“Stop Larking Around”

by ESP on April 16, 2013

I don’t know why but I seem to have more than my fair share of strange goldfish escapades. This latest one had me scratching my head, something this goldfish could never do, because this goldfish had been…





It also had had it’s tail removed. Brrr.

Hannibal Lecter

This cold blooded (ahem) murder was made all the stranger due to the fact that I located the corpse on the side of this bird bath that was looking particularly unattractive being full of post oak catkin sludge, and now apparently a random fish part.


Now I know Kumo has a fondness and a reputation for finding and lodging the odd rotten fish-bit around his collar, but this time I am quite sure he had nothing to do with the crime.


I know this as when confronted with something and he is guilty, his expression morphs into something like this:


Not that I really thought he could catch a fish, expertly filet it’s head and tail then position what was left strategically on the side of my birdbath.

GollumI can only assume this is Gollum’s handiwork, perhaps he was looking for some water to wash the fish down?

Moving Along:

Seedpods from my stargazer lilies…talk about bizarre.


Alien Stomach

What did you expect?

Lots of firsts this week in the Patch.


The first tropical bloom from this butterfly iris.


The first croaks and visitations from our Gulf coast toads,


and the first flowers on my lizard’s tail,

Saurusus cernuus


also called breast weed as it has historically been used to treat inflammation of the breasts and other portions of the body.


As the greenish seeds develop, the “tail” takes on a wrinkled appearance, hence the common name.

Lizard’s tail has distinctive heart-shaped leaves and a curved raceme with many white, inconspicuous flowers. 

lizards tail

The flowers have a sassafras aroma to them very similar to Hoja Santa.

A great pond plant but keep it in a container as it spreads aggressively by rhizomes.


This ‘Black Pearl’ ornamental pepper provides some great shade color,


with its eerie iridescent purple-pink flowers.


Larkspur are also just starting to open up this week.


I recall shaking some spent larkspur plants over this bed last year, no shortage in here now!

African hosta,

Drimiopsis maculata


has enjoyed our recent rains.

Drimiopsis maculata

I divide these every year and dot them any place I have space. 

Drimiopsis maculata

More inconspicuous flowers. 

This plant tolerates part sun, light shade and even deep dark shade.

Here is my first line of porch-defense against mosquitoes this year:



I am interested to see if this deters them.

Critters observed in the Patch this week:


Bombyliidae-Hemipenthes eumenes?


And to finish a very small Mygalomorph hiding under some leaves I was clearing out, perhaps a baby tarantula?



Stay Tuned for:



All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail April 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Will be eager to hear how the lemongrass works in keeping the mosquitoes away.

Guilty Kumo – makes me laugh!

2 ESP April 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hi Gail, and yes, I am too…should be an interesting experiment.
The guilty Kumo face…always makes me laugh.

3 Desert Dweller/David C. April 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks for more botanical laughs, oh Padre del Patch!

4 ESP April 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Your welcome David de el Desierto!

5 Bob Pool April 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

What could have done that to the gold fish? Maybe a cat? I dunno.

I think that is a young tarantula. It looks just like the big ones I see here. The young ones eat a lot of pill bugs. You are a lucky guy.

6 Cindy April 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

“Thanks for more botanical laughs”

Definitely.. great help to brighten our day.

7 ESP April 19, 2013 at 9:11 am

Hi Bob.

Yes very odd on the goldfish front, could have been a cat or raccoon?

That was my guess too…a tiny tarantula! Never seen one in my own garden before…ahhh, brings back memories:


Tarantula_Mount Bonnell

8 ESP April 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Cindy and welcome from down under. Glad you liked the read.
How about that ‘Alien’ seedpod!

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