“Between a Rock and a Hardscape”

by ESP on May 28, 2012

Just when I thought this Nierembergia had as many flowers on it possible, it produced even more,

at the base of my sotol beanstalk.

A quick update on that beanstalk:

The top of it is now filling up with small flowers to be, and it is packed in there.

Sotols bloom once every few years and can do so multiple times during its lifespan. (Unlike Agaves it does not die after it has bloomed).  Also in contrast to Agaves and yuccas, lots of different insects pollinate sotol flowers, yucca are pollinated only by a moth

Tegeticula maculata


and agaves mostly by bats:

http://www.jointheevolution.ca/blog/2010/04/19/sharing-agave-nectar-with-those-who-really-need-it-why-you-wouldn%E2%80%99t-have-agaves-without-bats/

One lone bug,

on one lone Madam Ganna Walska flower in my feeder tank.

Staying with bugs for a moment, a couple of new ones were caught on camera this week in the Patch:

Coming in at the two inch mark and sporting a fine pair of fake eyes and some spray-painted coloration I give you the Click Beetle,

Alaus oculatus

 

As the name suggests these beetles “click” as a defensive mechanism. When threatened the beetle bends its head and prothorax backward then quickly straightens out with an audible click, launching the creature several inches into the air, though as you see, mine did not get very high at all. I won’t go into exactly how it does this for fear of boring you all to death but I will say this; it does involve prosternums and mesosternums…snort.

The next bug was very shy,

always maneuvering itself to the opposite side of the stem from the camera. I finally tricked it by coming at it with a stick from the opposite side with my camera lying in wait. 

Even then, it did not venture all the way around after seeing through my rouse with the most amazing planetoid eyes. This is a Fishfly which belongs to the Alderfly and Dobsonfly group of winged insects. It has most likely been feeding on the tadpoles and baby fish in my pond. Fishfly adults are a challenge to find because they are only around for a few weeks each year.

 The rather flamboyant B/Lady has recently started adopting a bug of her own…as a Bob “beauty-spot”.

 Moving along:

I have had a few more rock procurement trips this week with no further bog-encounters.

Some of these rocks have interesting features, this one may have a future life as a bubble-fountain.

as may this asteroid.

“There is absolutely no reason for public concern

Remember this:

Now Kumo…it appears we are all slowly turning into Mexican feather grasses.

“Mulder, Scully – you may want to take a look at this”.

Finally:

Palm grasses are getting ever larger.

Evergreen wisteria is developing the first blooms of the year, you can see where I am going with the brickwork, it will continue under the bench and it will be sunken flush with the DG.

Mmm…smells like Grandmas old cashmere scarf…and I like it.

The appropriately named (size and markings) Tiger Swallowtail,

Papilio glaucas

 

this is a male on a stand of Buttonbush.

Cephalanthus occidentalis


This is one Hell-Raisingly unusual plant that is actually in the coffee family.

Stay Tuned for:

“Oops! I did it again”

 

All material © 2012 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

Bizarre image of the week:

Brrr…(wakes up screaming in a cold sweat).

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