by ESP on February 2, 2013 · 12 comments


butterfly wings. 


Some fine art courtesy of a dead Gulf Fritillary I uncovered.

I was happy to break up the monotony of the dreaded leaf pick up to take these pictures. 


If it hadn’t disintegrated a few minutes later, I may have still been taking them, anything is better than the dreaded leaf pick up.


Still a few more to go, but the Patch is almost back to its respectable self. A few more sunken limestone boulders to replace the small rocks on the right and I will sleep soundly once again…




There are always a few unmentionables to be found lurking inside the Patch, like this pinecone cactus which appears to have had it’s extremities nipped by the cold, and nobody wants that.




…just one more.


Back to butterfly wings for a moment.


This is a Pipevine Swallowtail, freshly emerged.

Battus philanor


It has a pixelated,


Matrix coloration to it.


“You can see the swallowtail, you can feel the air from its beating wings, but it too is only part of the construct. Ask yourself, did the butterfly fly to you or did yo…”

Okay, we get it Morpheus.

“You only think that you get it ESP, but your brain is really a prison, a trap, a..”

OKAY Morpheus!



My daughter rescued it from our rain gauge and made a new friend, well until she almost stepped on it.


I took this picture of the larva a few years back.

Pipevine Swallowtail

The males, like this one, have blue iridescent upper surfaces on their hind wings.


This crimson passion vine that is steadily engulfing my front porch was probably a host to this caterpillar.


I have also noticed some other bugs sucking juices from the plant.


These Largus bugs are showing up in large numbers in the Patch this year but they generally cause little injury to plants upon which they feed.

One final insect straight out of a science fiction movie is this soapberry bug:


Jadera haematoloma


Also known for obvious reasons as the red-shouldered bug and also the goldenrain-tree bug, I found this one in a hollow of a struggling redbud tree though, like Largus bugs, it does not cause any significant damage to plants (and trees) even with its somewhat menacing eyes.  

eyes red eyes selective coloring 1680x1050 wallpaper_www.wall321.com_31

On this rather melancholic note I will leave you to ponder the following when you next fill up your bird feeder:
Human Ash Bird Feeder by Nadine Jarvis:

While some designers aim to shock just for the sake of it, others are sensitively attempting to solve problems related to issues that were once considered taboo. “Death is taboo – in fact it is one of the last taboos in Western society,” says Nadine Jarvis, one of many designers exploring issues such as cremation and burial. “Death is something that everyone has to deal with, yet there aren’t many options for our treatment of the deceased, and certainly none are very challenging to our existing belief systems”

These bird feeders are made of bird food, beeswax and human ashes. As the birds peck away, the urn disintegrates, leaving behind a wooden perch inscribed with memorial details about the deceased. “The ash is mixed with the bird food, causing the bird to eat the person,” says Jarvis.

Designer: Nadine Jarvis

Stay Tuned for:

“Off the Beaten Track”



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punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
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1 Desert Dweller / David C. February 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Mull of Kintyre, B-movie faces, and bugs all in the same post…twisted goodness! The soapberry bug is a new one to me, but now to watch the video I never knew of from Wings…

2 ESP February 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Hi David.
Mull of Kintyre was the first single in the UK to sell over 2 million copies!
The soapberry bug was a first for me also, very exotic coloration.
I keep laughing at those screaming ladies…ridiculous.

3 Cheryl February 3, 2013 at 1:18 am

Um, does Botox Lady know about that pinecone cactus?…… I like the bird feeder idea!

4 ESP February 3, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hi Cheryl.
It was her screaming directions that first drew my attention to it…”Ovar dar, Ovar dar.”
I liked the human ash bird feeder too. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud.

5 Bob Pool February 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Does the Soap Berry bug lay it’s eggs on Soap Berry trees and the larvae would bore into the trees? Like Box Elder beetles.

Does the red passion flower vine require a lot of water?

I am doing a job for an eastern European woman right now and every time she talks I have to hold back a snicker because I’m thinking about the botox lady and the way she talks. I’ve heard plenty of “Yah, dat looks goot”.

6 ESP February 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Hi Bob.

I am not sure if they bore into trees? I do know they feed predominately on the seeds of plants in the soapberry family.

I never water this passion flower, it looks very tropical like it would require additional watering, but it is tough as nails.

Haha, the Botox Lady seeps into the public consciousness…and we all know how profusely she seeps.

7 Pam/Digging February 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Your patch is looking clean and lovely, ESP, while mine is still awaiting the dreaded live oak leaf drop. Aieeee! We’ll be buried in leathery little leaves soon.

8 Charlie February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I absolutely love the color, the detail, the art in your post. I enjoy your enthusiasm and your love of life. Thank you for sharing.

9 ESP February 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm

It is slowly getting there Pam and good luck with your live oak leaf pick up. I would come and help you but I don’t want to :-)

10 ESP February 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Hello Charlie…and thank you for tuning in!

11 Manny February 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Absolutely beautiful photography Phil!
Love the blog too. You should invite
David Bellamy to do a piece on your patch.
He’ll fascinated by all the strange and interesting
Eco systems growing.

12 ESP February 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Thanks Manny.

David Bellamy, now there is a person I have not thought about or missed hearing in twenty Years…”grapple me grapenuts” etc :-)

Sid James would have had a field day with that pine cone cactus.

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