“Dr Strangeglove”


The first water lilies of the year have bloomed this past week,  I have both hardy and tropical varieties in my pond.
This shot is the inside of my ‘Texas Dawn’ hardy lily.


My tropical variety is always a little behind. 
All the lily gazing drew my attention to the rest
of the pond, and to the sudden overabundance
of this little oxygenating plant. 

 
Elodia is a member of the frog’s-bit family Hydrocharitaceae. The plant
is also known as Canadian water pest, and as the name suggests the plant is very cold hardy, and can be quite aggressive once established. The plant very rarely blooms so I was very happy to capture this tiny flower on it’s tiny stalk. My fish have been struggling over these plants to get to rogue pieces of fish food, I decided it was time to do a little thinning. I actually lost a fish on this plant last year when it got a little too aggressive with it’s attempt to reach a tasty morsel.

 
“Don’t put me in the compost bin”! (tiny voice)
Looking like a scene from the movie The Secret of Roan Inish  these piles of “pond seaweed”
cleared a good portion of the pond.  The fish would not leave me alone as I was leaning full
stretch over the pond, they seemed happy at the new space that I was creating in their habitat.
All of this green goodness went straight into my compost bin, I am sure it is jam packed with
nutrients, and will be great when returned to the soil.


The pond looks really clear right now, but I am keeping a very close eye on the toad situation this year.
I do not want a repeat of this nightmare: http://east-side-patch.livejournal.com/11079.html 
The Texas Gulf toads have already started their banshee screams on our warmer evenings.


Can you believe how fast the cat tails have grown back!  It seems like yesterday that I cut them all the way back to their potted ground.

Now onto issues of a terrestrial nature. It has been a really odd week this week in the patch in terms of discovering very odd things, both up high and below ground. This first one looks like it has been staged, but I assure you it was not. I was inspecting my oldest Giant Timber bamboo at the far end of my yard.

 
I observed new growth emerging and then noticed these “cracks”. I looked around to see about 50% of all the culms had these fissures to a lesser or greater degree.

 
I can only hypothesize that it is
the movement and stresses
caused by strong wings that
has caused this?
This particular bamboo is more
exposed than my other ones.
Anyway I thought this was a little odd, but it paled in comparison to looking up and seeing this:

   
“Bamboo cookies”.                                       
How did it get there? Why hadn’t something eaten it? Was someone throwing these as Frisbees?
What are the chances of it getting caught up in my bamboo?, the mind boggles. I walked away puzzled and started pulling on some of that annoying little ivy weed (you know the one that always snaps when you try to extract it)  while I contemplated further the paratrooper cookie.


The only plant I detest as much as bermuda.

I grabbed a weedy vine that was a little thicker than the rest,
I do not know the name of this vine, but it has a very unique
aroma when you mess with it, kind of like neem, anyone
know what this is?  I get lacerated every year pulling it out
of my pampas grasses. I pulled and the vine got thicker
and thicker, then, out of the ground popped this unearthly
plants entrails:


“Freeeeeedom”.

 
Look at this!
It looks like it should be in a modern art museum. Here is the stinky foliage to help with an ID. This vines innards and the mental image of the bamboo cookie, (which I could not seem to mentally shake), for some reason inspired me to start work on my agave stalk “instrument”. I was craving a little bit of sanity.

I went over to the side of the housewhere the “beanstalk” had been laid to rest. I hoisted it up and it was quite a mess, a roach haven, complete with clotted dead leaves, it was still host to thousands of dying pups. It is quite staggering how long these pups have survived on the dead stalk.

 
Here is the beanstalk blooming last year, shortly before I climbed it, stole a golden egg laying chicken from the resident giant in the castle at the top of it, and chopped it down in my hasty retreat. And here is the scary, matted zombie now. Brrrr… the stuff of nightmares. The people across the street looked on in disbelief as I wrestled it and finally propped it up against the side of my truck. The scene all looked very redneck, especially when I returned from my shed wielding my three foot machete. I proceeded to start hacking at it with a mad grin on my face, taking pictures every once in a while, the people across the street disappeared into the sanctuary of their home.

 
The machete made quick work of taking the pups off the host, can you believe how many
pups were still on this thing! I now have a mass agave grave next to my house!

 
The finished instrument sounds like a cross between an alpine horn, a didgeridoo and someone
just humming into an old agave stalk.
And now I promise I will never ever mention this again.

 
All the loquats have responded well to the recent spell of wet weather. Looks like lots of fruit this year.
I tried one yesterday and it was sweet…

 
It seems I was not the only one enjoying these fruits! I planted this pit, out of curiosity.

Other springing developments this week in the patch:

 
Pink evening primrose, Oenothera speciosa taken shortly after the rains. Pink evening primrose comes from the south-central United States. It is native to the rocky prairies and savannas of the lower Midwest. The wiggly bits that stick out (stamens) look like naan bread, click on the right image, they do!
I think I need to eat, immediately.

 
                                                                                               “No he doesn’t!”
I caught this iridescent, unidentified chappy filling up his rodeo “chaps” with pollen on one of my four-nerve daisy plants. Look at his back legs (click then click again on the left image) he looks like Mr Tumnus from “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

 

 
I planted a whole bunch of California poppies in between a mass planting of artemisia ‘powis castle’ recently. I thought the orange would look good contrasted against the silver. I was suprised when this pale yellow bloom, the first one, popped up. I am not complaining, I just wonder if this one is a one-off or that they will all be the same color.

 

 
My ice plants are going ballistic, break a piece off, plant it, and within a week the tiny transplant will have formed it’s own bloom! amazing. Here is a face-like new bloom (with a green chin and a ridiculous hat) preparing to pop open. The plants on the left were tiny when I planted them. They have filled in really fast.


Staying with succulents for a moment, my “Botox Lady’s” hair is just starting
to “root” ahem. I think by the end of this year she may have a full head of “succulent”
hair.  Perhaps then she will stop complaining every time I walk past her.

 
Stargazer lily in my Hell-Strip.

   
I have my first mexican sage bloom this week (center)

 
China berry blooms, they smell really good but the blooms and the berries
will send you, or your pets, straight to the hospital, if ingested.

 
Gerbera daisy after the rains.

 
My middle bed is filling in pretty fast with the excellent growing weather we have been having.


Why Dr Strange(g)love?

 
I bought these yesterday!                “They just don’t make them like they used to in my day ESP”…
…damned Waltons.

Renee….

 
“We have the technology, It can be rebuilt better than it was before, better stronger, faster”.
Are those bags of seeds attached to Steve’s jumpsuit?
Sorry to hear about your fallen tree.

Stay Tuned For:
“Revenge of the Turds”
All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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~ by eastsidepatch on March 28, 2009.

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