“Bugs and Ducks”

November 11, 2012 · 8 comments

Fragrant mist flowers are irresistible to insects.

Plant a good line of them, sit in a front row seat, grab some popcorn or a hot dog and watch the show.

We had cameras at the ready, zoomed in and set on macro.

The first insect caught me by surprise as it scrambled from heart of one of the plants, moving at a frantic pace.

This is a male tarantula hawk,

Pepsis formosa

 

The females are the spider hunters of this species, the males preferring to feed on flowers.

These are the largest wasps in the United States reaching two inches in length. Their stingers are a substantial 1/3 inch long – if it does stab you it is considered to be one of the most painful insect stings in the world.

The metallic-blue black body and flame-like wings

Here is something you do not see everyday:

Some other characters coveting the mist flowers this week:

Close but not quite.

Lots of snout nosed butterflies,

Long horned bees,

and spiny hoverflies.

There have been skittish Buckeye butterflies,

Junonia coenia

 

and plenty of these fighter-jet skippers drinking the nectar.

Of course all of this insect commotion attracted

The anoles were having a feast.

Guess what else we did this week?

The total count was 140 satsumas shattering all previous records for our little tree.

Some of the fruit was very large,

these we separated out,

and blended into juice. I am sure the tree is relieved to have all of the weight lifted off it’s limbs.

 

With Halloween behind us, it was time to get a little slice of home at the Austin Celtic festival.

This rather smartly dressed viking appeared to be having a spot of bother.

She naturally gravitated toward the nicknack tents and being emotionally scarred after her traumatic goose pecking experience in Baton Rouge,

http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2012/07/all-over-the-map/

she gave these ducks a very wide berth.

Eeek…eeek…quack…etc. 

The highlight of my day was when I got to listen to the magical voice of Moya Brennan from the Irish band Clannad.

Back in the Patch:

Smoldering burgundy canna,

and burgundy fountain grass put on a great display on the breeze with a setting sun.

Copper Canyon Daisy is starting to bloom in the wormwood, a nice combination if you prune the daisy tight to the silver canopy of the artemesia.

Finally:

How much longer can they last?

 

Stay Tuned for:

“The Tent in the Woods”

 

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

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cheryl November 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm

the “all over the map” link isn’t working. I got a “gnarly dude 404 message”. Love your insect photos! And what a haul you got from your little Satsuma tree! Now I’m thirsty.

2 ESP November 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Hi Cheryl

Link should be working okay now, thanks for the feedback…annoying gnarly dude :-)

Thanks on the insect front and yes we have satsumas everywhere, we have even developed a marble-like game that is played in our hallway with them.

We are now freezing some of the juice for a mimosa or ten on Christmas morning.

3 Steph@RamblingWren November 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

WOW! That is a lot of satsumas. I just purchased a Fragrant mist flower. Yours look great! Are yours in the sun or part shade? Dog dressed in costume at Celtic festival = Brilliant!

Hi Steph.
It was a lot of satsumas and congratulations on your mist flower, you will not be disappointed. I have some in part shade some in full sun, they don’t seem to care.
How about that “Scotty” dog.>

4 TexasDeb November 12, 2012 at 7:26 am

Our Meyer Lemon trees didn’t produce as much fruit this year as last but we are getting 12-14 large fruit off the two small trees in combination (at current water prices I think that makes each lemon cost out at about 4 dollars). Our citrus trees are still in pots but we will take a deep breath and put them into the ground pretty soon and keep our fingers crossed they’ll not only survive but thrive as your satsuma clearly has. So inspiring! (and WHY didn’t I think of getting a fruit tree that would lend itself to making Mimosas? D’oh!

ESP – do you protect your satsuma at all against the cold? (and if so – how?)

Hi TD. Satsuma thrive very well here in the ground though Mex.lime can freeze and I keep all my Meyer lemon trees in pots and move them up close to the house when it freezes. I do nothing to protect my satsuma trees from the cold. I did try and cover my Mexican lime tree once:

http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2010/01/carnival/

Never again!

5 Les November 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm

No, you don’t see that everyday.

6 ESP November 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

No you don’t Les :-)

7 Desert Dweller / David C. November 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Nice plants, bugs, and all…but the Darth Vader-unicycler-bagpiper made me forget it all! But the “Theme from Harry’s Game” brought me back…chilling, powerful even to this non-Celt…first heard that song while waiting for U2 to come onto the stage at Red Rocks as a teen. Nice diversity of events, Mr Patch.

(p.s. – wouldn’t Alex *Jones* be a Celt…Welsh?…I can almost hear his gravelly yell of, “masonic control grid” in the distance!)

8 ESP November 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

Hi David.
Yes quite a talent Vader!
“Theme from Harry’s Game”, great tune, it was great to be 8ft from Moya Brennan singing it.
Very funny on the Alex front…I need to feature him and his gravelly yelling madness more :-)

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