“All Hail Tlaloc”

by ESP on September 12, 2009


“All Hail Tlaloc, All Hail Tlaloc, All Hai…”

(Aug,2011)  I have been informed by the Harvard University Extension School that the first image is actually not Tlaloc but Cinteotl the Maize God.  I appreciate this correction.

This has been the mantra for the tiny members of the Nabooboo tribe the last few days. They have all been shuffling around in the rain, (yes I said rain), mumbling it under their breaths, and making strange gestures into the sky. I even observed them hoisting up this five inch high epitaph onto a stone platform under one of my yuccas.

Wet Yucca leaf

Tlaloc, as it turns out, is god of the rain within ancient Mesoamerican mythology, which gives us some insight as to the origins of the Naboo tribe.  His name comes from “tlalli” and “octli” meaning ‘earth’ and ‘wine’.  He embodies the process of water coming together with earth, inciting and empowering fertility, nourishment, and destruction, (oh and how we needed some liquid nourishment in Central Texas). He is god of lightening, thunder, and all storms, floods, or droughts. Tlaloc is at once the creator, the sustainer, and the destroyer. Kind of like an ancient, and much more talented Conan.

Hoja Santa in the rain

Whatever offering the tribe has made to Tlaloc, it has worked. We finally have had some sustained rains in Austin, a long soaking, and it is just what the doctor ordered.
mccoy“I do not remember ordering that ESP? Are you sure that was me?

My rainwater “system”

As I sit here writing this, I can hear thunder reverberating around the patch and the sound of rain rain hitting hard on our metal roof, rain that is filling up the myriad of vessels in my “everything, including the kitchen sink” rainwater collection “system”. The weather has created the “Perfect Storm” in my stock tank…

Andrea Gail, The Perfect Storm


The “Andrea Gail” was having all sorts of problems as it tried to fight it’s way through the lashing rain coming down from the gutter.

I have actually been going outside, every couple of hours, to empty the multitude of buckets and pans etc, as they continuously fill up. I throw the contents out anywhere and everywhere with a crazed expression on my face, a face obsessed with saturating the land, and that is one crazy face, trust me.


“Here’s Johnny, with another bucket of the wet stuff!”


I feel like somebody from one of those old war-time desert movies where the unfortunate thirsty characters come upon a mirage, and go completely mad over the water, only to realize that it is only a badly filmed mirage. It has been so long that we have had any decent rain, it isn’t a mirage, is it? Have I just been running around the patch in an iced turban, throwing buckets of sand from my kid’s sand-box on my plants, convincing myself it was water? Is it still 105 degrees and dry?


I happened upon this shy female tribal member of the Naboo out on a snail gathering expedition, (a major source of nutrition). The agave “shoulder-dress” is believed to force the head of the gatherer forward and down toward the ground encouraging the wearer to stay focused on the “snailling” activity at hand. The Mexican Lime tree (top) reacts very strangely and dramatically to the rain, especially prolonged rain like we have been experiencing.

Mexican Lime Tree drooping in the rain

The tree starts to flop! It is really quite disturbing, but it does make the limes reachable for tiny hands. My youngest hobbit was on this odd phenomena in an instant. I should have known, it was just too quiet, for too long in the patch, a dead give away that someone was up to no good. I stopped my watering frenzy to find the hobbit tucking into the tree, arms moving like Edward Scissor hands, picking, scattering and involuntarily dicing limes around his rather large hobbit feet.

Wet Giant Timber Bamboo

The Giant Timber Bamboo looks like it has had a coat of lacquer, the rains have really brought out the browns in these culm sheaths.

Cactus Trunk

The browns on this Opuntia trunk have also been accentuated. I have been cutting the base of this one quite ruthlessly over the past couple of years or so, to try to get more of a tree-like habit. I then saw the Strolling Down Honeysuckle Lane” post on Germi’s blog http://thegerminatrix.com/ and was blown away by the specimen she photographed in San Antonio.  I am now on a quest to have my own Opuntia tree, and no, I will not be carving any faces in this one. RIP CM.

Soft Leaf Yucca

This Soft leafed Yucca does not seem to care what the weather does, it always looks good, both in color, margins and form.

Mexican Firebush

Mexican Firebush

Mexican Fire bush Firecracker Shrub, Mexican Fire bush, Scarlet Bush, Hummingbird Bush.

Hamelia patens

This plant is actually a native Mexican shrub or small tree. The shrub never reaches its potential height of thirteen feet in Texas because it is usually frozen back to the ground, to re-emerge the next year. For some reason this one did not re-emerge this year like it was supposed to, so I planted another one earlier this year in the same location, look at it now!

A great hummingbird attractant.

Front Garden

The front garden, anyone know what the grassy, grey looking succulent is?  The rain has really greened up all the rosemary that was turning a subtle yellow. You can see the almost-bare hell-strip under the desert willow.  This area is going to be mounded with decomposed granite and soil, then planted with a mass planting of soft leafed yucca for structure and bamboo muhly for movement.

Staying in the front garden a moment:

Amaranth leaf

Amaranth starting to put on it’s luxurious, regal, fall robes.

Blackfoot Daisy

This Blackfoot daisy has now sprawled half-way across the side-walk, it received quite a bit of addition water this year due to my failed attempt to save a transplanted Bog Cyprus tree. Nothing is too hot for this little plant.

Sago Palm

My Cycas have been revitalised…


and with the rains came a lot of puddle stomping fun.

Water Droplets

And finally…

The Pilot

This pilot was forced to land his private jet on a small granite walkway in the ESP, after encountering the bad weather.  His co-pilot, strangely adorning four arms, seemed particularly pleased that they were safely on the ground, probably due to the fact that the plane had tiny wings and his face was only a couple of inches away from the over-sized propeller.

Stay Tuned for:

“Mary, Mary, quite Contrary”

All material © 2009 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by  late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

Inspirational Image of the Week:






If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Previous post:

Next post: