“Shiver me treated Timbers”

212
Jack Sparrow’s the name, me wants the treasure map for the East-Side-lavender patch and I’ll be on me ways….savvy?
240
5 paces to the left…old bottle…5 paces forward…
a shard of glass, dig down 2 feet…
a veritable slag heap of city landfill proportions.
X marks the the most irritating, and eco-unfriendly 
"spot" for my future planting of a lavender bed
you can possibly imagine
.
240  240
These are me treasures so far, Arrr…and I have only turned the area over once! I am sure more "jewels" will emerge before I am done here. The ground here was so compacted, I had to wait for a substantial rain before I could even attempt to attack it with my pick axe and shovel that I had, in anticipation, sharpened to a knife point. What a bounty! Treasures fit for a captain’s quarters on a galaxy class, federation starship?
what! –  I needed a segue!
240
"Spock, analysis please"?
228
"Captain, the ground here is too compacted to get a
clear reading. I am picking up zero lavender
compatibility combined with a nutrient deficiency
like I have never witnessed before in this east-side 
sector. I suggest we form an away team to investigate
this earthworm-less anomaly in more detail".
240
"Away team, set phasers to maximum stun, and
watch out for the glass anomalies that seem to be
abundant in the soil in this area.
Scotty…Energize".

Where to put it? where to put it?

I have been trying to figure out where to dump this dead soil that still resides in my future lavender bed, well today I had a breakthrough. I found a secluded spot against my fence line that I think is large enough to accomodate most of the slag heap. The problem?  there is a gangly pampas grass there, and, I need a barrier of some kind to go up against the chain-link fence so that the relocated soil will not "escape" into my neighbor’s yard when it rains…
Mmm, I knew my azure "fake door" would come in useful, it is perfect for the job!
Now to take care of the pampass. This I was not looking forward to, I have taken out a pampas before and I still occasionally wake up in the middle of a recurring night terror frantically rubbing my arms and screaming out "Aloe Vera"! Outside of bamboo pampas grass ranks right up there in the "why are you even trying to dig me up" category. These grasses will flay you within an inch of your life just looking at them. This one was not content with the usual arm and leg lacerations, oh no, it had something else in store for me on this particular extraction…

Here is where the exorcism was to be performed. It was naturally in one of
the most inaccessible spots in the whole of my yard, up against
a fence and neighboring another monster pampas grass, so that
I could get my lacerations in a timely manner.

Undeterred, I blessed the area with some pond water and I pried, I dug, I pried some more, I could here roots splitting, I was getting there. "Here it comes," I pried some more, then with a molar shattering "crack", followed by a frantic full body check, the angry pampas demon snapped my prized shovel like it was a toothpick…well that’s just great.

Needless to say I decided to bury it in soil and let it rot,
the pampas that is, not the shovel.
 
This is to be the "fill" area. I am thinking a whole bunch of silver artemisia
here with yet a couple more loquats. The silver looks really good up against the blue of the fence. You can see the demon pampas on the right picture.

Let the digging commence!

I did about 5 wheelbarrow loads, improvising with my "half shovel"
just to secure the fence, then my back decided it needed
a better solution. I was also intently aware of the
possibility of a winning a Darwin Award (in rather a
painful Vladimir manner).
Time for Dinner.

Other noteworthy Genghis Khans right now :

Go on have a guess what this is? Coral in a fish tank perhaps? Ancient mollusks inhabiting a rock-face in the great barrier reef ? or a …

Brocoflower! A cross between broccoIi and cauliflower! I have never seen
one like this before. We picked this one up at Central Market – amazing.
It would look equally at home at the bottom of my pond, but this one is
destined to end up as a dinner. Staying on the subject of ancient creatures, forgotten by time…

I had a strange encounter this afternoon while
I was watering some of my ornamental grasses
and papyrus. At first I heard some 
snorting and roaring, and naturally curiosity took
the better of me…I put on my safari outfit for 
no apparent reason and ventured deeper
into the grasses, into an area I had not been in before. 
Hearing some large twigs breaking, I paused,
squatted down, only to witness…

"A gorilla in the Mist" …King Kong cooling down
in the Texas heat. 

what?

Staying with the pre-historic, (and thanks to Catsarah for the positive i.d):
The following pictures are of a Green Darner or Common Green Darner (Anax junius) it is a dragonfly of the family Aeshnidae, native to North America. It is one of the biggest and fastest-flying dragonflies, able to reach speeds of 85 km/h (53 mph) This species has several nicknames, including "Darning Needle" for its speed, "Mosquito Hawk" for its predatory habits, and "Lord of June" for its abundance during the summer season. It is also Washington State’s state insect. This is the first one I have ever witnessed around my pond, perhaps the hurricanes are pushing them further west than usual for safety? (thanks trbll if you are reading this for your interesting theory)

I caught this "huge" Darner laying eggs on one of my lily pads. The color and patterns on the "tropical" lily looks like military camouflage, the dragon’s coloration matched this exactly.
The shadow cast from the insect was a bonus.
Click image then click again for more detail.

In flight entertainment. This bird was the size of my fist. Is that its wings causing the disturbance on the top of the water?

This Dragon laid a bunch of eggs in both my pond and feeder pond, so maybe I will see a few more soon. After it got used to me, and realized I was not a threat, it actually became quite tame. I got the camera within an inch of it by keeping the camera in the same position while it was spooked and airbourne, invariably it quickly returned to the same position where I was ready and waiting on full macro.

One more bug that I almost missed today.
Staying with insects for a moment, this Lacewing caught my attention while I was watering, it’s wings reacted to the water, otherwise I would never have noticed it. Great metallic coloration. It is a Lacewing right?
 
Canna alive                                           Canna dead
 
A succulent almost in bloom looking like some more coral.
240
Dwarf miscanthus seed head sparkling in front of a setting Texas sun.

"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long –
and you have burned so very, very brightly."
Blade Runner

All material © 2008 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Stay Tuned for:
"Oysters on the Half Shovel"

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~ by eastsidepatch on September 3, 2008.

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