This Coreid Bug or Leaffooted bug…
in fact the acanthocephala genus contains the largest insects in this family, with the declivis being the largest member…I had found a monster! Such a intimidating character with his flared and spiny collar. Although members of another family, the Pentatomidae, are commonly called stink bugs, this chap smells much worse, probably in part because they are bigger insects. If disturbed, these large insects will squirt a disgusting liquid out of the glands on the sides of their bodies. Brrrr.
The body is a dusty gray color and is hard to misidentify. It is frequently found under leaves during the winter months and on warm winter days you may find them sunning themselves on small blankets.
The trunk-like appendage tucked up under it’s body is called a stylet or rostrum,
I said rostrum!
when it is ready to start sucking on a plant, this is it’s modified-mouth-part weapon of choice. Within this tube move the stylets – sharp needle-like structures with which the insect pierces the plant tissue. The method of feeding by plant bugs as a whole is to inject saliva into the plant tissue which assists in its breakdown thereby making this tissue easier to assimilate.
My eldest screamed “Big BUG” shortly after I had dug up a baby feather grass, I must have disturbed him. I went back with my camera to catch him delicately wading like an H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds tripod through my succulent bed. I was really happy to get these shots without encountering any serious “emissions”.
While I was clambering around in this bed I did happen to notice this little bit of zen…
What a great place for a grass-seed to germinate, very sculptural. It looks as though the Naboo have tied it together, perhaps as a rudimentary shelter? I am pretty sure that these blocked up caves are where the Naboo tribe take shelter in the cold winter months. I find them all over the Patch, some even have the remains of tiny fires at the cave entrance.
The frost distressed skin on this agave made it look completely bizarre, very rhino.
“Is that really what my skin looks like?’
“Meee, I am afraid soooo, Mr rhinooooowwww“.
Yes, to the delight of the hobbits their friend, Drake the cat, dropped into the Patch once again to drink deeply form my algae laden feeder tank, I think it is addicted to it, my old cat used to like the the flavor too.
New blood-red growth has started on this flamboyant bauhinia corymbosa vine. This vine is one of my favorites in the patch and once established it will breeze through both frost and drought.
The name ” Bauhinia “ was a name given this genus by Linnaeus to honor the twin brothers Johann and Gaspard Bauhin, who were 16th century Swiss scientists – Johann was a botanist and Gaspard a botanist and physician.
A storybook vine if ever there was one.
Using the name of these identical twins is fitting as Bauhina leaves are composed of two identical lobes. Here is a picture of the vine taken last summer, it looks like thousands of green butterflies.
This sotol was showing off with a setting winter sun illuminating it, this is why we have sotols, this is what makes their flesh ripping antics worth while. That is a swath of ghost plants next to it, with some of that irritating clover that is really hard to get to… and out.
Here are the ghosts in all of their animated glory, and yes that is the Leaffooted bug, out of focus in the foreground. It was so large it was hard not to get it in frame, no-matter where I was shooting.
Other “almost” spring-like developments this week…
Looking like some old fashioned British sea-side rock (candy), I had a couple of these but only this one made it, not because of the freezes, oh no, but because the other one got sat on, you can fill in the rest. Pink-red flowers in winter, you can’t beat that.
I wanted to pull out this milk thistle so bad, but I did a double take on it, got drawn into the foliage coloration and thought I would leave it for a while longer. There is a legend that the leaves were formed by milk that fell from the breast of the Virgin Mary when she was suckling the baby Jesus. Apparently the leaves can be boiled like spinach. Has anyone tried this?
It flowers between June and August – under the purple flower, there are several stiff flower bracts, looking like a many-pointed star. Maybe I will leave it alone after all, curious I am (Yoda voice).
The first coneflower is on the rise. Horah!
I have to show this next image as a follow-up to the creation of dirty “frosty” in my last post. Of course he melted, but she had a re-incarnation already planned for the dirty, slush man… a reincarnation in a bowl, it is just what he would have wanted…
I cannot believe that I have made it through this entire post without mentioning my…
And to finish, the tiny cooling flowers of an Ipheion, ‘Rolf Fiedler’ (Thanks for the ID Les). The best blue color!
Inspirational concept of the week…
geotube is a building proposal designed by the california based architecture firm, faulders studio for the
unique environment of dubai. the building features a large super structure which will, over time, grow
a skin façade on its own. the system utilizes a vertical salt deposit growth systemthat uses water from the
adjacent persian gulf. the water is sprayed onto the mesh of the superstructure using a gravity fed system,
allowing the skin to continually grow using nothing but local materials. because the persian gulf has the
world’s highest salinity for oceanic water, the sprayed water will evaporate and salt deposits begin to
form. ‘the tower’s appearance transforms from a transparent skin to a highly visible white solid plane.
the result is a specialized habitat for wildlife that thrives is this environment, and an accessible surface
for the harvesting of crystal salt.’ the water would be pumped in using a long underground tube, hence
the project’s name.
Stay Tuned for:
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