“Blast from the Past”

by ESP on July 28, 2013

I found some old photographs while I was in Scotland…and took pictures of them.

This is me, on one of the many occasions my sister took advantage of the fact that I did not really mind being taken advantage of.


Note: Mud-pie bucket…fantastic!


Sweet big sis…mostly ;-)



My sister had an affinity for training animals at a young age.

This was our first dog, “Amber”.


My dog encounters unfortunately involved receiving a lot of puncture wounds.

Amber apparently did not care too much for having her juicy bones removed involuntarily from her jaws by a small child uttering complete gibberish.

I cannot blame her.


I had to include this photo with my cousins just because it communicates the “tolerance and general demeanor” of the average British seaside excursion…(character-building stuff a trip to the seaside : no iPhones /iPads back then).

Ah yes, I remember the days as if yesterday…freezing-cold North Sea water, crunchy sand-filled sandwiches, windbreaks, flasks of tea, and the ever-present sensation of always being just a little “too cold”, even on the hottest days of summer,


a sensation I cannot say I have ever had in our Texas summers…


…”Only one more planting-bed to go honey”.


I think I must have been auditioning for a part in The Nutcracker in this one.

Note: Background windbreak.


Moving Less Nostalgically Along:

Back in the Patch:


More rain storms this week…and it is almost August!


This storm front arrived packing a serious light show, thank goodness this bolt missed my post oak on the left.


The barometer sages

Leucophyllum frutescens


had correctly predicted the weather change once again. It is said that heavy pruning can diminish the blooms on these plants, but I have never noticed any degradation and I keep these two pruned tightly to reduce legginess and central splaying.


These two will be getting an aggressive haircut as soon as they finish showing off,


and the plants are not completely covered in bees and hoverflies.


Other observations this week:


Blue Dashers and many other dragonflies are busy posturing and performing some quite “risky” meter high antics.



The waxy Moy Grande (Texas Star Hibiscus) has thrown out some massive blooms this week.


On a contrasting note:

Remember these fine “cowboy toilet paper,” mullein?



Well they are not so fine any more.


If this is what happens to them in the summer it must have been an inconvenient and a rough

(and I do mean “rough” ahem)

few months for the cowboy on a strict bean diet.


Enough said.

Now onto some critters:


Stepping into this sandal would have also been an uncomfortable experience.

This is a great leopard moth caterpillar and it cast a long shadow as it quickly crossed our carpet the other night.


It was huge.

Some friends of ours found this rhinoceros beetle,




They are also called elephant beetles, Hercules beetles, or Atlas beetles some of which are among the largest beetles on Earth.

This one is a male as it is sporting the “tusk” which is used for fighting both over females and for feeding sites and rites on trees, logs, and crops.

In spite of their fierce appearance, these beetles are harmless and feed only upon plant material.


Laziness, procrastination, heat and an unwillingness to wield my pick axe resulted in a great result this week.


After my strange yucca tumbling and sawing of the trunk at the base, it was my intention to dig out the tap root and replace the plant with something else. I even tried a shovel on it a few times but it wasn’t moving, so in the ground it stayed.


After the rain I walked past the stump and yes there it was, not one, not two but numerous new yuccas on the rise.

…In fact, a scary amount.


I am looking forward to seeing what will happen here.

Stay Tuned for:

“Design Up-Front”


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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