“On The Chain Gang”

by ESP on August 1, 2010

My Pride of Barbados have put on a terrific show this year, getting, along with my amaranth, the tallest I have ever seen them.

Here are a couple of them (and I do not mean the hobbits) that start off in the shade, then, fight their way up and up until they find the full sunlight…a good incentive for them to stretch their legs it seems.

That blue tee shirt was actually my tee shirt when I was his age, they don’t make them like that anymore, 100% polyester and a potent concoction of petrochemicals…still, I have to admit that it has held up well enough to now become an heirloom!

There it is, in the early 70’s, on holiday in a caravan park in Wales, UK.

That hat is a winner big sis, do you still wear it around town? …You should :-)

“Look aunt sally, she be wearin’ my Welsh vacation ‘oliday hat”

“Strangely, I thinks I knows that Caravan Park ESP”.

As you can see my sister had a matching tee shirt with her name emblazoned on it, it was apparently the craze back then for families to occasionally dress in the same outfits. (Or perhaps we just couldn’t remember who we were?)

If memory serves me correct…I believe we also had matching ponchos at one point, yes I said ponchos, but I flat-out refuse to post that picture.

This is the amaranth that is apparently on some form of steroids in my hell-strip.  I have never seen amaranth this size at this time of year, even the seedpods are at a late September length.

The fungi have also been reveling in our (so far) moist-for-Texas summer:

I said fungi!…

This moist storybook scene sprouted up in my papyrus stock tank.

I have a couple of these moon-flowers growing up some large bamboo poles at the entrance to the back garden, they have loved the late afternoon rains and frequent soakings, one has even reached the top of the pole. I grew these from seed planted out early May, they have and continue to put up a great night time show as a backdrop…

to my datura.

This is the twisted ice-cream cone of the moon-flower, just before blooming.

Moving on…

I feel like I have been “On the Chain Gang” this past week, initially digging my way through the earth to prep three fall planting beds, then this familiar sight rounded the corner…it could only mean a couple of things…

Pain and sweat!

A full truck load consisting of 12 yards of my “favorite” substrate, decomposed granite, and another truck loaded with boulders, beach pebbles, and mulch turned up on the previously posted design scheme I am currently in the process of implementing.


I thought the rounded blue-white rocks would work well strewn around the base of this young Spanish oak tree.  I love these Mexican beach pebbles, in fact I like them so much I have ordered another 1/4 ton!  They also totally change character when wet, going to a much darker shiny dark gray/blue state.  I need these in the Patch!

I strangely felt some granite already stuck in my teeth before I even started to hack at the granite mound’s snow-capped peak that at this point looked insurmountable.  I made a makeshift base camp on a lower shelf and started to mentally prepare myself.

The wheel guard on my wheelbarrow immediately fell off and it’s tire once again deflated in its now customary defiant manner. (It always does this when a delivery from Custom Stone pulls onto a work site.)

I need a new wheelbarrow, though with the amount of sweat, blood and toil I have gone through with my “old unfaithful” I could never get rid of it…oh no, it will end up having holes drilled into it and perhaps planted?  Or maybe I will mount it on hooks and attach it to an elaborate pulley system where I can hoist it up high on my living room wall… like a moose head?

“Naturally I prefer the hook idea ESP”

The digging began and continued and continued and con…, with frequent resting points in “base camp” to cool off with a traditional iced turban or ten.  More on this excavation next week, if my arms and hands are still capable of typing.

Here are a few creatures that were spotted in the Patch this week (sadly, no more Naboo sightings): http://www.eastsidepatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ESP-garden-2-copy.jpg

A dragonfly and an anole not talking to each other. I wonder what they argued about?

I tried the newer sinking dunks today (left) to kill a few thousand of these wigglers

A day or two later I noticed a greasy, oily film had appeared on top of the water. I think I will revert back to the doughnut brand.  I also like that you can see these floating dunks disintegrate over time, they sort of let you know when another application is required.

I bet you already know that the oldest known mosquito with an anatomy similar to our modern species was found in 79 million year old Canadian amber, 79 million!

While I was inspecting all my rosemary plants, I noticed this jumbo jet of a moth, hanging down on one of my prostrate…prostate…oh whatever…rosemary sprigs.

This is the stout body of the Nessus Sphinx Moth.

Amphion floridensis

These are a class of day-flying moths sometimes known as Hummingbird moths because of their flight characteristics.  The median band may be very pale or almost absent, or it can be wide and even double banded. The rustic brown coloration and wing shape of this bird is superb.

Moi Grande Hibiscus and phlox still putting out blooms!

Stay Tuned for:

“It Ain’t Half Hot Mum!…ESP on Tour”

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intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late  (and extremely unpleasant)
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