigma that you are different.  Be different; even a superb red lily was given a stigma (and pollen)! 

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[A red lily flower with some stigma and pollen. Even a red lily has been stigmatized!]

Even a Lily has been stigmatized!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Even a Lily has been stigmatized! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Enjoy the small and simple things in life… for they are large and more than sufficient!

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Enjoy the small and simple things in life… for they are large and more than sufficient! 

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[The Eastern Chipmunk has pouched cheeks that are used to carry food.  Chipmunks spend a large portion of their waking hours gathering and storing food for the winter.  They are very vocal.  Thank goodness, this very cute one wasn’t named Alvin and didn’t sing!]

Thank goodness... this cute little fell'r isn't named Alvin!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Thank goodness… this cute little fell’r isn’t named Alvin! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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If trees had faces and could talk… they’d likely say:

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If trees had faces and could talk… they’d likely say:  

Please don’t cut us down so much; please plant more of us; please take better care of Mother Earth; please see that we’re all connected and exist in many branches of life!

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[Forests are indeed “the lungs of the Earth,” absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen that human beings and nearly all animal forms need.  And forests’ influence goes beyond that simple, amazing process: We also know that they play a critical role in managing the climate, air quality, and rainfall patterns — in ways we are just beginning to understand.  Even though they have huge environmental value, over half of the world’s forests have been lost due to deforestation. What’s worse, we’re cutting them down at greater rates each year to plant crops, graze livestock and generate income from timber and other forest products. We can change to use less lumber, less paper, and plant more; it is “doable”!]

"Calling all tree huggers... I need a hug!"  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

“Calling all tree huggers… I need a hug!” Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Being motivated and ambitious is rather meaningless if one is ambitious merely for selfish reasons that don’t truly help others and life. Feel.

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Being motivated and ambitious is rather meaningless if one is ambitious merely for selfish reasons that don’t truly help others and life.  Feel.

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[This is a the nymph stage of the Green Stink Bug.  The adult insects are fully green.  They have needle-like mouth parts that feed on the juices of plants. Both adults and nymphs have large sized stink glands on the bottom side of the thorax.  They discharge large amounts of a foul-smelling liquid when disturbed.  This one bolted quickly away into the underbrush.  I even wondered if I had gotten good shots of it! Fast indeed!]

This one took off fast -first up and then down - into the underbrush like lightning!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

This one took off fast -first up and then down – into the underbrush like lightning! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A very elusive and fast running bug!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A very elusive and fast running bug! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Don’t just look through the screen of what you’ve been taught! Perceive!

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Don’t just look through the screen of what you’ve been taught!  Perceive!

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[Green Lacewing insect resting on a blade of grass.  They like to inhabit meadows and forest edges.  They eat small insects, such as aphids and nymphs of scale insects and their kin. They lay their eggs on the bottom of leaves; the eggs hang from long silk-like stalks.]

Blending in with the foliage keeps you alive!... Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Blending in with the foliage keeps you alive!… Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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It’s easy to conform and to blindly follow rigid patterns; it’s arduous to think for yourself and not merely follow the beaten path.

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It’s easy to conform and to blindly follow rigid patterns; it’s arduous to think for yourself and not merely follow the beaten path.

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[Ladybugs – Lady Beetles – as both adults and larvae prey on aphids (plant destroying insect pests) in open habitats.  They hibernate, usually in groups, in the winter. The one pictured is one of the more rare species.]

 

Ladybug surveying the landscape from a good vantage point. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Ladybug surveying the landscape from a good vantage point. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

 

 

 

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(Multi-photo)***One young Praying Mantis… and one extremely old Mantis…

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Even when you get “old,” stay young on the inside; it’s the only way to be!  (So many adults lose their child-like wonder and deep inquisitiveness as they age… and they turn to stone on the inside.  It needn’t be that way!)

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[Top photo: Young Praying Mantis wandering near a creek in our area, in the age-old quest for nourishing prey.  It has a splendid eye pattern!  Below that is a photo of a young Praying Mantis preserved as a fossil; it is trapped in Baltic Amber; it was trapped in the sap (which hardened into amber) around 50 million years ago!  (To give a little perspective, at around 50 million years ago, our human ancestors were around the size of chipmunks or squirrels… and probably would relish a meal of a tasty mantis.)  So it’s a very old Mantis… even though it actually appears to be very young.  (It’s your real essence that counts… not what you “appear” to be!)      😉 ]

 

Young Praying Mantis searching for its next meal.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Young Praying Mantis searching for its next meal. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

Young Praying Mantis fossil (in Baltic Amber). 50 million years is a long time to stay in one position!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Young Praying Mantis fossil (in Baltic Amber). 50 million years is a long time to stay in one position! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014