“Oops! I did it again”

by ESP on June 20, 2012 · 5 comments

Feeling rather proud of adapting my wife’s new (rather retro) summer swim cap into a slim iced turban (no wrapping or skill required for this one) I thought I would take it out into to the garden for a Patch trial run / consumer testing in the field as it were. I was quite impressed functionally-how it held up to the death star, but alas, the overall aesthetic was, well embarrassing. I did have an impromptu conversation with my neighbor who must of decided not to bring up my new “adornment” (perhaps in fear of confronting the fact that I may have somewhat of a “disorder”) as apparently I do…I never seem to learn:

“Oops! I did it again”

were not the exact words that came out of my mouth as the back of my hand slammed against cactus #2 after once again pulling on this final stand of Bermuda grass that insists on tucking itself tight into the base of this large barrel cactus. I typically use a set of pliers performing this extracting activity, but on this occasion I was so irritated I just went for it…and subsequently took my punishment.

The cactus spike snapped off and lodged into a tendon above my knuckle where I could see it move north under the skin about and inch when I made a fist…brrr, and upon making a fist there was an uncustomary and rather disturbing “clicking” sound present, but enough of that.

One of these barrels is erupting some rather frosty bloom anomalies.

Talking of anomalies…

This rather ominous-looking sotol beanstalk has had a few developments of its own of late…

…it continues to climb to new heights,

and the top of the slender panicle is now turning a hue of crimson.

Aw come on Sid!

Great contrasting forms.

This shot almost granted me a

award as the front feet of my step ladder started sinking into the surrounding pea gravel.

American Indians roasted and ate these young flower stalks, they also used to roast the trunks before fermenting and distilling them to make alcohol. There is still an alcoholic beverage known as sotol made today in parts of Mexico. The beanstalks have also been put to use as corral, porch and house roofs within its range.

Big Bend sotol house : photo by John W. Schulze

Moving Along:

Summer has officially descended on Central Texas making dragonflies smile,

and the anoles agitated,

In fact, there has been a significant amount of agitation in the Patch, (excluding the back of my hand).

Agitation that I missed some holes when I duct-taped my redneck pool (I should have paid more attention to Kumo whose attention was focused on the leak).

Agitation that the mystery “brains” that I planted some time back had not grown, in fact they had just rotted.


And agitation that once again there were dark clouds, thunder and no rain.

On a more relaxing note,

if you happen to own a black car, make sure to plant a stand of celosia along your driveway for a very dramatic effect.

A rolling wave of shell ginger brightens up a shady spot, while

pride of Barbados and a single Bauhinia vine go to work in the sun.


A recent excursion to a family members land near Blanco cooled some of us down with its aquamarine creek, and

interesting rock formations.

Oh and how could I forget the bobbing reception on the back of the barn door.

This next ridiculous video goes out to my friends over at the fantastic food blog: http://troutcaviar.blogspot.com/

(Watch it all the way to the end Brett, I hope you have continued to practice :-)

 Stay Tuned for:

“Stressing Out”

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

Everything is bigger in Texas you know.

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1 Bob Pool June 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

The look on Leah’s face in the first photo says she wants her cap back. I must say you do look rather cute in it….NOT.

Is that Wooley Stemodia on the left in the cactus photo?

You should have taken some of those Daddy Longlegs home with you. They put Lady bugs to shame on eating aphids and they only do it at night. I can only picture in my mind the sight of Naboo warriors riding them around the Patch……………………………………….while laughing at the giant with the goofy hat on.

2 ESP June 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Hi Bob.

Oh yes, my experiment with the retro bathing cap was greeted with a few very odd looks from a few individuals, still I had to give it a go :-)

Well spotted on the Wooley Stemodia, this plant spreads like crazy in this fast draining bed, it disappears then returns in full-force every year, filling in an extremely large area when conditions are good.

I once caught a small reconnaissance platoon of Naboo riding some “broken-in” daddy long-legs around the Patch, it looked really painful. I did notice that quite a few of them were wearing neck braces and padded pants (think lederhosen), I surmise this garment design was necessitated from the whip-lash and the continuous “bobbing” motion of their (almost) arachnid steeds?


3 TexasDeb June 21, 2012 at 7:55 am

Guys, thanks for saving me from further embarrassment because I always misheard and thought I was buying, planting, and admiring “woody” not wooly stemodia. In my defense, the branches closest to the roots do get a bit, *cough* woody. Ahem. Live and learn.

I haven’t seen daddy long-legs around our lot for years. I somehow doubt it means we have zero aphid activity (actually I know that isn’t true) but I have no idea why their numbers seem to be in decline. Any theories?

As to your ice turban experiments? People often scoff at innovators. Carry on I say!

Hi TD.

I hate it when that happens :-)
It is worse when you have gone through your whole life using the wrong word(s) I do this with songs a lot, really embarrassing, especially when you argue that your nonsense lyrics are actually the correct ones.

This was the largest colony of harvestmen I have witnessed, the whole door was packed with them. I also do not see many in the Patch, perhaps urban development forces them further afield?

“Iced Turban” It would make a great name for a new cocktail. You could even wrap toilet paper around the base of the glass for added effect :-)..I wonder what would be in it?


4 Desert Dweller / David C. June 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Great info and close-ups on the sotol, though it reminds me to buy some more *good* drink version of sotol, since mine is all gone. I probably won’t be getting an iced turban to ward off the death star, though…..

Thanks David. We had some sotol tequilla from a local wine merchant some time back, but they no longer carry it. I might have to start fermenting my own which would be a complete disaster.

…This size works well in Central Texas,
A fine specimen.

5 Les June 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Maybe ESP Video Productions could mount a mini-cam atop the sotol flower stalk and get candid shots from the patch.

Great idea Les, though I will not be the one teetering on the top of the step ladder to position the camera. Oh no not me, been up there…done that.

My next post will feature my daughters debut film and soundtrack for ESP Productions, she is very excited.

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