“In the event of a water landing, I have been designed to serve as a flotation device”
And even more rain in Central Texas…and even more mosquitoes, although I have noticed that they are getting slower, their desperation for the red matter making them easier to swat. There are also some mosquito-monsters, what is that? Is that a? You have got to be kidding me… some are so large, getting stung is like getting stabbed with a knitting needle. Hey, everything is bigger in Texas.
The rain had beaten down this swallowtail butterfly to the ground, along with some Mexican Bush Sage. When I approached, as if on cue, the bird moved a wing ever so feebly, like a surrender flag. It was a tragic scene.
I managed to get the butterfly on a small twig where I then placed it up higher, next to one of my gazing balls, to get a breeze and dry it’s wings off. As soon as a breeze hit it’s wings, it immediately struck a pose.
Like a huge flying mantra ray, or a solar sail in orbit around an alien sun, it sat in that spot for hours, slowly fanning it’s wings. The next day it had gone, perhaps an anole ate it? Perhaps it dried off and flew away? I will never know.
Uhh ohh…(sirens go off)
NERD Alert, NERD Alert, NE…
It seems as though my Giant Timber Bamboo has developed barnacles, bamboo barnacles!
Asterolecanium bambusicola Boisduval
Try saying that one at a party to ensure everybody looks at you like a freak for the rest of the evening! The Asterolecaniidae, or pit scales, are an unusual group in which many members can cause “pits” to occur on their host plants, usually Bambusa.
Many are considered as damaging pests on their hosts, sucking the sap from the culm sheath and stems. (Adjusts glasses) This is one of the more common pit scales. The coloration of this scale is light green to light brown with a cream colored to orange margin. It has a waxy covering making it difficult to eradicate…I don’t even try. Snort
My front porch has been consumed and I mean consumed by this Passiflora Coccinea or Red Passion Flower this year. The vine escaped its usual winter die-back fate last year due to the particularly mild winter we had. This years growth on top of the old growth has created a vine of monsterous proportions, it is attempting to engulf my entire front porch. If we do not have a cold winter this year I fear my front door may become unusable.
It is like the carnivorous Mexican vine in the movie “The Ruins”. It is even trying to get into the windows! I will let it for now because in the mornings when the sun shines on it, it creates the best shadows to wake to, very jungle like, and I do like jungle. I am just happy that it is not planted on the side of our house with the Tahoe hole in it, or I firmly believe it would already be inside the house, covering the TV and our Lazy Boys with it’s green tendrils.
Could this be the fate of the Patch should we not get a good freeze this winter?
Staying on the subject of rather large vehicles, driving at high speed into the sides of houses, this is the current scene in our living room right now. The recent cold fronts we have been experiencing have created the need for some creative improvisation, oh yes when the colder wind picked up recently it was whistling through here. It made watching a movie feel more like an outdoor retreat. What was our creative improvisation? Well as you can see, it involved copious amounts of Duct Tape and some plastic leaf bags to achieve this deconstructionist aesthetic. I have to mention that these bags are constantly sucking in and blowing out, it is like living inside of bellows. The Botox Lady had a really strange look on her face when I walked past her from the shed carrying the roll of Duct Tape.
Another over-achiever that has really sprung this year (its third year) is this Buddha’s Belly Bamboo,
Bambusa tuldoides ‘Ventricosa’
I am thinking of taking out the white pomegranate shrub on the right of it to offer the scene some more breathing space. I have never really cared for this shrub, it has a scrappy curled look to it’s foliage, like it is perpetually thirsty. Apart from the white blooms it develops in the spring, it mostly just sits there, bothering me, yes, I am afraid the woodcutter will return with his sharpened axe in the very near future, what do you think? Do I just hate “curly foliage”?
It is not like the Belly Bamboo does anything more spectacular, but the foliage just works for me as an imposing tropical backdrop to these variegated agaves.
I cannot describe how many insects are on this Amaranth at the moment. It has rendered my center pathway almost unusable. Clouds of moths,wasps,hoverflies,wasps,butterflies,bees surround you should you sweep past the colorful plant. It is quite staggering.
The insects seem to get drunk on the Amaranth necter, not caring at all about the camera.
Lots of fall color right now in the Patch courtesy of Amaranth, cigar plant, Philippine violet and Mexican bush sage.
We went to the Mueller playground at the weekend and spotted some of Austin’s very own Monk Parakeets, they were everywhere! As were their feathers that kept falling out of the tree as I took this photograph.
Cyperus alternifolius (Unbrella Papyrus)
I may just have to bury yet another rather large rubber container and get this one going. It would look great buried in the middle of a bed as a center-piece with an under-planting of…wait, I think I know just the place!
A freshly emerged damselfly?
“Let the boring scooping begin!”
I hope you will check out the new ESP “character listings” at the top of the green side-bar under “Pages”. Let me know if I have missed any important details or if I have excluded anyone you think should have a presence there.
Cactus Man, Cactus Man where art thou?
Stay Tuned for:
“The Leaf, the Witch, and the Water-feature ”
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