“Up In Flames”

by ESP on December 7, 2013

Mist flowers did not bloom as long as usual this year but they still had their fair share of visitors, like this


American Lady,

Vanessa virginienis



Note: The small white dot in the orange of the forewing distinguishes American Lady from the Painted Lady.



Another frequent visitor to the mist flowers are these little iridescent metallic bees or

Agapostemon texanus

Agapostemon texanus


or is it angelicus?

I don’t know.



Loquats also have an abundance of flowers this year,


I think they liked our wetter than usual Autumn.


Our recent freezing temperatures have ushered in some strange activities in the Patch.


When faced with prolonged periods of time indoors we usually resort to Monopoly and arguing, but the latest trend is the cutting-out of magazine mouths to while away the dark and cold hours.

I took advantage of the latest cold snap to put our Christmas tree up, with plenty of help, naturally.


This is an activity that traditionally has me coated in an 80-degree sweat as I fight to a) get the tree into the house and b) wrestle it into its stupid base, tightening those irritating metal prongs that I am convinced are too small to even reach the trunk of the tree.


As promised here is a slow air fitting for the cold, dark weather we have been experiencing of late.

Grab yourself a glass, adjust your volume and put in some earplugs for “The Dark Island” and the reel “Miss Girdle”.

It got so cold the other day,


I burnt my own strobilus!


Well it has been looking a bit peeky for a while now,

then I noticed this oozing out of the center of it:


Enough was enough.

It was onto the pyre with the old strobilus.



Moving very quickly along…



Cigar plant is heating up in the cold,


as are the celosia, and up until this week so were the canna lilies.


The bold color,


its foliage looking like flames,


what a difference a week can make.

Drum roll and…


 and as for my Hoja Santa…


…well, lets just say that they now look decidedly unwell.


In contrast my satsumas look about perfect, it was time I gave one a go, and by I,

I mean him.


There was some trepidation going into the annual tasting ceremony but the satsumas were apparently off to a good start. There was a nervous thumbs up in the middle but the end notes were an obvious let down – a bland blend of unsweetened chewy fruit with a distinct hint of grossness.


Ah the disappointment.


Oh well,

there is always next year.


Stay Tuned for:

“He’s Checking it twice


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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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TexasDeb December 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

We went ahead and picked all our Meyer lemons off before the freezes began (our plant wraps required a bit of pruning to apply). Fortunately the lemons finished ripening off tree – we had such excess we’ve been sharing with neighbors and friends. That’s a shame about the satsumas – would they make any sort of decent marmalade ?

Hi TD.
We should have picked all our Mexican limes before the freeze also, now they all a bit soft although they still taste good.
Are your meyer lemons in containers?
I would not want to make anything from those satsumas :-)

2 gail December 11, 2013 at 8:11 am

Enjoyed the pipes and the dancers!

Hi Gail.
Yes the pipes can have this effect, even Kumo has finally got used to the sound of the bagpipes, in fact…

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