“Vomit on my Gromit”

by ESP on September 8, 2013 · 6 comments

Things took quite a surreal turn the other day.

One of my kids was down with a fever, on the couch watching TV, dog asleep on floor, I think you know where I am going with this. 

The quick vertical sitting motion immediately garnered my attention as it does with any parent…something was terribly wrong and it was about to get much worse.

“Are you okay?”

Was immediately followed by a good portion of breakfast being spontaneously deposited directly onto Kumo’s back from the couch. This involuntary action took us all by surprise especially Kumo who was now standing quite still (apart from the occasional but now intensified neurotic shiver that he always has) with an expression in his eyes that is usually reserved for panic-stricken horses.


Another dimension was added to the scene when Kumo, now thinking he was getting in trouble, started to nervously retreat into the doorway with his teetering cargo, or I hate to say it, in his mind, a potential future Michelin star quality meal.


Oh yes he would.

He actually turned to bite at his new and nasty “back-pack” numerous times as he was “escorted” extremely quickly out of the house to the garden hose.


Poor Kumo, his face says it all.

Moving a little less grossly along…



I had the pleasure of meeting this huge roach as I was messing with the pump in my feeder pond. His timing and navigational skills were outstanding, the stuff of nightmares. I saw him in my peripheral vision swinging effortlessly around a Walska lily pad, gaining momentum before heading straight for my exposed arm almost at eye level.

Needless to say I ended up on my backside under my cypress tree muttering.


I hate roaches.


Late afternoon thunderstorms have given sporadic rain around Austin and created some amazing sunsets and cloud formations this week. This one looks like Egypt with a shade canopy in the foreground making a great pyramid.


Unfortunately the only moisture the patch has received of late has been from my sprinkler. It was the first time I have used it all summer, but things were getting, shall we say, desperate in the Patch.

Baby loquats, lemon grass, bush sages and some fountain and feather grasses are looking like they now may be past the point of no return.


It does not take long in consistent upper 90 degree heat to put a stress on all things green, well, most things.


He never misses out on a sprinkler or hosing opportunity.



Considering this is the first time I have used this sprinkler this year the plants have held up well. I have hand watered struggling plants with the water I have sporadically collected in my “everything but the kitchen sink” water collection “system” but for the most part they have been left on their own.


I performed a quick fix on my leaning Buddha’s belly bamboo to at least get it to where I could walk under it:


A chunk of giant timber bamboo wedged behind this pomegranate tree did the trick.

With no additional watering and with the exception of a couple of gaura that look like they are now are pushing up the daisies, so to speak, (I always cut these back rather then pull them…just in case) the front of house is looking dry but is surviving.


The dry bamboo muhly matches our house color perfectly.

This esperanza adds a splash of color to the tortured trunk of this desert willow in the hell-strip:



“Its the yellow bells Esperanza”

I am a big fan of sabal major (and minor come to think of it) and agaves, the trunk of the sabal palm echoing the form of the agave.


This specimen was a pup when I planted it.

This next one is one of my favorites with its variegated leaves and painful extremities.


Agave Kissho kan


Agave pototarum ‘Variegata’ (I think)


 Chocolatey, minty and seriously deadly.


Stay Tuned for:

“Waltzing Nitida



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 Bob September 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm

That poor dog.

The water bug is still doing his water dance I see. That boy is going to be another Sea Hunt Lloyd Bridges.

Nothing poor about that dog Bob…Spoiled rotten he is!
The water-bug hasn’t changed, he asks me when I venture outside if I am going to put the sprinkler on.
I have said no up until this past week, he was very happy.

2 gail September 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Can really see how much “water bug” is growing taller from this post. Such long legs now.
The sunsets this past week were splendid with the light and the clouds. Beautiful picture and description.

Scary how fast he is shooting-up Gail, I attribute it to all the “mince & tatties” he is devouring :-)

Great sunsets this past couple of weeks and thanks.

3 Pam/Digging September 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Poor Kumo — and this time it wasn’t even his fault. I’m impressed that this is the first time you’ve pulled out the sprinkler.

Haha Pam and I know!…Poor nasty backpacking Kumo. I would definately not want to go camping with him.

Yes I really pushed it this year. We had sporadic downpours (as you know) throughout the summer, so I wanted to see just how far my plants could go without any supplemental water, they did pretty well until the late hot August / September dry period hit. I knew I would lose a few but was interested which plants would decline first for reference. Now I have a pretty good handle on the pecking order of death as it relates to the plants I grow. The front of the Patch has not yet received a drop of additional water this year and the Salvia leucantha are now screaming bloody murder at me…they have made it this far, they can wait until some fall downpours, or so I hope.

4 Linda Lehmusvirta September 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

Poor Kumo and poor sick baby. I’m totally impressed with how things look despite no rain (though beautiful thunder clouds)! I have had to hand water the salvias or they’d be gone gone gone. You’ve got the Patch better trained!

Hi Linda, yes a rough few days back then! All is now well again.
Yes I nearly lost a couple of salvias and I did lose a baby loquat. I thought I had better toughen up the Patch-plants in case our drought persists into next year and ONLY hand watering is allowed…yikes.

5 Katina September 27, 2013 at 9:12 am

um… EW! But then I know it’s different when it’s your kid/your dog.

I am not sure it is Katina :-)

6 Desert Dweller / David C. September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Desperate in the Patch? I think it looks great, so well contrived and now maturing! Except la cucaracha…die, all of you. They love the desert, too.

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