“Brains”…Case Closed!

by ESP on May 2, 2013

Welcome to what I hope is a leaner and meaner ESPatch website.

I have reduced the size, consolidated the sidebar and tried everything I could to speed up the load time (including waxing and greasing the inter-webs, naturally).

Tell me you no longer have time, while it is loading, to make an entire cup of tea…Annie?

Now, onto those brains:



I am happy to announce that I finally have closure to the “floating brain” anomalies that have been showing up in my pond for countless years.

“Aye, since I was a whipper snapper those brain anomalies have been showing up in his pond.”

And this is it in a word:


Brains...more Brains!

A reader who was conducting research on waterlilies kept coming across this word and subsequently searched it on Google and low and behold my “floating brain” mystery was solved…thanks for solving this brain teasing puzzle Max P, and for informing me.

Here is the definition of being viviparous:

1. Producing living young instead of eggs from within the body in the manner of nearly all mammals, many reptiles, and a few fishes.
2. Germinating while still attached to the parent plant (or) producing plantlets.


It turns out that my Madam Ganna Walska tropical water lily happens to be one on the list of the most popular viviparous tropical lilies on the market today.


The brains start life as gelatinous looking growths in the center of a lily pads. The brain grows until the original lily pad decays and completely disintegrates, leaving only a floating ‘brain’.


Ack, ack, ack, ack!

The brain eventually gets large enough and heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the pond where it can take root and start growing in the organic sludge…ingenious.

Talking about things that look like other things.

Here is another rather strange video from the director (ahem) that gave you the internationally (ahem) acclaimed short:  “Looks Like..1”

Moving along:

You can wipe your butt with its soft fuzzy leaves.

You can make a medicinal tea out of it to treat coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.

You can even extract oil from the plant’s flowers to relieve pain from earaches and infections, hemorrhoids, inflammations, rashes, sunburns, and bruises.

Verbascum thapsus L.


Verbascum thapsus L.


also called Wooly Mullein, Velvet-leaf, Flannel-leaf, Jacob’s Staff and Quaker Rouge, a most versatile plant indeed.

cowboy toilet paper

Pick it after a heavy dew to achieve that extra ‘fresh’  feeling…


cowboy toilet paper

The plant is often called “cowboy toilet paper,”

114116.gifbut beware, overuse of the plant externally can irritate the skin and if you harvest the plant from the roadside there is always the risk of pollutants, and you most certainly do not want any of those anywhere…


down there.


Quakers were not allowed to use makeup way back when, but rubbing wooly mullein leaves on their cheeks (facial) resulted in a desirable ruby blush…hence “Quaker Rouge.”


Blue Jay

I found this fledgling Blue Jay huddled against my back deck, its mother was up in an adjacent pecan tree beckoning to it.

young blue jay

It was not at all afraid of me as I took a couple of pictures, I took this one a few inches away from it,  just before it let out the most unearthly scream…so much volume for such a small bird.  Then it blundered to the relative safety and cover of my Hoja Santa plants.


Luckily for it, this current cold snap has all the local cats hunkered down in much warmer places…

Forest Gump

…Fly Mr Blue Jay…Fly.


Stay Tuned for:

“Pick, Pick, Picking”


All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


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