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Pit Stop: Nature’s Beauty From a Trucker’s Point of View

Trucker Jesse Ray Rex spends his life on the road. But he finds time to appreciate nature’s beauty wherever he goes.

Traffic jams. Rude drivers. Lonely hours behind the wheel. Whenever trucker Jesse Ray Rex needs a break, he pulls over at a truck stop and gets out with his camera to explore. The quiet time eases his mind and energizes him for his next shift on the road. Through his lens, Jesse captures close-up images of wildlife that he finds on his walks. He especially focuses on spiders, snakes and other creepy-crawlers. “Through my photos, I want to help people who fear those critters see their beauty,” he says. “All God’s creatures have a purpose.”

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A blue dasher dragonfly

1 of 7 Winged Wonder

Large compound eyes enable the blue dasher to catch tiny insects in midair. These common dragonflies hang out close to water, waiting for a meal or a mate to happen by. 

A spiny-backed orb-weaver on a web

2 of 7 Wild Web

Six thorny points on a colorful topside make it easy to spot spiny-backed-orb-weavers. These spiders often add tufts of silk to their webs to ward off birds. 

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A horse fly

3 of 7 Visionary

Boldly patterned eyes may enable horseflies to filter colors. Females are the only horseflies that bite, because they need blood to produce eggs. 

A juvenile Cooper's hawk

4 of 7 Hawkeye

Bright yellow eyes are key in identifying a juvenile Cooper’s hawk. With age, its eye color will darken to orange and then red. 

A female Eastern carpenter bee

5 of 7 Let It Bee

Female Eastern carpenter bees chew tunnels in wood. They place a pollen ball and one egg inside, then cap the nest.

A green anole

6 of 7 Mood Shift

Like chameleons, green anoles can change colors from bright green to dark brown, depending on mood and temperature. 

A gulf fritillary

7 of 7 Spotted

Plant a pollinator garden, and Gulf fritillaries will come. Females lay eggs on passion flower leaves. Spiny orange caterpillars morph into chrysalides that resemble dead leaves. 

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