“Twelve ESP Days of Christmas”

by ESP on December 14, 2009 · 16 comments



On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,


Twelve mother of millions,


Eleven pipers piping,


Ten blooms are blooming,


Nine ladies dancing, (what?…I had nothing!)

eight stinkhorns

Eight stink horns stinking, (okay still struggling)!

seven swans are swimming

Seven swans a-swimming,

Botox lady

The Botox Lady’s spraying,


FIVVEEE  “precious”  rings…


Four inflatable turds!

Naboo Men

Three Naboo Men,


Two anoles in love,


And a Tahoe’s occupants did flee!

I have been feeling musically inclined of late, can you tell?

Moving on…Oh yes, we are getting well into the Christmas spirit here in the Patch. Our tree is up, our moth-eaten stockings are hung, and more importantly, there are a couple of excited hobbits that inspect both objects on a nightly basis, with magical childhood anticipation.


I know what this one wants… a new “amphibious” Thomas the Tank Engine, this one stopped running as soon as it’s wind-up engine hit this water feature, like he cared.


greathall-candles-film Looking like Hogwarts candles illuminating the main hall, these amaranth seed pods give the impression that they are under some form of enchantment, hovering in space.


The candles are hovering all around the patch.


This hall was the inspiration for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movie. Only Oxford students of this Christ Church college are allowed to dine here. Staying on the Harry Potter theme…


“Almost got it”!

The Snitch


This seedpod looked remarkably like the Golden Snitch, albeit a little rustier. This rogue snitch must have left the quidditch field and got hung up on my back fence some time ago.

DSC01390Southern Green Stink Bug.


Nezara viridula

I assume that this evil green chomper is eating nuts from my pecan trees, they love nuts, kernel spot of pecan is caused by the feeding of this stink bug.  These guys will also munch on practically any food crop they can sink their nasty teeth into. This one flew off before I had time to hit it with an over-sized mallet. They remind me of the aliens in The Fifth Element.


Although it is not a welcome sight, the form of this bug is really quite something, with it’s wings nesting in a recess on the top of it’s low-profile body. It’s sculpted under-carriage. Perhaps what is needed to eradicate this pest is a rather over-sized, and extremely nasty looking brown tongue, to lick the bugs from foliage?


“Eeewww!  Watch out for that sotol, giant tongue”!

You have got to be kidding me!  (knees knock together, left leg flies uncontrollably upward, jaw involuntarily wiggles left to right, hands clench, you know the drill, right Germi?).


“ahhhhllghmoooocall that a tonguemooooo.”

Can you guess what this nasty looking cow looking tongue once was?  Go on, I dare you…quite bizarre, it even had the texture of a tongue when I squeezed the edge of it…errrrr….Gross, well you knew I was going to!  Touching this cold tongue sent me into an involuntary silly walk around my decomposed granite pathways, back to the relative safety of my Galleon ship home.




This giant timber bamboo is really visible now that the pecan tree that it is growing through has lost all of it’s leaves.  The bamboo has now grown above the canopy of this tree.

Giant Timber Bamboo and Pecan

This pecan is destined for the chop very soon, the sooner the better. It is really scrappy anyway, dropping this and a bit of that all throughout the year. If it isn’t dropping pecan husks it is dropping the droppings from the multitudes of web-worms that usually inhabit the tree. Have I said it is always dropping something?


I am continuously sweeping this concrete patio. I have another pecan to the right of this one that will also fall under the wood-cutters axe soon enough, when the three giant timber plants below it mature.  I am under no illusion that this bamboo grove will also shed lots of stuff, but bamboo sheaths are much easier dealt with than the messier “products” that the Pecan trees drop.


Another tree that I am continuously hacking at is my Vitex. This tree was in pretty bad shape when we first move into our house. I have made it my goal to keep shaping and trimming this shrub-tree to raise it’s canopy to new higher heights. Here it is on the right after today’s most recent haircut.

Talking of hacking back…This red passion vine now resembles a mass of seaweed after our recent freezes.  I wondered what manner of monsters were laying in waiting for me in it’s murky depths.  I reluctantly went to the shed to get my gloves and pruners.  This vine did not freeze at all last year and naturally it got quite enormous.  As I approached it with my pruners a large tentacle lashed out of the undergrowth and encircled my arm.



Staying on the subject of sea creatures, check out Korean designer, chul an kwak’s dynamic tables…


Try sitting on one of these if you can, before they scuttle away and bury themselves in the mud-flats.


Sotols, agaves, ghosts, gophers and bottles all just swooned through the cold night temperatures with ease. I love this bed!

Red Carpet Sedum

As did this new addition, Red Carpet Sedum.

Sedum spurium ‘Elizabeth’

hellen-mirren DSC01442“I hereby give this sedum my frosty blessing”.

Inspirational image of the week…


“I am not a lover of lawns.  Rather would I see daises in their thousands,ground ivy, hawkweed,and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn”.

William Henry Hudson, author and naturalist.

(Thanks for this JuJu)


Stay Tuned for:

“Has He Been?”

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

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1 Cheryl December 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

No! So what WAS that nasty looking “cow tongue” that wasn’t a cow tongue? Inquiring minds want to know.. and therefore probably avoid. ;>)

2 ESP December 16, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Hi Cheryl.
I cannot talk about that tongue any more! Have a guess what plant that was?

3 Cheryl December 16, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Oh! My ex-husband! I should have known!

4 Les December 17, 2009 at 6:04 am

I just had to make a last minute update to my Christmas list to include a Korean tentacle table.

5 TexasDeb December 17, 2009 at 7:00 am

Merriest Christmas to ESP and the Naboos!

I am so happy somebody is still getting outside and working in their patch. Mine has been left to its own devices for several days running now, meaning all the browned and frost bitten uglies are still standing around, clearing their throats and wondering if they are meant to stay all winter.

And most certainly they are NOT, but, aside from getting a couple of bags of rocks scattered, I have been too busy moving potted plants in and out of the garage, and playing Santa’s helper, to do anything other than occasionally gaze out the window and note “MUCH to do!”.

Those tables are a wonder. Sooo lovely.

6 ESP December 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

Haha Cheryl!

7 ESP December 17, 2009 at 11:19 am

Hi Les.
Yes, a home is not truly a home without a Korean tentacle table!
They are very funky, a perfect Christmas present for anyone, especially pertinent if you have a pirate in the family…

8 ESP December 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Hi TD.

And a merry Christmas to you too! (afraid the Naboos do not celebrate Christmas) :-)

I took advantage of the sunny days in-between the rain and general miserableness. I had to get the moist succulents off the other succulents because they would rot the healthy ones. I also had to lift up a seemingly endless supply of fallen leaves. This is my least-liked chore I do in the Patch…it is so futile. I should probably wait until all the leaves are off the trees before I start my clean-up activities, but I just can’t stand having them around that long. Ooh I cant wait for those pecan trees to go!

I am down to one plant that I move up to my back deck…that is my potted Meyer lemon tree, I also stopped covering plants a few years ago, it was just too much of a pain.

I loved those tables too, very creative, so much movement brought into a static object.

9 Germi December 18, 2009 at 4:14 pm

BBBBRRRrrrrrr…. aaaarrrgggg! The minute I saw the cow tongue image, my right leg buckled as I tried to get away from the computer, and I had to drag it uselessly behind me as I wriggled in a circle, emitting a high pitched scream through clenched teeth. (I see you anticipated my reaction – what a good blogger, knowing your audience so well!) Please , please I beg you – never show that picture again! I can’t even THINK about what plant that is and if I ever find out I will rip out any that lives in my garden!

I very much enjoyed the Twelve Days … song – and had a special feeling of recognition when I came to ‘Eight Stinkhorns Stinking’ – because I think I ACTUALLY had EIGHT stinkhorns come up this year!!! Next year … I shudder to think!

How is it that The Patch is still so lovely after freezes and the onset of Texas winter? Magic, I say! The Patch is an Enchanted Kingdom, and there is always beauty to behold. As well as a wonderful assortment of oddities and fiends – just what I want in a Magical Garden of Enchantment!

Have a WONDERFUL Holiday Season, friend – and my very best to your Hobbits and Mrs. ESP!

10 ESP December 18, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Hi Germi.
Shiver me Giant Timbers…Bambmoooooooo!
How about that cow-tongue…I mean really!
Wait until you see it in my next post…apparently ‘the mouth’ that hosts the ‘tongue’ has been drinking copious amounts of red wine as of late!!! More on this later…

I laughed out loud when I read your reaction to the bug licking tongue, in fact a little too loud with sleeping hobbits around! I especially responded to the circular motion you succumbed to! …I will have to remember that one and plagiarize it at some future point, hope you don’t mind! :-)
Happy you liked the 12 ESP days of Christmas, I am so sorry that you have been plagued by “Da horns” this year Germi, it is like I have said before… they are a cosmic joke. I am sure the New Year will be kinder to you!

I strive to make the Patch our little Narnia…it certainly captures my imagination. What more can one wish for! Okay, perhaps a bigger magical wardrobe to enter into it, ours is tiny, and full of shoes. We all end up falling into our Narnia.

Thanks Germi, Have a great Christmas yourself and Mr Germi!

11 Rebecca Sweet December 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Wow – so this is the first time I’ve read your blog, and what a post it is!!! I’m speechless…and a little bit horrified (the tongue?), enamored, mesmerized and about a zillion other feelings! What a lovely, funny, clever as heck bit you’ve written here…I SO look forward to reading more!

12 ESP December 20, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Hi Rebecca.
So happy you found me!
What about that tongue…wait until you see what it has been up to in my next post…red wine guzzling and all…etc!
Hope you will stay with me in the Patch!

13 Germi December 22, 2009 at 11:03 pm

You can plagiarize anything of mine – I consider it an honor (and only fair, since that reaction was my best approximation of an ESP moment!) …

I’m so happy Sweet Rebecca wandered into The Patch! She’s great!

14 ESP December 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Thanks Germi.
It was really funny to read someone else’s “written” conniption or “moment” this word also cracked me up! :-) So funny!
And yes…welcome Rebecca!

Cheers Germi, and I apologize for the final pictures of “THE-TONGUE” (insert dramatic horror movie score here) in my latest post. I could not resist.

15 Loes Modderman October 14, 2011 at 11:53 am

Just happened upon your site. What a gorgeous pictures of plants and insects!
These Korean tables would be perfect for a spiritist seance, imagine them dancing.

16 ESP October 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Glad you like The ESPatch Loes, and yes, those tables are quite something. The one on the right would certainly turns some heads with someone sitting on it!

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