Monthly Archives of: September 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Don’t function like a cold, callous machine; operate with a warm, living heart.

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Don’t function like a cold, callous machine; operate with a warm, living heart.

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[These are ants collecting pollen on wild Queen Ann’s Lace flowers.  Pollen is great protein for some species of ants.]

Ant on Queen Ann's Lace (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Ant on Queen Ann’s Lace (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Ant on Queen Ann's Lace (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Ant on Queen Ann’s Lace (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Constant desire is the crutch of…

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Constant desire is the crutch of a very broken and injured mind.

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[Buffalo Treehoppers are aptly named for their hornlike projections, which suggest a buffalo’s horns. Female Buffalo Treehoppers make crescent-shaped slits in young plant stems to lay their eggs.  The larvae are a pale green and are covered with short spines.]

Buffalo Treehopper photo, from successful buffalo hunting!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Buffalo Treehopper photo, from successful buffalo hunting! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Watch it… sometimes your hobby becomes so intense that it begins to pursue you!

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Watch it… sometimes your hobby becomes so intense that it begins to pursue you!

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[I went out to the backyard (to the bird-feeder) to get a few photos of birds, for a change of pace from all of those insects that I am perpetually pursuing.  The following is what came to the bird-feeder.  Sorry about that!  I’ve been chasing insects for so long, I think they may be following me home!  It’s, by the way, a Painted Lady butterfly.  Painted Lady butterflies do not eat bird seed… but they do like to be the center of attention!  😉  ]

Just another egotist! (Painted Lady butterfly) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Just another egotist! (Painted Lady butterfly) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Inner and integral happiness does not cost a dime!

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Inner and integral happiness does not cost a dime!

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[This is a Black Swallowtail Butterfly resting on a Thistle Flower.  Black Swallowtail Butterfly eggs are yellowish and ovoid shaped, and are laid on wild and cultivated plants of the carrot family, such as parsley, parsnips, celery, and carrots. There are two broods of Black Swallowtails annually in the North, and at least three in the South.]

Black is beautiful!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Black is beautiful! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Nature has priceless and very precious gifts.

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Nature has priceless and very precious gifts.

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[A small Praying Mantis on a Red Lily.  This Praying Mantis was around an inch and a half long.  It is, I think, a male Carolina Praying Mantis.  The Carolina Praying Mantis is not seen very often in our rural Illinois area.  It was very aware of my presence and didn’t stick around long.]

Small and different. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Small and different. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Small and different. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Small and different. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Most people, unfortunately, are content to remain in the limited…

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Most people, unfortunately, are content to remain in the limited… which is like staying in an enclosed, cold room.

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[This is a Painted Lady Butterfly, a Bee Assassin, a Green Tree Cricket, a Hover Fly, some Ants, and a Soldier Beetle on a Goldenrod Plant. The more the merrier!]

A big weekend party!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A big weekend party! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** The implicate, illimitable order…

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The implicate, illimitable order always exists beyond limited, crass confinement.

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[This is a Red-eyed Planthopper, Acanalonia conica.  The Planthopper hops with gigantic leaps to get away from danger.  This rapid form of transportation is only used when it needs to make a quick getaway, though. Usually, Planthoppers move very slowly so as not to attract any unwanted attention from birds or other predators. I noticed this one temporarily resting on our cement porch; then I quickly ran in the house to grab my camera!]

Planthopper. Enlightenment personified (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Planthopper. Enlightenment personified (1). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Planthopper. Enlightenment personified (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Planthopper. Enlightenment personified (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

 

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An unfocused (distorted) mind looking at a well-focused photograph is…

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An unfocused (distorted) mind looking at a well-focused photograph is — interestingly enough — simultaneously focused and unfocused.

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[Differential Grasshoppers have relatively large bodies; the females are larger than the males.  Differential Grasshoppers inhabit grasslands, rural meadows, and weedy areas and are most abundant in the central states. The one in the photograph is a male.  Male Differentail Grasshoppers have bootlike appendages on the abdomen tip.]

Male Differential Grasshopper.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Male Differential Grasshopper. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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A simple, mindful smile to a person — though seemingly nothing much — may…

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A simple, mindful smile to a person — though seemingly nothing much — may help someone in immense and profound ways!

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[These are either cute Shih Tzu puppies or fuzzy Caterpillars.  They are the last two remaining from the litter, and have had all of their shots.  $300 each.  Take your pick.]

Fuzzy Caterpillars or Shih Tzu Pups?! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Fuzzy Caterpillars or Shih Tzu Pups?! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Real insight takes place in the present…

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Real insight takes place in the present; it is never merely the result of old, stale, past knowledge and accumulation.

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[These acorns from an old oak Tree accompany a lone mushroom.  If the acorns don’t grow into trees, they will decompose and will provide the mushroom with plenty of energy. Both the oak tree and the mushroom are sowing seeds for the future.]

Seeds of life!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Seeds of life! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The simple things in life are often the best and most precious.

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The simple things in life are often the best and most precious.

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[This is an American Toad head study.  Based on DNA sequence analysis,  the American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus, and related North American species of Anaxyrus, are thought to be descended from an invasion of toads from South America prior to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama land bridge, presumably by way of floating on logs or buoyant plant masses.]

Immigrant from South America!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Immigrant from South America! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The space around a supposedly central ego is a limited (confined) space that…

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The space around a supposedly central ego is a limited (confined) space that encloses and separates… that imprisons.  Go beyond egotism.

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[These are various wild plants, including wild Fox Grape Vines and grasses. The seed pods in the center have spiked spears protruding from them.]

Vines and stickers. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Vines and stickers. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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To bee or not to bee; that is the…

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I don’t care how many people show up at my funeral if — for the time being — I’m the only one who is dead.     😉

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[Bumble bees in a wild Thistle Plant; the plant is also is being visited by a Spotted Cucumber Beetle.  Wild Thistle attracts many insects and birds (and photographers).]

... for the time beeing... Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

… for the time beeing… Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The storyteller is the story. The butterfly is the soaring.

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The storyteller is the story.  The butterfly is the soaring.

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[This butterfly is an Eastern Tailed Blue.  Eastern Tailed Blue Butterflies are usually blue above and a spotted pale on the underside. The larvae of a number of species of Blues secrete a type of “honeydew” cherished by ants; the ants attend the larvae, protecting them, in a symbiotic relationship.]

Resting on a windy day. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Resting on a windy day. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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A bad means used to get a good end is…

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A bad means used to get a good end is usually disorder and is not intelligent.

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[These are micro-mushrooms (super small mushrooms) growing on the bark of a living oak tree along with some lichens.  These diminutive mushrooms were around the size of a question mark (such as within a standard newspaper article or magazine).  Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus.  Lichens themselves are a type of fungus growing in a symbiotic relationship with a particular type of algae, the two together forming a single organism.]

Small but significant! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Small but significant! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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If there were many dark rooms and closed doors between you and the light of truth…

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If there were many dark rooms and closed doors between you and the light of truth, would you merely be content — as so many are — to remain in limited enclosures?!

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[This butterfly is a Red-spotted Purple.  In Red-spotted Purple butterflies, there are up to 3 generations within a year.  They prefer open habitats, such as meadows, forest edges, open woodlands, and areas along rivers.]

Berry eater and flower greeter.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Berry eater and flower greeter. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** I’d rather be emaciated physically, than starved of…

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I’d rather be emaciated physically, than starved of real insight and compassion.

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[These are Fairy Mushrooms in a rural yard.  They were growing in a large ring… and were rather large relative to other mushrooms in our area.  Note how the two photographed are fused together as one… a true marriage bond! (Actually, clusters of mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of one larger organism down below in the soil; so they truly are one!)]

Home grown. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Home grown. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Home grown (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Home grown (2). Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The treasure chest of one’s mind — if one is not very careful — can merely be filled with…

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The treasure chest of one’s mind — if one is not very careful — can merely be filled with others’ junk!

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[This spider is a Long-jawed Orbweaver.  Long-jawed Orbweavers are excellent web builders.  Their carapaces are elongated.  As in many spiders, the males are smaller than females.]

Orbweaver Spider doing its thing!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Orbweaver Spider doing its thing! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Don’t just see others as being tarnished (apart from yourself)…

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What separates your face from your hands is what separates you from others.

Nothing!

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[The two larger insects are Tarnished Bugs.  These insects remain active from spring through fall.  Tarnished Bugs extract juices from the leaves, young stems, flowers, and fruits of more than 200 plant species. They are small insects, around a quarter of an inch long.]

Not tarnished in my eyes!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Not tarnished in my eyes! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The fire of felicity, intense happiness, radiates from within.

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The fire of felicity, intense happiness, radiates from within.

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[This Jumping Spider is, specifically, a Daring Jumping Spider. The chelicerae (the part containing the fangs) are a flamboyant metallic green and this is an excellent way to identify this particular jumping spider.  These spiders like sunshine and do their hunting during the day. They jump from leaf to leaf with great dexterity and accurately (because of all those splendid stereoscopic eyes) leap on their prey and often eat other spiders as well as insects.  They are totally harmless to human beings… and are beneficial, as they eat harmful insect pests.  To me, they seem intelligent (considering their size) and rather cute!]

A handsome jumper. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A handsome jumper. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Though everything has marginal boundaries and borders…

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Though everything has marginal boundaries and borders… see everything as “all one” unbroken whole!

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[A Dingy Cutworm Moth and a Ladybug (and other small insects) on a Wild Sunflower plant.  Dingy Cutworm Moths are considered pests to crops, such as soybeans, while Ladybugs eat smaller insect pests, such as aphids, and are very beneficial.]

The Lady and the Tramp. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

The Lady and the Tramp. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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It is likely that the mind cannot fully go beyond nightly anxieties about the future if…

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It is likely that the mind cannot fully go beyond nightly anxieties about the future if it continues to feel that it is something separate from what they are.

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[A diminutive fly of the order Diptera resting on a very small, rain-laden Viola flower.  Viola flowers tend to attract many small insects, while larger insects ignore them completely.]

Rain dodger! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Rain dodger! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Love the truth more than man-made fabrications and constructions. Look effortlessly (now and then) without…

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Love the truth more than man-made fabrications and constructions.  Look effortlessly (now and then) without separation and learned patterns.

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[These are Sulphur Butterflies (specifically, Alfalfa Sulphur Butterflies).  They like to land on wet river bank soil to absorb needed moisture and minerals.]

A male and two females. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A male and two females. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Don’t merely think and react as you were programmed to. Be a light to yourself!

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Don’t merely think and react as you were programmed to.  Be a light to yourself!

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[This is a Viceroy Butterfly. Birds avoid Viceroy Butterflies if they have previously tried to eat a Monarch or a Queen Butterfly, which are poisonous.  However, those birds that have not had this experience readily eat the non-poisonous Viceroy Butterflies.]

A bird's folly. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

A bird’s folly. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The magic of nature… let it touch you.

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The magic of nature… let it touch you.

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[A very pregnant Praying Mantis, late in the season.  Praying Mantis females are larger than males.  She is already showing signs of aging (i.e., deteriorating wings) and slowing metabolism.  Getting older myself, I can easily sympathize with her.  Hopefully, she will soon lay another egg sac and there will be plenty of viable eggs waiting to hatch again in the spring.]

An old friend. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

An old friend. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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It may be a losing battle — getting this sick world well — but…

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It may be a losing battle — getting this sick world well — but, like a good surgeon, we’ll keep fighting anyway!      😉

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[These are Ladybugs having an important conference.  Both the adults and the larvae are predators, mostly of aphids; therefore, they are very beneficial in gardens.  Ladybugs are common on plants and often overwinter as adults in large swarms under fallen leaves or bark.]

Ladybugs in an important meeting.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Ladybugs in an important meeting. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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The dichotomy — between the “perceiver” and “that which is perceived”…

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The dichotomy — between the “perceiver” and “that which is perceived” — is essentially (psychologically) illusory and nonexistent.

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[Group of Monarch Butterflies on wild flowers, gathering nectar and preparing for migration.]

Preparing for migration. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Preparing for migration. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** Namaste!

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You can say “Namaste” until you are blue in the face… but unless you live like all life forms are not separate from your actual self, it is rather meaningless.

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[This huge wasp is a called the Giant Cicada Killer.  The adults feed on nectar; the larva feed on cicadas.  Several females use their “bushy” legs to make nests of branching tunnels in light clay to sandy soil.  Front legs are used for digging; the hind legs are used for kicking out dirt.  Females hunt cicadas one at a time; each victim is stung and brought back to the nest. One to two cicadas are placed in each cell; one wasp egg is laid on the last one. When this wasp was being photographed, I got quite close to it.  It was aware of my presence, but seemed to be indifferent of me… seeming to know that it was equipped to attack if I truly threatened it.  I used to keep bees, so was not intimidated by it; though I was glad that it respected me as I did it.]

Huge Wasp indeed! (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Huge Wasp indeed! (1) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Huge wasp indeed! (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Huge wasp indeed! (2) Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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One should always think of and help oneself first…

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One should always  think of and help oneself first… and oneself, by the way, is the whole of humanity and life.

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[This is a young Bullfrog, probably a female, in the security of a pond.   Amphibians (and all vertebrates) evolved from fish… and this young frog has very fish-like eyes!  The round disc behind the eye of the Bullfrog is the eardrum.  For Bullfrogs, the eardrum is larger in males than it is in females.  In males it is larger than the eye.  In females, the eardrum is the same size or smaller than the eye.  Female Bullfrogs grow to be larger than males.  This one is very young… so it probably won’t croak soon. 😉 ]

Not green due to envy!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Not green due to envy! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

 

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Interestingly, when thinking occurs…

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Interestingly, when thinking occurs, thought reacts as a virtual copy (in the form) of one’s own physical voice (as you tend to hear it).  One can intelligently go beyond virtual “copyism.”

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[This wild plant became eaten by a small — but voracious — caterpillar culprit.  However, he is not the only one responsible.  Look very closely and you may see other cohorts involved with the crime… and (just like criminals) they’re good at hiding!]

Crime Scene. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Crime Scene. 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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[Green June Beetles are metallic bronze-green underneath.  Like other scarab oriented insects, Green June Beetles lay their eggs in the ground and their larvae develop as c-shaped grubs within the soil.  Following having pupated underground, they emerge as adults in the summer and actively fly, feed, and reproduce from June–September.]

Green in Yellow. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Green in Yellow. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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(Multi-photo)*** To be perceptive means to be observant, to be sensitive; and one isn’t fully perceptive if one does not have deep sensitivity and love for all living things.

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To be perceptive means to be observant, to be sensitive; and one isn’t fully perceptive if one does not have deep sensitivity and love for all living things.

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[Milkweed plants feed so many insects, yet seem to prosper and continue to do very well! True energy machines!  These are nymph stages of the Large Milkweed Bug.  Both the adults and young nymphs of the Large Milkweed Bug sip nectar and sap from plants and their flowers… but seem to do no significant damage.  In the fall and winter they over-winter in the cottony growth of the milkweed pods. It would be nice if our homes were so edible and accommodating!]

One big happy family!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

One big happy family! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

It's sweet when your home is what you can eat!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

It’s sweet when your home is what you can eat! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Normality is a common type of insanity.

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Normality is a common type of insanity.

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[Leaf beetles, Diabrotica barberi, and Ladybug beetles on a wild sunflower plant.  Some species of Leaf Beetles are very destructive to corn crops.  Ladybugs, on the other hand, eat many insect pests, though these are additionally getting the abundant nectar from this wild flower. (One can’t blame them for liking sweets!]

Can you count how many there are? Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Can you count how many there are? Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Really…

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Really…   happiness is an inside job!

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[This butterfly is a Silver-spotted Skipper. Skippers have some characteristics of both butterflies and moths.  They tend to have large, rather stocky heads, thick-oriented bodies, and relatively short wings, spanning up to 2 inches.  The antenna are set far apart on the head and end in a curved hook.  Adults love to sip nectar (as this one can be seen doing with its long proboscis.]

Like a moth to a candle!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Like a moth to a candle! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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I’m not interested in just nonchalantly passing through life while having a lot of mundane, but essentially superficial, experiences; I want to…

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I’m not interested in just nonchalantly passing through life while having a lot of mundane, but essentially superficial, experiences; I want to delve deep and (no matter what the answer entails) find out about the true essence of the whole and about existence. 

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[This is close up study of an adult Mayfly resting upon an outside-oriented window pane.  Though the immature “nymph” stage usually lasts around a year (living underwater), the adult stage of this order of insects usually only lives from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the species.  The primary function of the adult is reproduction.  Eating (for such a short adult span of time) is unnecessary; the mature adults don’t even possess functional mouth parts.  Often, they emerge as adults at the same time; that way, predators get satiated and can only eat so many at once, enabling the others to survive (though their time is not long).]

An adult Mayfly: Short-lived but beautiful! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

An adult Mayfly: Short-lived but beautiful! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Fingers together…

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Fingers apart are still — and will always be — fingers together!

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[These caterpillars — lined up and looking like puppies for sale and selection at the local pet store — are Milkweed Tussock moth (Euchaetes egle) caterpillars.  They are eating and resting on a Milkweed plant.  Caterpillars often look a lot different in appearance during each successive molt. Some species have completely different colors, or length of setae (fur-like covering), or may or may not have antennae or horns, for example.   The variation between instars is one of the factors that makes it challenging to identify caterpillars.]

Milkweed Tussock moth (Euchaetes egle) caterpillars.  This is no puppy mill!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Milkweed Tussock moth (Euchaetes egle) caterpillars. This is no puppy mill! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Real passion in life cannot merely be taught. Real passion is…

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Real passion in life cannot merely be taught.  Real passion is not for one or two things, it is for the whole!

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[This slender insect is a Conehead Katydid.  The Conehead Katydid feeds on flowers and foliage, such as shrubs and trees.  Males chirp during the day and sometimes at night with a “tsip-tsip” sound; close-up, the call resembles a continuous, second-long buzz repeated every 2 seconds.]

Katy did it!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Katy did it! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

 

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Go to nature… where there are no politicians!

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Go to nature… where there are no politicians!  

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[This is a group of Hover Flies feeding on nectar from a Goldenrod plant.  Many people mistake Hover Flies for bees; they are not bees and do not carry stingers.  I love the way that they can hover in one spot (in mid-air), remaining (except for their wings) perfectly still!  Adults drink nectar.  The larva preys on aphids and the larvae of scale insects.  It is considered to be extremely beneficial due to the eating habits of the larvae, aiding in eliminating harmful insects that attack ornamental plants and commercial crops. Often they get quite sociable and will land on you without fear.]

After the gold!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

After the gold! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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If you have a really big nose — like I do — don’t be ashamed of it; it’s far better than…

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If you have a really big nose — like I do — don’t be ashamed of it; it’s far better than having a big, fat ego.

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[This is a female Snout Butterfly.  They have extensive projecting mouth parts (palpi) that resemble long snouts or noses.  Similar to the metalmark butterflies, Snout Butterfly males have four walking legs and the females have six.  Only one species occurs north of Mexico.  The larva, which grows very rapidly, feeds on Hackberry.]

What a snoz!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

What a snoz! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz): If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any…

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Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz):     If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.  Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!

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[Monarch Butterfly eating from Rosy Strife Flowers.]

Close to home! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Close to home! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

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A true teacher is a “learning assistant” and fellow learner… not a manipulator or puppeteer!

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A true teacher is a “learning assistant” and fellow learner… not a manipulator or puppeteer!

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[This is a red Harvestman… often called a Daddy-longlegs. They have no venom and are harmless to human beings.   Harvestmen have what are called Chelicerae, which in spiders are hollow in order to deliver venom, but in Harvestmen they are primarily used to grasp food; no venom is involved.]

Not a Mommy-shortlegs!  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Not a Mommy-shortlegs! Photo by Thomas Peace 2014