by ESP on June 6, 2013 · 7 comments

school-out-for-summer“School’s out for Summer!”

And what better way to celebrate than a trip to Dave & Buster’s right after school.

As we approached the front door I naturally began eyeing up the two mature sago palms…hmm, I wonder?


After writing my previous post about my own strobilus exploits my awareness has been heightened to these ancient plants. I have stopped and peered into the hearts of multiple plants on my travels the past few weeks to look at their…ahem, organs.


I had seen numerous strobili but, as yet, no females / seeds.


I could see from the cone that the left hand sago was a male but I could not see anything in the right hand plant.

I held my breath, heart racing (okay not really)



There it was, sago palm coral, a heart of seeds.

It takes a couple of months for the seeds to develop and ripen in the feathery scales of the megasporophylls and about twice as long to learn how to pronounce and spell it.

As the female cone begins to disintegrate it releases all the seeds across the ground under the mother sago.

DSC01653 copy

Now I need to cut off my own strobilus and buy a trench coat and trilby for dramatic effect, (not necessarily in that order) for the subversive nocturnal act that I now feel compelled to perform in front of D&B.


“Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s going on ‘ere then?”

I think I will stand less chance of getting apprehended if I perform the pollen shaking deed during the hours of darkness. The tricky part is going to be collecting all the seeds after pollination…

…”No, no, you don’t understand officer, you see I pollinated this plant some time ago and I was just climbing back in here to collect some of the seeds, you see cycads ar…”

I started to plan a better response in my head as we entered the building.


We played our usual games, won our usual 6K tickets and exchanged them for the usual array of cheap Chinese products that usually stop working somewhere between exiting the establishment and the opening of my car door in the parking lot, but they had fun, they were on summer vacation.


  DSC01589Moving On:


My potential annual Darwin Award activity took place last week on the roof of my house as I cut off some post oak limbs that had been scraping and banging above our heads every time there was a breeze. I was also not delighted to find an enormous and foul smelling pile of raccoon excrement waiting for me under the eaves, directly above the blocked gutter.

Well that’s just great.


My boots had zero traction on the metal roof so to get to the offending branches required a rather painful shimmy backwards down the length of the roof. I always choose an overcast day to get up here to avoid getting branded by the corrugated metal roof.

I should have taken some pictures up there.


A tiny grasshopper watching my rooftop kerfuffle.


Lots of humidity and lots of blooms this week,


tropical looking shell flowers emerging from the husk.



Alpinia zerumbet


is commonly called shell ginger or shellflower due to it’s shell pink flowers and buds that look like sea shells.


They remind me of the Coquina Clams she obsessively collected at South Padre Island:



Say ahh.


Opuntia in full swing,


and a new one for the Patch:

Justicia betonica, J. pallidior

white shrimp plant,

Justicia betonica, J. pallidior


pink tubular blooms will eventually emerge from this spike of white calyxes.

This plant is zoned for 9, 10 & 11 so fingers crossed.


Coneflowers are popping up,


great against a dark foliage backdrop.

And the sunflowers


continue to attract a host of pollinators.


Talking of which, I have some business to attend to.


Stay Tuned for:


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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1 Cheris June 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Nice bee shot!

2 ESP June 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Thank you Cheris.

3 Tim June 13, 2013 at 10:06 am

You should film this guerrilla pollination. It sounds like a fascinating and hilarious documentary.

Haha I should Tim, right up to the arrest scene :-)

4 Bob Pool June 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm

You are so close to becoming a stalker, of female parts at that.

5 ESP July 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm


6 Lori July 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Is that a strobilus in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?


I can only picture how perplexed any viewers of the Dave & Busters security feed are gonna be. It’s too bad that the security feed is probably video only, because I am picturing this film noir nighttime caper augmented by a David Attenborough-esque narration, ’cause why not mix some genres along with some pollen. :’)

7 ESP July 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

Haha…now that is a chat-up line!
Whoops, I never considered the security feed:-) Good thing I was in disguise.

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